Five health trends international SMEs can't ignore
December 2021   SMALL BUSINESSES

Five health trends international SMEs can't ignore

As a result of the pandemic, the concept of a culture of prevention and self-care in matters of whole health is no longer an option for international SMEs, but a necessity.
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As a result of the pandemic, the concept of a culture of prevention and self-care in matters of whole health is no longer an option for international SMEs, but a necessity. This is because the peace of mind that comes from knowing that all the factors that affect a person's well-being are covered plays a central role, not only in employees' individual performance, but also in the success of the company. So for these companies, investing in their team's whole health has become a major opportunity. And to help them keep up with what is going on in this area, we, at Cigna, have examined the future trends in the area of whole health and well-being. Check them out!

The start of a new year is a great opportunity to boost SMEs' growth. It's a time when budgets are renewed, targets achieved are analysed and new objectives are set, and so the perfect opportunity for international SMEs to take a look at their occupational wellness plans and to re-energise their employees and improve their well-being. So, as they look towards the new year, what should small and medium-sized enterprises watch out for so they can make further progress with their strategies aimed at looking after employees' whole health?

The starting point is clear: it should not be assumed that the health strategy for 2021 will work in 2022. The context in which employees find themselves is constantly changing and so are their needs. And what they actually want is for their companies to support them as they undergo these changes in their lives, so that they can offer the right solution for their particular situation. With this in mind, plans aimed at looking after SMEs' employees must widen their focus and develop actions that are directly related to the team's whole health. This means giving greater importance to aspects such as improving the work environment, job satisfaction, ease of access to care or mental, family or financial health care, among many others.

To successfully implement such a plan, companies like Cigna provide SMEs with highly innovative tools and solutions to help them overcome future challenges without having to make large investments. You can see some of the options available at this link.

And in addition to providing you with the best resources –and given our vast experience in helping organisations of all shapes and sizes look after their staff– we would like to share the trends that will mark the future of whole health and well-being in small and medium-sized enterprises. Would you like to know what they are? Take note!

  • Mental health care: a key aspect when addressing overall well-being

We are expecting a revolution in terms of the way organisations deal with the issue of mental health care. With the rise of hybrid working models, companies will have to address the challenge of strengthening the emotional bond within their teams which are not located in the same place and reducing the impact of the 'always-on' culture, among many other aspects. Why? To reduce the risk of employees experiencing feelings that are associated with loneliness or an increase in their level of stress which could have a negative impact on their health.  

In addition to facilitating access to psychology sessions, individual counselling sessions through International Employee Assistance programme, or other ad hoc measures, one initiative which is easy to implement and will be very effective over the next months is building a culture of continuous check-ins. Anyone who is responsible for human resources must, therefore, show an interest in their employees by doing more than simply asking them how they are. They should, now more than ever, set up new channels of communication to take an interest in their teams, ask them specific questions about what support they hope to receive from the organisation, be open to talking about their emotions and concerns and be more empathetic.

  • Talk about financial health more regularly

One of people's main sources of stress are their personal finances. And so to prevent this affecting their employees' well-being, SMEs must become pillars of support in this area too. Implementing training programmes aimed at helping to achieve economic stability will therefore be an initiative that is increasingly valued in the workplace. And once again, offering access to a network of psychologists can also be particularly helpful in limiting the impact of financial concerns on health.

  • Personalisation: a key element of any wellness plan

One of the great challenges that SMEs will face in 2022 will be providing employees with the personalised solution they need. That is because it is no longer a matter of offering the same benefits package to the entire workforce, but adapting the solution to each employee's particular needs. This is something which is easier to achieve in the case of SMEs, as they have fewer employees and this allows them to have a deeper understanding of their employees' priorities. In this context, SMEs must design their benefit programmes in a flexible and sustainable way - and this is something that Cigna can help them to achieve. Why? Because the support it provides at each step of the process helps SMEs to allocate resources where they are really needed, which translates into a great return on investment by responding directly to existing needs.

  • Global Telehealth will drive new changes in users' behaviour by focusing on prevention and self-care.

With the rise of hybrid work environments, health technology has become a true ally in ensuring quality access to care, regardless of where employees are located. And, in turn, providing employees with solutions that they can use to monitor closely their health status or to obtain expert advice on adopting a healthy lifestyle plays a very important role in preventing or improving the treatment of various conditions. At Cigna, thanks to tools like the Cigna Wellbeing AppTM, we offer access to specialised care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These are benefits that SMEs could not provide alone, as their budgets are tighter than those of major corporations.

Moreover, all the benefits of Global Telehealth help to promote employees' self-care and empower them in the workplace, which is highly beneficial in the case of those with a chronic condition.

  • Family: a key aspect when it comes to looking after employees' whole health.

SMEs must understand that their employees have various responsibilities outside work, be it taking care of their children, brothers or sisters, partners or those who are part of their support network. That is why, in addition to offering access to quality care for all the members of their family, it is becoming increasingly important to implement flexible working and disconnection policies, as well as support services for looking after minors or dependents. By implementing these measures, the company will improve its employees' quality of life, while increasing their productivity and strengthening their work/life balance.

By putting these ideas into practice, 2022 could be a turning point for your SME when it comes to looking after your team's whole health. At Cigna, we are here to help you both now and in the new year. If you would like to take the step, send us your contact details using this link and we will call you to start designing together a health plan that will set you apart. Remember that we can help you look after your team’s health and well-being any time and anywhere, by accompanying you on the road to success. Shall we get started?


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