In its 2016 Employee Benefit Trends Study (EBTS), MTAA Super’s insurer MetLife explored the attitudes of Australian company managers and full-time employees towards employee benefits and issues.
The study found that managers and employees have different priorities when it comes to workplace health and wellness. Employers don’t place as much importance on health issues such as depression, stress and anxiety, even though these are key concerns for employees.
When asked what the greatest health fears for their employees were, employers ranked medical problems over emotional health and lifestyle issues. However, the study showed 84% of workers worry about their emotional wellbeing, compared with 70% who are concerned with medical issues.
Top 3 health concerns for employees:* 1. Work/life balance
Getting the right benefits
While employers recognise the benefits of offering wellness programs to staff, the most widely offered health and wellness programs, such as flu shots and employee assistance programs, didn’t resonate with employees. According to the study, the benefits that most interest employees include medical or health insurance, flexible working arrangements and income protection insurance. In fact, a high proportion of workers said they would be willing to split the costs with their employer to get access to these benefits:
68% Medical or health insurance
67% Flexible working arrangements
64% Income protection
What can you do to create a more inspiring workplace?
To achieve the best employer-employee outcomes, it is important for employers to align their benefits with the interests of their employees and identify ways to create a more inclusive workplace.
With working hours growing longer and associated stress and anxiety on the rise, it’s important for employers to acknowledge employees’ mental health concerns and address these head on.
Here are some actions you can take:
Ask your employees what benefits are important to them
Check out MTAA Super’s range of benefits for members, including income protection cover here.
Monitor workplace stress
Make sure workloads aren’t unmanageable and your employees feel supported.
Offer support in the workplace
Provide an Employee Assistance Program, such as counselling services, through a reputable provider.
Consider flexible working arrangements It could work well for you and your employees.
By creating a more inspiring workplace, you can help boost staff satisfaction, reduce staff turnover and increase overall productivity.