NBGH survey: Employees want well-being programs that support mental, financial health 

Employees want their employers to offer additional support for their mental and financial health, a new survey shows. 

The National Business Group on Health and Optum surveyed more than 2,200 non-elderly adults working at employers with more than 2,000 employees and found that 32% want their companies to assist in their financial health. In addition, 27% said they were seeking additional mental health support from their employers. 

“Even just going to mental health or looking at social and community health, that has a huge impact on their workforce's overall well-being, and all these things related to their company’s performance,” Brenna Shebel, vice president of NBGH, told FierceHealthcare. 

Employees were especially seeking financial supports for day-to-day expenses, instead of benefits more traditionally offered by their jobs, such as retirement benefits and investment opportunities, according to the survey. 

RELATED: 4 out of 5 employees rate office well-being programs as valuable 

For example, 34% said they were hoping for greater assistance with healthcare and drug costs, while 26% were seeking assistance with housing costs, according to the survey. 

However, despite the demand, relatively few employers are offering these benefits today, so they provide a significant opportunity, Shebel said. Employees view these well-being supports as ways to differentiate potential jobs—and offering programs in this area can attract top workers.  

“The further we dug, we saw more employees asking for support more focused on the here and now versus planning for the future,” Shebel said. 

RELATED: There’s little evidence wellness programs works. Employers remain bullish on them anyway, survey finds 

For mental health supports, employees are especially looking for programs that can help them prevent and mitigate burnout, according to the survey. Two in five of those surveyed said they would want assistance with job burnout. 

However, just 19% of the survey participants said they had access to well-being programs that could help them prevent burnout, the survey found. Of those that didn’t, 40% said they’d want to see more investment in these programs. 

“That makes a lot of sense, right? Because they’re becoming burnt out at work, and they’re looking to their employer to help solve the problem,” Shebel said.