The survey, conducted by Opinium between 28 January and 7 February 2022, also found that 31 per cent of respondents recognised health and wellbeing support as a key incentive for new people to choose to work for their company.
One in five (18 per cent) of employers also stated that not having sufficient health and wellbeing support had negative impact on their ability to attract and retain employees.
‘Support for health in general’ was viewed by 42 per cent of employers as being the factor that has increased in importance the most in terms of recruitment and retention, while 26 per cent said that ‘support for mental health’ had increased in importance the most. A further 19 per cent said that it was the ‘overall health and wellbeing package’ that had grown the most in terms of priorities.
Other factors identified as having increased in importance for recruitment and retention included social interactions through work (11 per cent); communication of support offered (nine-per-cent); support for financial health (nine-per-cent) and an environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy (eight-per-cent).
‘The four pillars of health and wellbeing’
“The research supports our anecdotal evidence of the wider reaches of health and wellbeing support, and why it is so important that employers have a clear and well-communicated strategy,” said Debra Clark, Head of Specialist Consulting, Towergate Health & Protection. “The wider the health and wellbeing support offered, the better the array of talent it will attract and retain.
“Employees’ needs and demands have shifted dramatically since before the pandemic struck. We have all had a realignment of priorities, and employers need to match these if they are to attract and retain the best staff, which is only going to become more important,” she added.
Towergate Health & Protection concluded that the implementation of a strong health and wellbeing programme is ‘vital’. However, it added that any programmes ‘must be widely communicated to employees and easily accessed and managed … if it is really going to make a difference’.
The company added that: “A strong programme must support all four pillars of health and wellbeing – emotional, physical, financial, and social health – to add the most value to recruitment and retention.”
However, understanding employees’ requirements may present a challenge for businesses looking to enhance their health and wellbeing support, with one survey conducted on behalf of Nuffield Health finding that two thirds of employees were not comfortable discussing their wellbeing with their employer.