The COVID-19 pandemic created a mental health crisis. Rates of burnout skyrocketed as employees struggling to switch off from work; they often felt like they weren’t just working from home, but actually living at work.
As a result, burnout and stress are leading cause of record-high quit rates – otherwise known as the ‘Great Resignation’. So, it is important for employers to stay ahead of the game, and ensure they are properly supporting their workers with their mental, physical and financial wellbeing.
A study by WTW has found that neurodiverse employees are particularly struggling with their wellbeing at work. Employers must take note given that neurodiversity is positive for diversity of thought, which in turn is good for business bottom lines.
70% of the neurodivergent workers in the UK surveyed were suffering with mental health issues, while just 25% felt financially secure and emotionally balanced, and 36% were in good physical health.
In addition, half felt burnt out, compared to 38% of UK neurotypical employees surveyed.
As well as surveying 4,000 workers in the UK for the Global Benefits Attitudes Study, WTW also spoke to more than 9,000 US employees.
71% of the US neurodivergent employees surveyed were struggling with mental health issues. Just 19% felt financially secure, 22% were emotionally balanced, and 35% were in good physical health.
46% were also burnt out, compared to just 36% of US neurotypical workers.
It’s time for better benefits
Unfortunately, although neurodiverse workers are struggling, only two in five companies are actually prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion in their benefits strategy – this is according to a different study be WTW of 166 employers.
Currently, only 20% of policies specifically support neurodiversity, although neurodivergent worker are more likely to suffer from stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as struggle financially.
Just 24% of employers are planning to introduce specific benefits around neurodiversity. But what benefit offerings should employers prioritize?
WTW’s Global Benefits Attitudes Study found that neurodivergent workers in the UK want more focus on benefits that manage their emotional health (39%) and allow them to work flexibly (38%).
These employees also want more support around their day-to-day finances – 57% are currently living paycheck to paycheck, compared to 34% of neurotypical employees. This figure is likely to get higher in the coming months as the UK’s cost of living crisis really starts to bite.
Talking about the studies, WTW wellbeing expert Lucie McGrath commented: As more employers look to embed their inclusion and diversity strategy within their organizational culture, there is a growing focus on the role of benefits in delivery of inclusive care for employees.
“There are varying levels of support and intervention that a company can engage with, such as reviewing specialist vendors, using insights and benchmarking, and engaging in workshops to build an inclusive care strategy – but, doing something is better than nothing.”
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