HRE’s number of the day: emotional wellbeing programs

Here’s how many employers include emotional programs as part of their wellbeing plans—and what it means for HR leaders.
By: | June 24, 2020 • 2 min read


95: Percentage of employers that now include emotional and mental health programs in their corporate wellbeing platforms

Nearly all employers now include emotional and mental health programs in their corporate well-being platforms, according to new data from Fidelity Investments and Business Group on Health. The groups surveyed 152 jumbo, large and mid-sized organizations prior to the pandemic.

What it means to HR leaders

Although the survey was fielded prior to the coronavirus pandemic and some employers may be adjusting their wellbeing strategies going forward, the results may be more applicable to the current workplace environment, the researchers say.

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Shams Talib, head of Fidelity Workplace Consulting, says the survey 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 wellbeing 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,” he says. He adds that emotional and mental health programs can be particularly valuable to employees who may be adjusting to working from home or may have had changes to their workspace due to health safety.

A number of employers have zeroed in on mental health support and have quickly added or enhanced programs to help as the majority of employees say they are dealing with some type of mental health issue as a result of the pandemic.

Related: Is COVID-19 a turning point for workplace mental health?

But with many different components included under the mental and emotional wellbeing umbrella, there is still opportunity for employers to improve their programs. For instance, although teletherapy is one of the most commonly offered mental/emotional health programs—offered by 69% of employers—fewer companies offer other such components as stress management (50%), resiliency programs (49%) and programs to help improve sleep (33%).

Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver. She can be reached at kmayer@lrp.com.