'Employers that place health and humanity at the centre of business transformation will build a more energized, adaptable workforce'
Employer supports lead to lower turnover, according to a recent report.
Staff who say they received good support from their employers amid the health crisis are far less likely (25 per cent) to view their personal experience of the pandemic as mostly or entirely negative compared with those who received little or no support (49 per cent), according to Mercer.
Because of this, 45 per cent of those receiving good support say they are less likely to leave their job.
“There is nothing more important to the health of a business than the health of its people and the communities in which that business operates. COVID-19 challenged our global healthcare system, but the ability of employers to have a positive impact on employee health and resiliency is one of the most important findings from our 2021 Health on Demand survey,” said Martine Ferland, president and CEO of Mercer.
“Employers that place health and humanity at the centre of business transformation will build a more energized and adaptable workforce that is better able to persevere through periods of crisis.”
Better employer support is needed with workers turning to a hybrid work model amid the pandemic, according to a separate report.
But employers still have work to do to understand the diverse needs and resources needed to support the well-being of the entire workforce, according to Mercer’s survey of 14,000 employees across 13 countries.
More than half of U.S. employees feel some level of stress in the last year. Nearly a fourth say they experienced mental health issues such as depression or anxiety, a fifth are financially worse off and nearly a fifth feel less physically healthy or fit.
Nearly six in 10 (59 per cent) workers in the U.S. say they feel some level of stress, with one-quarter reporting being highly or extremely stressed. And 48 per cent rate employer support for mental health as highly or extremely valuable.
However, 40 per cent of employees say it is difficult to find and access quality mental health care, and the number jumps to 47 per cent among low-wage earners. Also, while 61 per cent of employees identifying as LGBTQ+ place value on employer support for mental health, 58 per cent say it is difficult to find and access.
Also, 49 per cent of all U.S. employees put high or extreme value on programs that reduce the cost of mental health treatment. Many employees would highly value virtual counselling via video chat with a therapist (42 per cent), virtual counselling via text with a therapist (38 per cent) and even virtual mental health advice via AI-powered text chats, with no human involved (31 per cent).