Most Indian Employees Want More Medical Benefits to Promote Culture of Wellness at Workplace

January 4, 20168:25 am1524 views

Most of India’s employees give high importance to their overall health and well-being, but they want more medical benefits and help from their employers as they struggle with stress and delay having children for career and financial reasons.

To better understand the health and well-being of India, global health service leader Cigna conducted a “360 Well-Being Score” survey with more than 3,000 individuals throughout India in September 2015.

“The survey is intended to provide employers with valuable insights into their employees’ attitudes toward health and well-being. We believe that better overall health of employees clearly translates to higher productivity and positivity at the workplace. Workplace health and wellness programs can help improve overall employee health and build higher employee engagement, in turn lowering costs associated with health care, absenteeism and employee turnover,” explained Sandeep Patel, Cigna TTK CEO and Managing Director.

Key findings from the study are:

  1. Overall, employees are happy, but expect more. Cigna found that there are work benefits and well-being areas where improvements can be made.

88 percent of India’s respondents view their workplace health and well-being as good to excellent. When looking at those who rated very good to excellent, there are significant differences by industry, with 73 percent in the pharmaceutical industry reporting good health and well-being in the workplace as compared to 54 percent in the technology industry and only 39 percent in the retail sector.

There are also major gaps between what employees desire in medical benefits from employers and what their companies offer. 59 percent of those surveyed want benefits for general practitioner consultation fees, while only 39 percent say these are provided by employers.

Additionally, 31 percent of employees want benefits for X-rays, blood tests and other diagnostic tests, while only 20 percent say their employers offer benefits for those procedures.

  1. As India’s economic growth rises, signs of stress are appearing throughout the country.

More than half of employees (62 percent) display some physical symptoms of stress (e.g., difficulty falling asleep at night) or emotive symptoms (e.g., cannot remember when they were happy).

Sixty-three percent of those who worked more than 50 hours a week experienced signs of stress. More Indian working women than men reported symptoms of stress.

See: Rising Health Costs Compel Indian Employers to Broaden View on Employee Health

  1. Where you live and work also seems to have a major impact on your happiness and stress levels in the workplace. The survey found that employees in the non-metro cities report having less stress than those in the metro cities, they are better compensated and have reasonable working hours.

75 percent of employees residing in non-mega cities felt they had little work-related stress compared to 66 percent living in metro cities.

87 percent of employees in Lucknow, 81 percent in Surat and 63 percent in Mumbai and Bangalore say they have little work-related stress.

Satisfaction with work compensation and benefits is higher among employees of non-metro cities (69 percent) as compared to 58 percent in metro cities.

88 percent of employees in the non-metro cities say they have reasonable working hours compared to 80 percent in the metro cities.

  1. There are sector wise differences in employees’ levels of happiness and stress. Employers in the pharmaceutical and professional services offer more support to their employees compared to employers in telecommunications and retail.

Employees in the pharmaceutical, professional services and transportation report that they have good health and well-being in the workplace compared to those in manufacturing, telecommunications and retail.

One possible driver of satisfaction with workplace well-being is likely a good working relationship. About 90 percent of employees in pharmaceutical and professional services said they have a good relationship with their supervisor and co-workers.

Seventy percent of employees working in technology say they have little work-related stress, while only 51 percent in retail suffered from the highest stress.

  1. Working women in India also responded to questions about the global trend among working women to delay having children and it is a feature that we see in India as well. The survey reveals that when it comes to prioritizing work over having children, women’s reasons are different depending on their age. Women also expect information on reproductive and child health from their companies.

For women aged 25-29, the main reason for delaying having children is due to pressure from work (32 percent). However, for women aged 30-39, the main reason is the financial implication of raising children.

Although 73 percent of female employees report that a maternity education program for a healthy pregnancy would be an attractive workplace wellness benefit, only 28 percent say that maternity and newborn education is provided by their employers.

  1. Surveying employees on the most desired activities to increase their morale, 43 percent and 42 percent want family day and travel facilities respectively, 50 percent of employees want the provision of healthy office snacks.

Also read: Taking HR Game to the Next Level with These 10 Innovative Thinkers

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