More than half of HR decision-makers (53%) plan to increase investment in health and wellness benefits in 2022, according to a new report. But although employers are willing to spend money on their workers’ health, the issues they identify as top challenges differ from what workers highlight.
For example, the 2021 Workplace Wellness Action Index, commissioned by the healthcare advisory firm MOBE, found that 50% of employers believe loneliness and isolation is one of their workers’ top health-related challenges. However, just 20% of employees agree.Although employers are willing to spend money on their workers’ health, the issues they identify as top challenges differ from what workers highlight. #HR #HRTech @MobeforLife Click To Tweet
Here’s another example: 47% of employers say the ability to get medications is a top health-related challenge for employees. Just 7% of employed adults agree.
Almost all HR decision-makers (95%) believe employees are informed about the health and wellness offerings their company provides. But most employees say the best way for employers to improve health and wellness offerings would be to provide better communication about how to access the options available.
Close to half of HR decision-makers acknowledge they aren’t offering benefits to address the challenges workers most often report, specifically, lack of physical activity (47%) or not getting enough sleep (46%).
Also, most decision-makers (80%) say that when deciding which benefits to offer, it’s absolutely essential or very important to both address employees’ individual needs and demonstrate savings for their company’s bottom line.
“[Employers] must balance changing work models with the needs of employees in this new reality,” said MOBE CEO Chris Cronin. “Today, we are seeing a gap between what employers believe their people need, what they are providing and what their team is actually using.”
The majority of employed adults—75%—said they face health challenges outside of work. They’re struggling with the same concerns identified in the 2020 Chronic Care Action Index, and for those with chronic conditions—representing 133 million Americans—health concerns only increased.
Working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic had a mixed impact on employee health, the report found: 55% of those aged 18-34 and working remotely found it easier to reach their health goals, compared to just 39% of 55+-year-olds working from home. Meanwhile, 52% of men found it easier to reach their health goals at home, compared to just 46% of women.