Firms to attract talent via wellbeing programs

- By Cai U. Ordinario @caiordinar­io

Majority of businesses in the Philippine­s aim to employ wellbeing programs in their quest to attract talent into their organizati­ons, according to a study by global advisor and broking company Willis towers Watson.

in a statement, Willis towers Watson said 85 percent of Filipino businesses aim to create these programs. Majority of the firms included in the survey recognized that rising stress is a top concern for employees.

Concerns surroundin­g stress in the workplace have increased due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Work-related stress was a top concern for only 73 percent of employers 5 years ago while today, it has risen to 83 percent.

“the senior leadership of companies is genuinely interested in the health and wellbeing of their employees and families. Five years ago, over half of the employers in the Philippine­s indicated that, while they offered various programs, they did not have a formally articulate­d wellbeing strategy. today, not only do many employers have a strategy in place, 85 percent plan to use it as a differenti­ator to compete for talent in three years,” said Susan La Chica, Head of Health & Benefits, Philippine­s, Willis towers Watson.

“the pandemic has created an opportune time for companies to focus on developing a longer-term health and wellbeing roadmap. a proactive and holistic approach to strengthen­ing the health and wellbeing ‘core’ is required to produce a positive business impact.”

in the past, measuring the success of their wellbeing programs, the survey found that the majority of employers adopt employee listening strategies to get to the heart of employees’ needs and wants.

Meanwhile, around 76 percent of employees use claims data to assess utilizatio­n of services, drug compliance and gaps in care.

the percentage of employers who use a value-on-investment approach to measuring success has increased from 11 percent in 2015 to 26 percent in 2020.

“Fragmented programs that act as band aids for short-term concerns are no longer sufficient. Many employers are now acting with urgency as they look to take their wellbeing programs to the next level and also address the changing needs and demographi­cs of today’s employees,” said Demosthene­s Villarin jr., Medical Director and Head of Business Developmen­t, Health and Benefits, Philippine­s, Willis towers Watson.

Employers are now taking a more holistic approach to employees’ wellbeing, making it a priority for their organizati­ons in the next three years. this holistic approach intends to go beyond physical wellbeing and extend to emotion, financial, and social aspects.

this approach, however, has a price. rising costs, some 69 percent of employers admitted, is a major challenge.

Half of employers also mentioned the lack of data to measure outcomes and behavior change while a third cited the lack of appropriat­e technology.

“With both costs and employee workforce risks such as stress rising, it’s more important than ever to ensure that the investment into wellbeing goes to the right places. and while there’s still room for improvemen­t, it’s clear that employers understand the need to measure their programs using both financial as well as non-financial metrics,” Villarin said.

a total of 122 companies in the Philippine­s participat­ed in the Wellbeing Diagnostic Survey conducted between october and November 2020. the survey sought to better understand organizati­ons’ approaches to wellbeing in the workplace.

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