DEI is increasingly helping to direct wellbeing strategies to better meet employees' needs
The diversity, equity and inclusivity (DEI) agenda is making its mark on wellbeing provision.
The Employee Wellbeing Research 2021 report, published by REBA in association with AXA Health, shows that more than two fifths (42%) of employers collaborate with their DEI team when developing and implementing wellbeing strategies. A further 41% say they plan to take a more coordinated approach with their DEI team in future.
In fact, improving inclusivity has been ranked as the top priority for employers in 2021.
A joint approach will “strengthen engagement, drive loyalty and ensure a wider range of health requirements are met, hopefully improving outcomes,” explains the report. “By offering benefits such as menopause support, IVF support and mental health cover for neurodiverse people, an organisation can ensure that every employee feels their differences and experiences are recognised and valued,” it also says.
Almost half of employers are taking a gender-targeted approach to wellbeing, with 49% saying they have a specific strategy for supporting women’s health, and 44% a strategy for men’s health.
Around a third of organisations address wellbeing for disabled employees (36%) and mental wellbeing related to culture and ethnicity (34%), for example, by dealing with racism and microaggressions.
Age-related wellbeing is the area set for the greatest growth over the next 12 months, with just over a third (35%) of respondents planning to implement strategies to help support the health and wellbeing of older workers during 2021, and another 15% beyond then. The fact that tackling the risk of ageing is a DEI priority for the biggest proportion of employers this year may be down to Covid-19 and its greater effect on older people, suggests the report.
The author is Rima Evans, freelance contributor.
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