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March 23, 2023

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Workplace wellbeing

Concerns about employee mental health on the rise – but employees prioritise financial health

Employers are most concerned about the mental health of their staff – followed by financial health, research has shown.

Companies of all sizes across the UK were questioned by Towergate Health & Protection and the research reveals 54% believe the mental health of their staff is the area about which they are now most concerned.

finance48% said they were most concerned about their employees financial health while 34% cited physical health, 29% said social health and 11% none of the four categories were a concern.

Debra Clark, Head of Specialist Consulting at Towergate Health & Protection, said: “Mental health is currently topping the list of employers’ worries about their staff.

“To some extent this is a good thing as it means that mental health has moved up the agenda, that it is recognised as a very real concern and that employers are taking notice of its impact.

“However, it is clearly not positive that mental health is a growing issue, so this now needs to be met with the appropriate response from employers to manage and improve mental health in the workplace.”

The research also showed employees also now have higher expectations of workplace health and wellbeing.

‘Financial health will impact mental health’

They most want support in financial health – 48% – while 42% of employees said expectations for more support have grown the most for mental health.

Employees next prioritised social wellbeing with 36% of respondents citing this, 34% said physical health and 12% felt they didn’t have any expectations on improved support for any category.

Debra Clark added: “The different pillars of health and wellbeing are often intertwined. Financial health will impact mental health; mental health affects physical health and so on.

“The fact that both employers and employees put financial and mental health at the top of the list suggests that these two are particularly impactful on each other in current times.

“Employers should consider a targeted response to address the issues, such as offering access to councelling, or to budgeting advice.”

Towergate Health & Protection also found that the increase in support did not match with the level of concern – or with employees’ expectations of support for their different areas of health.

Debra Clark said: “It is vital that employers consult their staff regularly to see how their needs are changing regarding health and wellbeing.

“Requirements are not static and the support needs to closely match the concerns.

“Employers should consider a holistic approach to health and wellbeing support, giving credence to each of the four pillars: mental, financial, physical, and social health.

“A workforce that feels unsupported will be less productive and less loyal.”

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