New Study Reveals Health Priorities

Lincoln Financial Group recently released a study focused on the prioritization of employee mental health. This new study, similar to one released by The Hartford last fall, reveals that employees today have needs and expectations of their employer that too often are not being met.

Highlighted in a statement released in late April, the Lincoln Financial Group study indicates nearly two-thirds of employees say they have left a job in the past or would like to leave their current job because of negative impacts on their mental wellbeing. The unique stressors experienced over the past year due to the pandemic (isolation, anxiety, emergency home schooling, and illness, to name a few), seem to have magnified these feelings. 64% of full-time employed adults in the U.S. say they would choose an employer that offers a less stressful work environment over one with a 10% higher salary. This is a significant statement, particularly since this same study found an overwhelming 91% of full-time employees in the U.S. indicate they are concerned about some aspect of financial wellness, and 32% said their financial situation makes them feel more stressed, nervous, or overwhelmed.

Although employers may find addressing the issue of employee mental health a challenge they’d prefer to avoid, by providing tools to assist with these issues, firms can showcase their dedication to improve and protect their employees’ mental and financial wellbeing.

“As a partner to our employer customers, Lincoln Financial Group offers benefits and solutions to help protect their employees’ financial and mental wellbeing today, leaving them confident and secure in their tomorrow,” said Sharon Scanlon, senior vice president of customer experience and producer solutions at Lincoln Financial Group. “Without the right financial protections in place, an accident or illness can derail retirement savings and disrupt someone’s ability to provide for their family. Offering the right benefits can help employees feel more protected, leading to a healthier and more engaged workforce.”

Workplace benefits like disability, accident, and critical illness insurance, as well as employer-sponsored retirement plans, help instill peace of mind to employees when it comes to unforeseen expenses and concerns about their financial future. Research shows that 47% of full-time employed United States adults said they would choose an employer that is more committed to an employee’s mental wellbeing, and 48% said that it is very important for employers to help their employees improve mental wellbeing.

Lincoln Financial has taken the results of their study to heart. The company’s Lincoln WellnessPATH® online tool features personalized, actionable steps designed to help employees set financial goals and learn tips for money management. Lincoln Financial also offers guidance for a remote workforce, a series of podcasts on various wellness topics, mental health resources, and interviews with the organization’s wellness experts.

The stressors felt by the workforce throughout the pandemic spurred a renewed focus on employee mental health. If the reports by The Hartford and Lincoln Financial Group are any indication, employers have heard this cry for help from the workforce and are finding ways to add mental health tools and resources to their otherwise standard benefit plans. This focus may be one of the best things to come out of this difficult pandemic year.

Charles K. Hirsch, CLU, is the president of Hirsch Communications Consulting, LLC, a communications consulting operation in Florissant, MO. For many years, Chuck was the editor and publisher of Life Insurance Selling magazine, and has published several of the leading life insurance industry magazines. Chuck continues to contribute articles on a regular basis to industry publications, in addition to providing a wide range of writing, editing, content development, and marketing services through his firm. He is a regular contributor to NAILBA Now e-Newsletter as well as to Perspectives magazine.