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Pharma, services outrank retail, telecom in employee well-being efforts: Cigna TTK study

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Sriram Murthi, Chief of Staff, Quinnox, a Healthy Workplace award winner; Sunita Cherian, VP, HR; Wipro, a Healthy Workplace award winner; Rujuta Diwekar, Celebrity Nutritionist; Jason Sadler, President, International Markets, Cigna; Nalini Saligram, Founder and CEO, Arogya World; Sandeep Patel, CEO, Cigna TTK; Aniruddha Sen, Director – HR, Citibank, a Healthy Workplace award winner

73 per cent in the pharma industry reporting good health and well-being in the workplace

Global health service leader Cigna conducted a ‘360 Well-Being Score’ survey with more than 3,000 individuals throughout India in September 2015. Some of the findings specific to the workplace were made available as part of a partnership with global non-profit Arogya World to recognise 2015 Healthy Workplaces during a forum sponsored by Cigna TTK Health Insurance Company.

The key findings of 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 per cent 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 per cent in the pharma industry reporting good health and well-being in the workplace as compared to 54 per cent in the technology industry and only 39 per cent in the retail sector.
  • There are also major gaps between what employees desire in medical benefits from employers and what their companies offer. 59 per cent of those surveyed want benefits for general practitioner consultation fees, while only 39 per cent say these are provided by employers.
  • Additionally, 31 per cent of employees want benefits for X-rays, blood tests and other diagnostic tests, while only 20 per cent say their employers offer benefits for those procedures.

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

  • More than half of employees (62 per cent) 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 per cent of those who worked more than 50 hours a week experienced signs of stress.
  • More Indian working women than men reported symptoms of stress.

3. 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, are better compensated and have reasonable working hours.

  • 75 per cent of employees residing in non-mega cities felt they had little work-related stress compared to 66 per cent living in metro cities.
  • 87 per cent of employees in Lucknow, 81 per cent in Surat and 63 per cent in Mumbai and Bengaluru say they have little work-related stress.
  • Satisfaction with work compensation and benefits is higher among employees of non-metro cities (69 per cent) as compared to 58 per cent in metro cities.
  • 88 per cent of employees in the non-metro cities say they have reasonable working hours compared to 80 per cent in the metro cities.

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

  • Employees in the pharma, 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 per cent of employees in pharma and professional services said they have a good relationship with their supervisor and co-workers.
  • Seventy per cent of employees working in technology say they have little work-related stress, while only 51 per cent in retail suffered from the highest stress.

5. 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 prioritising 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 per cent). However, for women aged 30-39, the main reason is the financial implication of raising children.
  • Although 73 per cent of female employees report that a maternity education programme for a healthy pregnancy would be an attractive workplace wellness benefit, only 28 per cent say that maternity and newborn education is provided by their employers.

6. Cigna also surveyed employees on the most desired activities to increase their morale. While 43 per cent and 42 per cent want family day and travel facilities respectively, 50 per cent employees want the provision of healthy office snacks.

“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 programmes can help improve overall employee health and build higher employee engagement, in turn lowering costs associated with healthcare, absenteeism and employee turn-over,” explained Sandeep Patel, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Cigna TTK who presented the survey findings.

EP News BureauMumbai

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