MetLife recently launched its Employee Benefit Trends Study (EBTS) in Australia, which explores the attitudes of 300 Australian company managers and over 500 Australian full-time employees, towards key employee benefit trends and issues.

One key finding from this study is that there are significant differences in the priorities of Australian employees and employers when it comes to workplace health and wellness. According to the EBTS study, Australian employers don’t place as much importance on health issues such as depression, stress and anxiety, even though these are all key concerns for employees.

When asked what the greatest health fears for their employees were, Australian employers ranked medical problems over emotional health and lifestyle issues. However, the study showed 84% of Australian workers worry more about their emotional wellbeing, compared with 70% who are concerned with medical issues.

While employers recognise the benefits of offering wellness programs to staff include increased staff retention, employee engagement and improved productivity, the most widely offered health and wellness programs, such as flu shots and employee assistance programs, did not have a high correlation with what employees are interested in.

IMPROVING STAFF RESILIENCE: OPPORTUNITY FOR EMPLOYERS

To achieve the best employer-employee outcomes, it is important for employers to align their benefits with employee interest and identify ways to create a more inclusive work environment.

With working hours growing longer and associated stress and anxiety on the rise, it is important for employers to acknowledge employees’ mental health concerns and address these head on.

According to the EBTS study, offering solutions to improve mental health and overall wellbeing could be a major opportunity for Australian employers. Second only to salary, a reduction in work stress is an important motivator for Australians looking for a new job.

Considering benefit solutions that focus on improving staff resilience, relieving work stress and providing mental health programs that offer support in the workplace are some of the types of initiatives that could help to build a more positive workplace, which can in turn boost staff satisfaction and overall productivity.

FIND OUT MORE

Learn more about MetLife’s EBTS study by downloading the whitepaper here.

Posted: December 21, 2016