In Mercer’s review of the landscape of health and wellness benefits for employees in 2012, Naomi Saragoussi comments: “The challenge of reining in costs while still offering attractive benefits will mean that employers must explore more resourceful and creative ways to manage financial expenditure and ensure best value for money. There is a growing trend towards employee wellbeing initiatives, increased employer-employee cost sharing and a move towards employees deciding how they want their benefits to be shaped.”
In 2012, employers should look at benefits such as gym membership, private medical cover, targeted health screening and lifestyle coaching as a way to reduce employee absenteeism, lower health-related costs and enhance productivity. Sickness absence in the UK is a significant hindrance to productivity and competitiveness and a major cost to companies every year. Stress is, for the first time, the most common cause of long-term sickness absence. Supporting the health of employees through wellness initiatives can result in improved fitness, reduced levels of stress and enhanced confidence at work.
Dr. Wolfgang Seidl of Mercer adds, “The health and wellbeing of the workforce feeds into productivity. It is more economical to look after employees’ health in the workplace than allowing health care costs to spiral out of control, including insurance costs.”