Nearly every employer introducing emotional and mental health programs

The average budget for well-being programs has also increased to $4.9 million in 2020, up 36% over 2019.
By: | June 19, 2020

95% of employers around the world are including emotional and mental health programs in their corporate well-being platforms, according to the 11th annual Health and Well-Being Survey from Fidelity Investments and Business Group on Health.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people around the world work. And many employees have experienced stress and anxiety in coping with the transition.

As more employees return to their workplaces with more easing of restrictions, employers are adjusting their well-being strategies to help their workers adjust to the changes.

Examples of commonly offered mental/emotional help programs included teletherapy, which will be offered by 69% of employers this year, along with stress management (50%) and resiliency programs (49%). Another 33% of employers will offer programs to help improve sleep, up from 25% in 2019.

Employers are also increasing their emphasis on helping employees improve their work/life balance, with 78% of employers including these types of benefits in their well-being platforms. Popular work/life balance benefits include caregiver support (46%), programs and tools for new parents (36%) and child care support (35%).

The average budget for well-being programs has also increased to $4.9 million in 2020, up 36% over 2019. Among large employers (20,000+ employees) the average budget earmarked for well-being programs jumps to $10.4 million.

“Employers are facing a completely different set of well-being challenges this year as they and their employees try to adapt to changes to their physical work environment or their job status,” said Shams Talib, head of Fidelity Workplace Consulting.

“The study results are consistent with the thousands of calls we’ve been having with plan sponsors since the pandemic began. The expanded focus on mental and emotional well-being comes at a time when a growing number of employees may be facing increased anxiety and stress based on the evolving social and economic landscape.”

“Now more than ever, employers are highly focused on employee mental health and well-being as they adjust to the pandemic, economic disruption, and heightened focus on the impact of racial and societal issues,” said Ellen Kelsay, President and CEO, Business Group on Health.