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27 Jan 2023
by Nicola Hemmings

Top 4 reasons why inclusive wellbeing should be on your radar

Many businesses provide a high level of wellbeing benefits. But what if there are barriers to employees taking them up?

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Inclusive wellbeing is an integral part of creating an inclusive workplace culture. But even as many of us are championing diversity and inclusion, our wellbeing initiatives may need closer examination.

Widely available wellbeing benefits, specifically mental health and emotional care provided by employers, are not universally useful or accessible. In-person benefits like traditional therapy may be difficult to access because of location and time constraints – particularly for caregivers and busy commuters.

On-site-only fitness facilities aren’t ideal for hybrid workers or those with a long commute, and even on-demand digital fitness tools may not offer options for people across a range of abilities and preferences.

To maximise positive outcomes for the broadest cohort of employees possible, we should ensure wellbeing benefits and offerings are inclusive. Not only will this better support existing employee groups, it’s a differentiator in attracting and retaining top talent. Consider the following:

1. Inclusive wellbeing can reduce instances of burnout.

Workplace stress is widespread but has a higher prevalence among minority groups. And it’s a major cause of burnout. One way to help prevent burnout is to offer support to help workers manage day-to-day stress and handle struggles as they arise. But if the support isn’t designed to be inclusive of diverse employees and accessible to all, some employees may feel excluded, uptake will suffer and fewer employees will use them to handle their stress.

2. Inclusive wellbeing supports a truly global organisation.

When an organisation makes a mental or physical wellbeing initiative available to employees in only one location, or only available in-person, some employee groups will be left out.

While this is usually a practical and logistical decision, it changes the collective employee experience from place to place and person to person. An inclusive benefit that can be accessed across cultures, locations and employee groups helps to provide a consistent, global and accessible narrative to inclusive wellbeing.

3. Inclusive wellbeing strengthens your employee value proposition.

Inclusive, equitable access to wellbeing benefits spans across pay grades, organisational levels, types of work, and locations. The result is that employees, regardless of location or position, are able to speak knowledgeably and consistently in a positive way about the organisation from a wellbeing standpoint. This provides a competitive culture for attracting and retaining employees.

4. Inclusive wellbeing can create lasting change.

Before digital initiatives were widely available, organisations often promoted wellbeing with one-off company retreats, dinners, or organisation-wide events. Consistent, digitally led (and therefore available 24/7) wellbeing benefits are more inclusive and may be more effective than a comprehensive all-in-one effort.

There is still work to be done to ensure that organisations diversify their efforts to offer comprehensive (and truly inclusive) mental and physical wellbeing support to all employees.

This effort starts with knowledge and acknowledgement. Employers must recognise how health and wellbeing – both mental and physical – continues to have an accessibility problem. The next step is to take action to correct it, creating inclusive, accessible wellbeing benefits that address employees’ unique life circumstances and different preferences and needs.

For more on improving access to mental health for your workforce, download our report Helping your employees overcome barriers to mental wellness.

In partnership with Koa Health

At Koa Health, we believe digital mental health solutions are the answer to mental health issues.

Contact us today


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