With 1 in 6 people reporting a mental health problem in any given week in England and mental health issues increasing worldwide, looking after employee wellbeing has never been such a high priority.

Your people are critical to your success as an organisation and supporting their wellbeing is essential, but how do you ensure your wellbeing benefits are supporting your employees' mental health?

Creating a culture of wellbeing and good mental health

Creating a culture of wellbeing that is open, supportive, and inclusive should be seen as the right thing to do, not only to show that you really care, but to support the internal growth of your business.

Clear and defined policies, which outline your aims, commitment, and the support available to employees from a mental health perspective is important. It demonstrates your commitment to addressing mental health, along with the buy-in from management. 

Where possible, have the “voice” around wellbeing and mental health coming from a senior level. This has proved to be effective in making an impact and creating the required openness from junior employees. Having Mental Health First Aiders and Wellbeing Champions to drive the wellbeing agenda can also help continue to foster the culture around employee wellbeing. 

Investment in benefits to support employee mental health

When considering your benefits strategy, ensure that wellbeing and employee mental health are always considered. Most core benefits which are offered as part of an inclusive employee benefits package have Health and Wellbeing woven throughout. You can offer peace of mind with the financial safety net of Life Assurance, Pension and Sick Pay benefits, some of which will also offer practical intervention in times of need. 

Employee Assistance Programs are often part of these embedded benefits and are widely utilised across the market. However, ask yourself; how well do you communicate this, and do you know if it’s working? Reviewing engagement levels on a regular basis is imperative to understanding if the correct support is in place for your employees. 

For example, your current mental health provision may sufficiently cover short-term issues, but you may find out too late that you are ill prepared for long-term issues. There may be a gap in your cover for something like Private Medical Insurance, which can help with plugging the gap when it comes to more moderate to severe intervention support for your employees. It’s always worth linking in with your Occupational Health Provider to see what specialist support services they have on offer in times of need. 

Data analysis is the key to understanding success

Data provides untold amounts of insight, informing every major organisational decision. Data should be utilised when it comes to understanding how mental health is affecting your organisation but also if your investment in benefits to support mental health is having the impact you require. 

Reviewing the management information from all benefits and services on offer on a regular basis will help you monitor the mental health situation within your organisation, highlighting areas of both strength and concern. Combining this with analysis of your absence data will help you understand if your efforts are working and supporting your employees’ overall wellbeing, of which mental health is a large part. 

Absence data can be just the start - you should also consider analysing the following:

These will help you pinpoint any hotspots within the business, spotlighting if there is a resource, training or resilience issue that can be addressed to improve the situation. 


Having the right benefits in place to support wellbeing alongside a culture that embraces wellbeing and mental health is a positive step to supporting your employees (which benefits everyone), but successful communication is the true key to success. 

There are so many creative ways that organisations adopt to engage with their employees these days, but in our experience, face to face communication is the strongest delivery option. Internal messaging can be easily lost in the noise of a typical workday, so you should always consider complimenting any email messaging with things such as awareness days, charity events and internal roundtables.

To remove the guesswork, set a clear communication plan based on the insights that you get from your specific company data. This will help you to tailor your messages to each of your audiences and identify the right communication delivery. Taking a strategic approach to engagement will also provide a great foundation to monitor your success and really understand if your messages have reached your employees, and more importantly helped with their wellbeing and mental health. 

Line manager training

Line managers are often the first line of support in teams and can be the first people to recognise when poor mental health could be affecting an employee. It is important that they are equipped with the right training and techniques to ensure they can facilitate meaningful, open discussions on mental wellbeing. Line managers should be fully aware of the interventions available to support mental health, and having a dedicated area on shared drives or SharePoint can help line managers with signposting to resources available. 

Measuring your success

There will be lots of ways to measure the success of the steps outlined above, taking into account both direct and indirect impacts they will have on your organisation. Tracking employee retention, the impact on stress related illness and absence, reduction on wellness plans for employees, and the impact on your Group Insurance and claims are all good metrics to monitor.  

But remember that wellbeing is a journey and not a destination - things will need to evolve with time like your organisation, so revisiting what has worked previously, tweaking, or realigning your efforts is a must. 

If you have any queries around support employee mental health, get in touch with us for a discussion on how we can help. 

Find out about 4me

4me helps employees engage with the range of benefits available. It’s flexible and adaptable to suit the specific needs of your workforce and those of your business.

Explore 4me

Stay up to date

Get the latest independent commentary and exclusive insights from a range of experts at the forefront of risk, pensions, investment and insurance – tailored to your preference.

Subscribe today