Fidelity, Ayble, Lifesum, and Lyra Health Discuss Employee Well-Being

Organisations shed light on the importance of a well-built employee benefits package. 

Your employee benefits package must be robust enough to support every facet of an employee’s well-being, whether it’s their financial, physical, or mental health. 

When companies prioritize wellbeing through work-life balance, stress reduction, and health initiatives, employees feel valued. This boosts morale, lowers absenteeism, and leads to a more engaged workforce. Research shows well-being can increase productivity by 10%.  Loyal employees are less likely to job hunt, saving companies time and money on recruitment. Investing in well-being creates a win-win for businesses and their employees.

When employees feel supported in these areas, they thrive and feel loyal to their companies, too. That’s an important element, as increasingly, employees feel distrustful of their employers after layoffs. Benefits are just one way to regain and rebuild trust and take care of the employees who have stuck around. 

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Regarding financial wellness, Fidelity recently launched a new benefit that will take the legwork out of setting up a student loan matching program into an existing 401(k) plan. Under a new provision in SECURE 2.0, employers can contribute to an employee’s retirement account, while they pay down their student loan debt. Helping employees juggle both of these financial priorities can set them up for both present and future success. 

“When you are heavily burdened by a liability that you have to pay month-to-month, that may preclude you from taking those longer-term saving steps,” says Amanda Hahnel, vice president and head of student debt retirement at Fidelity Investments. “We make it easy, fast, and secure to help employers determine who’s eligible for the benefit, and even help them with the match calculations at the end of the year.”

Employers know they need to have a healthcare benefit plan that covers chronic health conditions like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. But many employers may be missing a major driver of healthcare costs and absenteeism from their purview: Gastrointestinal issues, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), acid reflux, and hemorrhoids. Yet even the right treatment doesn’t guarantee people will be able to return to normal. 

“You can’t fix GI just by throwing doctors at the problem,” says Sam Jactel, founder and CEO of Ayble, an employee benefit dedicated to gut health. “To manage a condition, you need to utilize tools that employ technology and humans together to manage a patient holistically. We’re here to enhance and be the connective tissue in the 99% of the time that patients are out of the clinic.”

Some employee benefits don’t have to be expensive or necessarily life-changing to have an impact. Helping employees make better decisions about what they’re eating can support overall well-being and boost workplace productivity. At the healthy eating platform Lifesum, employees get access to personalized nutrition guidance, and beyond that, employers can make sure those habits extend into their workplace practices, too. 

“Stock the workplace kitchen or vending machines with a variety of healthy snacks, such as fruits, nuts, and yogurt [and] encourage employees to choose these options over less nutritious alternatives,” says Wesleigh Roeca, workplace well-being director at healthy eating platform Lifesum. “Instead of the team happy hours, team cooking classes can be a great way to educate employees about healthy recipes while offering team-building opportunities at the same time.”

Employees increasingly need help and support for their mental health. According to Lyra Health’s most recent State of Workforce Mental Health report, 87% of employees faced at least one mental health challenge in the last year. While stress and burnout are still common challenges for employees, many of their mental health needs have become more complex: 11% are dealing with severe or chronic depression or anxiety, while 5% are managing a substance use disorder. Thoughts of suicide have also increased, as 5% of employees are struggling with this, up from 3% in 2022. 

“Employers need to broaden their mental health care offerings and anti-stigma campaigns,” Dr. Joe Grasso, VP of workforce transformation, said in the report. “We need educational campaigns that promote the idea that these severe crisis moments can occur. It’s time to say these words out loud in the workplace.”

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