Today, much is written about the need for employers to address the mental, physical and financial wellbeing of their employees, but to what extent do employees want their employer to get involved with issues that affect them outside of work?
To find out, Epoq commissioned research company, Opinium, to survey UK employees to get their views. In total, 1,234 employees completed an online questionnaire which asked if they would like their employer to help them deal with a range of issues encountered outside work. The results revealed the areas employees most want help with, as well as some interesting differences in gender and age groups.
Demand for support
Overall, more than half (66%) of employees said they would like their employer to help them deal with certain problems or issues encountered outside of work, with more women (71%) than men (63%) saying they would like help.
When looking at the areas employees want help with, family and mental health issues in particular stand out, with 39% saying they would like help to deal with the illness or death of a family member, 38% said dealing with stress, depression or other mental health issues, 25% help with childcare arrangements and 21% help to look after elderly parents.
The results by gender show that, perhaps unsurprisingly, more women than men would like help in these areas: illness or death of family member (45% women compared to men at 34%), mental health issues (43% women compared to men at 33%), childcare arrangements (28% of women compared to 21% of men) and looking after elderly parents (25% compared to men at 16%). Women are also more likely to want help with looking after as sick pet (12%) compared to men (6%).
The differing needs between age groups is also quite pronounced with, on average, 21% of people in their 20s saying they would like help from their employer, but only 8% of people aged 60+ feeling the same need. Overall, on average of 15% of employees in their 30s and 40s would like some help, with only 12% of people in their 50s seeking support.
And, as to be expected, the younger generations want help with financial matters more than their colleagues in their 40s, 50s and 60s. 19% of employees in their 20s want help in this area with 10% of people in their 30s; 9% in their 40s, 5% in their 50s and 3% in their 60s.
Help with health and financial wellbeing
Staying with financial matters, although help with retirement planning is similar for men and women at 28% and 27% respectively, and consistent across people in their 20s, 30s and 40s at 9%, it drops to 5% for people in their 50s and 60s. This may suggest the employees in these age groups have sorted their retirement plans earlier in their careers.
When it comes to losing weight or getting fit, 30% of employees in their 20s would like help from their employer compared to 21% of people in their 50s and 8% of people in their 60s. The rate for people in their 30s and 40s was 19% and 20% respectively. Perhaps employers could do more to make their fitness benefits more attractive to older workers?
Andrew Walker, commercial director at Epoq comments: “I believe this research highlights the broad range of needs in an increasingly diverse workforce. It is clear that employees do look to their employer for support in a number of areas and that these will vary according to the age and gender of the employee. It’s therefore essential to tailor benefits and give employees the tools to help them deal with matters on their own alongside direct support where necessary as part of a well-rounded and modern wellbeing model.”
Read the complete findings here.
For information about Epoq’s employee benefits service, please email us or call on 020 8731 2424.