Recent research has revealed that mental health ranks as the top HR challenge with more than two in five companies (41%) considering mental health to be the biggest HR challenge within the workforce
The research, which was conducted by professional services consultancy Barnett Waddingham to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week (9-15 May), also found that this figure is higher than concerns regarding recruitment (36%), Covid-19 (Coronavirus) related absence (31%), bridging the skills gap (29%) and setting up and operating a hybrid working model (26%).
To tackle this, 79% of companies said they have reviewed their benefits offering since the start of the pandemic, with almost half (49%) having implemented changes as a result.
As businesses continue to adapt to new working norms, employers are reportedly choosing to retain practices that reduced stress and employee burnout during lockdown, with 43% of companies likely to retain flexible hours/core hours system.
A further 35% of respondents said they were looking to keep designated slots in the day free from virtual meetings.
David Collington, principal at Barnett Waddingham, explained that it will take time to reverse the impact of isolation and loneliness that has built up over the lockdown.
“So, it’s encouraging that businesses are placing employees’ wellbeing front and centre of their hybrid working strategy; increasing overall benefits spend and pivoting the package to concentrate on health and wellbeing.”
He noted that through employers’ willingness to retain features like zoom free Fridays and flexible office hours, it can be seen as “the foundation of a new way of working.”
However, Collington said there is still “a way to go to truly embrace the new world and enhance recruitment and retention.”
“The hybrid world is still evolving, creating its own range of challenges and opportunities along the way, and I suspect the most effective approaches will be co-created by employers working closely with their teams,” he concluded.
About P3 Business Care
P3 Business Care is a Community Interest Company and social enterprise operating across the UK. Supporting your business on a weekly basis we provide personal and proactive care to your employees working in partnership with the company. Our Business Partners visit your business developing trust & relationships so we can identify and address issues before they become crisis, absence, or staff turnover. Read more about our services here