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The ROI of Relaxation: Why Prioritising Employee Wellbeing Makes Business Sense

Chris Ronald, VP of B2B EMEA BHN

May 22 2024 - The traditional rewards parade - ping pong tables and gym memberships - is falling flat when it comes to employee well-being. While Mental Health Awareness Week brought much-needed attention to hidden struggles, the polished front often masks a different reality. Today's workforce struggles with a constant undercurrent of stress, and existing benefits are increasingly seen as a lifeline.

According to a recent BHN study, a staggering 74% of Gen Z and 69% of Millennials are dissatisfied with current mental health offerings. This isn't just a generational blip; it reflects a fundamental shift in employee expectations. Modern workers recognise the interconnectedness of personal and professional lives.

One example is the link between financial security with mental well-being. Companies need a fresh approach to employee well-being, one that embraces a holistic view encompassing financial anxieties. Research by PWC reveals a staggering cost: poor financial well-being translates to a 4% estimated loss in productivity for every 1 million spent on payroll. While mental health in the workplace is multifaceted, financial well-being often is overlooked. Businesses must prioritise employee financial health alongside mental and physical well-being through education and action.

Investing in a Thriving Workforce

Studies by the CIPD demonstrate that financially empowered employees experience numerous benefits, including reduced stress, improved health, and higher job satisfaction. This translates to increased productivity, lower healthcare costs, and decreased turnover - all contributing to a healthier company bottom line.

Practical Steps for a Financially Healthier Workforce

We've all experienced the stress of an unexpected appliance breakdown. Businesses can offer support through salary sacrifice schemes, allowing employees to spread the cost of essential items over manageable installments deducted from their pay packets. This provides a financial safety net during challenging times, enabling replacements without budget disruption.

This was a key motivator behind BHN's recent partnership with IKEA. Through the Home and Tech Scheme, employees have access to various products without credit checks, ensuring support is readily available when needed. Large purchases can be spread out with salary sacrifice savings.

Continued investment in benefits that make daily life more manageable is a lifeline for many employees and fosters a stronger sense of financial well-being.

Breaking Down Barriers: Making Financial Wellness Accessible

Beyond benefits, employers should consider employee financial literacy. Financial wellness might be an unfamiliar term for some, and its impact on mental health may not be fully understood. Fortunately, numerous resources are available to make it more accessible and affordable. From online financial literacy tools to partnerships with financial institutions, these programs can be tailored to fit any company's specific needs and budget. By investing in financial wellness, companies not only help their employees but also invest in a stronger, healthier, and more productive workforce.

Mental Health Awareness: A Year-Round Commitment

Mental Health Awareness Week serves as a critical reminder that the traditional workplace model needs an update. While many companies have taken steps to address wellbeing, a holistic approach that prioritises employee well-being in all aspects is key to fostering a happier workforce. By offering comprehensive mental health support, encompassing financial guidance and emotional support, companies can attract and retain top talent, cultivate a positive work environment, and ultimately benefit from a happy, healthy workforce.



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