Workplace health and wellbeing policies explained
How are your employees doing?
And we don’t mean performance metrics in a spreadsheet somewhere — how are they feeling?
The past few years have been difficult for many people financially, emotionally and physically. It’s therefore more important than ever for employers to understand employee wellbeing and actively support it. As well as being vital to a workforce’s wellbeing, there are also business benefits.
Only around half (51%) of business have a strategic approach to employee wellbeing. Yet mental ill health is the UK’s fourth-most common cause of short-term sickness absence and the biggest cause of long-term sickness absence.1 Plus, COVID-19 has exacerbated mental ill health. By the end June 2021, a record 1.5 million people received mental health support, with even more people (1.6 million) still on the waiting list for treatment. New referrals in June 2021 were up by 24% on June 2020.2
Taking care of employees’ mental health can have a major return on investment not just in improved staff wellbeing but also potentially meaning:
A workplace mental health and wellbeing strategy is a plan, pathway or roadmap for how you as a business manage employees’ mental health and wellbeing.
Above all, it doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. However, it’s key to bringing to life and embedding a culture of workplace wellbeing so every employee can thrive.
Mental health is a complex topic; however, a wellbeing strategy doesn’t have to be. For example, simple steps employers can take include:
None of these require major strategic business change but, as above, ensuring employee wellbeing can make a real difference to your staff.
Perfect for those unsure where to start or wanting to review their existing approach, our Workplace Health and Wellbeing Review examines your current workplace wellbeing strategy, then discusses how you could make changes to improve employee wellbeing.
Our wellbeing specialists work with you to make these improvements over 12 months, offering advice, training and support at every step.
At initial review, we determine what already exists and areas that aren’t being met, based on:
We’ve used these to create six standards to promote optimal employee health and wellbeing:
Our team provides a clear structure and approach that leads to real, tangible success. Companies who complete a Unum Workplace Health and Wellbeing Review see notable benefits.
For instance, at initial review, we found 74% of companies met standard four — having good working conditions, benefits and a positive work/life balance. Whilst this is a good score, companies that worked with us throughout the year were able to increase this to 100% at final review.
At Unum, we’re proud that, for companies that completed a Workplace Health and Wellbeing Review and worked with us throughout the year to implement our suggestions:
Meanwhile, our return-to-work support team helped 95% of people referred to us for mental health concerns return to work or achieve an agreed result.
As mentioned, part of your workplace wellbeing strategy might include promoting resources available to employees. Depending on the Group Risk product you hold, there are various benefits accessible to employees:
If you have access to our Group Income Protection, please complete the form and one of our team will respond within 1 working day to discuss how we can help.
Promoting workplace wellbeing makes your company a better, more attractive place to work. It’s good for current employees and for attracting future hires — it’s a positive thing to do all round.
1 Health and wellbeing at work 2022, CIPD
2 Pandemic impact on mental health backlog catastrophic, Royal College of Psychiatrists, June 2021
3 Help@hand is provided to Unum Group customers by Square Health. It offers access to services designed to manage the health and wellbeing of employees and their families. Help@hand is entirely separate from any Unum insurance policy. Help@hand is not part of the insurance contract, is provided by Unum for no additional cost to its customers, and Unum can withdraw or change the service in the future. Help@hand is available to UK residents only. Unum offers access to the Help@hand services provided by third parties.
Square Health Limited, registered in England and Wales Number 07054181. Crown House, William Street, Windsor SL4 1AT.
4 For mild to moderate issues. Number of sessions subject to clinical appropriateness. Should the service be no longer suitable, users will be directed to alternative appropriate support.