4 employee wellbeing challenges you'll face in 2023 and how to overcome them

4 employee wellbeing challenges you’ll face in 2023 and how to overcome them

From the COVID-19 pandemic to the Great Resignation to the cost of living crisis, it’s fair to say the last few years have thrown up unprecedented challenges for companies and staff. HR teams have played a crucial role in protecting employee wellbeing and guiding staff through periods of uncertainty and change.  

This year, HR teams are likely to face a fresh set of challenges and threats to employee wellbeing. All at a time when budgets are tighter than ever and staff are turning to their employers for support and guidance through these turbulent times.

We may not be able to predict the future, but it’s clear that the turmoil of the last few years has created some unique HR and wellbeing challenges for the year ahead.

Here are four employee wellbeing challenges you’re likely to face in 2023 and how you can adapt your HR strategies to overcome them:

Challenge 1: Financial stress as a result of the cost of living crisis 

The rising cost of living is negatively impacting the health of over half the nation, yet ​​only 5% of people feel their employer is doing enough to support them through these troubling times. 

Employees are twice as likely to leave a company when they’re anxious about their finances and one in four say money worries impact their ability to do their job. As the cost of living crisis continues to bite down hard, we can expect to see more and more employees experience financial related stress in 2023. 

How to overcome this challenge 

As an employer, there are several things you can do to cushion the blow of the cost of living crisis and protect the wellbeing of your employees. Reports show that 80% of employees say their salary isn’t keeping up with inflation. Many employers will be unable to meet rising pay demands, so they must provide other benefits to help improve financial wellbeing at their company. 

Financial wellbeing support and education can play a big part in reducing financial stress for your staff, which will positively impact mental health and help improve their performance at work. Independent financial wellbeing support is often very costly, but some leading financial wellbeing platforms like Bippit are offering free ‘lunch and learn’ sessions and resources to empower companies and staff during the cost of living crisis. Alternatively, you could run internal knowledge-sharing sessions to help your team prioritise their financial wellbeing in 2023. 

Challenge 2: Talent attraction and retention  

2022 was a particularly difficult year for recruitment and staff retention following the Great Resignation, trends such as quiet quitting and labour shortages across the workforce. 36% of HR leaders feel their existing strategies to source and retain talent are no longer sufficient, and 46% consider recruitment their biggest priority for 2023. 

Happy employees are four times more likely to stay at a job than unhappy ones, so it’s clear that employee wellbeing and retention are intrinsically linked. In a talent market that now heavily favours the candidate over the employer, offering the right employee wellbeing benefits can be a powerful differentiator to attract and retain the best staff. 

How to overcome this challenge 

80% of employees would consider leaving their job for one that focuses more on employee health. Additionally, digital technology is becoming much more important when it comes to attracting and retaining millennial and Gen-Z talent – choosing the right tools can boost employee engagement and make employees far more likely to stick around.

Vitrue VIDA is a high-tech employee wellbeing benefit, clinically proven to reduce pain and improve employee health. Investing in tools like VIDA will make a tangible difference to your team’s health and wellbeing and boost your talent attraction and retention game in 2023. 

Challenge 3: Long term sickness rates are higher than ever 

Statistics show that half a million more people are now out of work due to long-term sickness  compared to before the pandemic. This includes an increase in the number of people with musculoskeletal issues such as back and neck pain, most likely as a result of increased home working. Rates of burnout, depression and anxiety are also at record levels and many employees are expecting their employers to make their mental wellbeing a priority this year.

Employers need to deliver valuable health and wellbeing solutions to support their staff in 2023, despite the challenges of tighter budgets and a more distributed workforce.

How to overcome this challenge 

Digital health and wellbeing tools that offer personalised, expert support are the most impactful for people with long term sickness and MSK issues, as they can be used on your terms to support your recovery. 

Pain Coach within VIDA is a personalised pain management programme clinically proven to reduce MSK pain. It includes a suite of guided stretches and tailored educational content, to help you on your journey to better health and wellbeing. 

Did you know? 32.5% of women and 27.1% of men have a long term MSK condition

Challenge 4: Flexible working demands will increase 

Recent changes to legislation mean that employees now have the right to ask for flexible working from their very first day in a job. 76% of employees consider flexible working a key factor for their wellbeing, and companies without solid flexible working policies and hybrid working arrangements will inevitably be met with challenges in 2023.

How to overcome this challenge 

In 2023, many companies will be trialing different flexible working options such as a four-day week or greater flexibility in working hours or location, to offer employees more freedom to manage their working time.  

Research shows that employees who work flexibly are more engaged, satisfied, productive and likely to increase their discretionary effort compared to those who don’t work flexibly. A good flexible working policy will lay a solid foundation for employee trust and wellbeing at your company for 2023 and beyond. ​​

For more information on how VIDA can help you overcome employee wellbeing challenges in 2023, get in touch with us at sales@vitruehealth.com or try out VIDA yourself for free!

Content Marketing Manager

Marisa has over 7 years of experience writing about a range of clinical topics including DSE, hybrid working and employee wellbeing. Check out more of Marisa's articles on the Vitrue Health blog!

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