8 in 10 employers report an increase in the number of employees reporting mental health problems
According to new research from Benefex, the leading employee experience platform, employees have become much more open about their own well-being during the pandemic. 87% of HR managers saw more employees report mental health issues, and 82% saw more employees report feeling lonely.
The research consisted of 213 online interviews with over 200 employers, across a cross-section of industries, and was conducted in May and June 2021.
As employees look to their employers to help them through this difficult time, many companies have responded by focusing heavily on the employee experience and, in particular, the support they provide to staff to promote and protect their well-being. 96% of human resources managers said the employee experience became more important during the pandemic, and employee well-being is seen as the main driver behind this increased focus on the employee experience.
Encouragingly, 83% of HR leaders plan to increase their investments in employee well-being, and they also plan to increase spending on diversity and inclusion initiatives (70%) and benefits and human resources analysis (65%).
The research is launched today in a new white paper, The Employee Experience in the New World of Work. The report explores changing dynamics and demands within the workforce and the steps HR managers are taking to adapt their strategies to meet employee needs and remain relevant and competitive.
Commenting on the results, Gethin Nadin, Director of Employee Wellbeing at Benefex, said: “Wellbeing has become an essential part of the employee experience, and the pandemic has clearly accelerated this trend.
“Many employers have, for the first time, realized their responsibilities in preventing and supporting mental health problems as much as they can. But there is still a long way to go – how you support and care for your employees will increasingly become a key and critical factor in the overall employee value proposition.
When asked about the elements that contribute to an exceptional employee experience program, 71% of HR managers indicated that “a commitment to employee well-being” was the most critical characteristic, followed by ensuring that employees are doing well. feel connected to company values (66%), recognition of professional achievements (62%), provision of intuitive technologies in the workplace (62%) and effective internal communications (61%).
In order to manage this increased focus on the employee experience, many employers are now looking to take a more strategic approach, bringing in specialized resources and focusing heavily on measuring improvements.
83% of HR managers expect top performing companies to have an “employee experience manager” within the next two years and 86% expect most companies to have a dedicated resource for good -be employees. 84% believe that “experience feedback” will appear to be a critical measure of success.
Nadin continued, “The research highlights the range of critical elements that combine to create an overall employee experience, and the large number of priorities and goals that HR leaders need to address to drive improvements.
“A dedicated employee experience strategy, which meets the evolving needs of employees today and in the future, is essential to ensure that HR remains relevant to employees living and working in this uncertain environment.
Interestingly, research reveals that the drivers of an increased focus on employee experience differ from industry to industry.
Within professional services, employee well-being and efforts to become an employer of choice are major factors in which organizations focus on the employee experience; but in the tech and media sector, new initiatives are driven by increased employee expectations, D&I goals and the need to involve remote workers.
Meanwhile, in financial services, improving workforce productivity and aligning employee experience with company values are more likely to drive business programs. employee experience.