With fears of recession building, the cost of living rising and NHS waiting lists lengthening, 2023 looks to be an annus horribilis for many: RedArc believes employers need to better consider how embedded support can make a real difference to the lives of employees this year.
It’s not just about having an employee benefits policy ‘should the worst happen’ it needs to be about prevention, intervention, symptom management, and treatment. Such is the depth of much third-party support available in employee benefits, and employers need to make sure they’re offering the best-in-class that they can.
In addition, with many employees looking to scale back on what may be perceived as unnecessary financial commitments such as insurance and health benefits, employers have an opportunity to step in and provide financial, physical and mental health support.
Quality over quantity of customer support
RedArc warns employers about being tempted to offer quantity rather than quality of support. The organisation believes that when employees are genuinely in need, companies that offer light-touch or tech-only solutions may not provide the depth of support needed.
For instance, mental health support comes in many shapes and sizes, and while many employees may only require a limited amount of support to help steer them through a difficult period in their lives, it’s important that employees don’t hit a brick wall if their need is greater. In practice, this could mean helping employees build resilience through coping mechanisms, or providing access to qualified practitioners to facilitate a full diagnosis and treatment support for more serious mental health conditions.
The same applies to physical health. Many are affected by cancer and chronic conditions, such as strokes and heart disease, all of which need specialist support and understanding; and the employers who offer practical and pragmatic help at this time will stand out.
One-to-many and one-to-one
Employers need to be confident that their selected employee benefit partners can efficiently support large numbers of staff, and equally provide expert knowledge and understanding to individual employees when it matters most.
Christine Husbands, managing director for RedArc said: “No employer will know what 2023 has in store for all their employees but the mood music for the year is not sounding positive at this point. Employers who keep their ear to the ground and offer the comprehensive and compassionate support that their staff really need, will make a positive and lasting difference to their lives.
“Employee benefits policies remain intangible for many, but providing the right support at the right time can stay with staff and their families for the rest of their lives. 2023 looks set to be a year when employers have more than ample opportunity to demonstrate that they truly care about their staff both in and outside of the workplace but they need the right employee benefits in order to do so.”