Addressing employee stress is key to a comprehensive benefits strategy
- Over 17,500 employees surveyed in 16 markets across the globe
- More than two in five of all employees (43%) in the United Kingdom report feeling stressed in their everyday life, but over two in three (70%) employees believe their employer would support them in a time of need
- Employers that offer a wider array of benefits see higher employee satisfaction
London, 13 June 2023
Leading health and benefits consultancy Mercer Marsh Benefits, a business of Marsh McLennan, has released its 2023 Health on Demand Report, which revealed that employee stress is a critical issue for talent attraction and retention.
The 2023 Health on Demand report surveyed over 17,500 employees in 16 markets across the globe about their priorities when it comes to health and well-being, highlighting the voice of the employee so employers can better address their needs. The results show that almost half of all employees (43%) in United Kingdom that responded report feeling stressed in everyday life. When asked what factors put them at risk for burnout at work, the top three were work pressures (61%), toxic culture (42%), and poor leadership (43%).
Addressing employee stress and burnout starts with addressing psychological safety in the workplace. Only 51% of employees agreed or strongly agreed that they feel free to speak their mind without fear of negative consequences. Leading employers are tackling the underlying causes of workplace stress as part of a comprehensive and inclusive benefits strategy, such as reviewing job design and supervisor competencies, creating a culture of belonging and inclusive decision making, and offering benefits such as reduced cost mental health treatment and virtual counseling. Nearly 70% of employees in United Kingdom believe their organization would support them in an emergency or time of need.
Beyond work stressors, 30% of employees are concerned about affording healthcare, with women (36%), and single mothers in particular (47%), significantly more likely to lack confidence that they can afford needed healthcare than men (25%). Employers are in a unique and critical position to address healthcare gaps by exploring benefits and employee experience strategies that balance human and digital health delivery and respond to the different needs of a diverse workforce.
Additionally, the findings show that employees who believe their employer cares about their health and well-being are much more likely to be thriving – feeling positive about their health, wealth, and careers. The findings also show that there is a positive correlation between higher levels of benefits and employee satisfaction. In fact, employees who receive 10 or more benefits are more likely to believe their employer cares about their health and well-being, are less likely to move to a different employer, and are more confident that they can afford the healthcare their family needs.
Hervé Balzano, President, Health, Mercer & Global Leader, Mercer Marsh Benefits highlighted the importance of offering a wide range of benefits: “In recent years, employees’ health and well-being have been put under pressure by multiple crises – ranging from economic and geopolitical conflicts to the global pandemic. Our research shows how these challenges, along with multiple pressure points facing healthcare systems, have brought to light significant gaps in protection for workforces. This is particularly true among groups such as low-paid workers, caregivers, and women,” said Mr. Balzano.
“The findings from Health on Demand clearly show that by providing comprehensive benefits, employers can address these risks, protect their employees and ultimately create a foundation for them to thrive at work and beyond,” he added.
Nicholas McMenemy, Partner, Digital, Strategy & Markets Leader at Mercer Marsh Benefits, underscored the need for employers to take a values-based approach to their benefits strategies.
“Employees who feel cared for by their employer are more likely to report organizational leadership that is committed to a healthy culture. Work-related commitments such as embedding well-being in job design and taking action on issues such as living wages and social justice are a key part of this,” said Mr McMenemy. “It also means giving employees confidence that they can afford the healthcare that they and their families need and having access to benefits that are relevant to them.”