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Wellbeing programs increasingly highlighted in hiring process

GLOBAL ADVISORY firm Willis Tower Watson said over 80% of Philippine companies plan to use wellbeing programs to attract talent after identifying stress as a major employment issue during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a statement Wednesday, Willis Towers Watson said the findings were contained in a study of 122 companies known as the Wellbeing Diagnostic Survey conducted between October and November. Of the survey participants, 85% said they will promote wellbeing programs in hiring.

“Five years ago, over half of the employers in the Philippines indicated that, while they offered various programs, they did not have a formally articulated wellbeing strategy. Today, not only do many employers have a strategy in place, 85% plan to use it as a differentiator to compete for talent in three years,” said Willis Towers Watson Head of Health & Benefits Philippines Susan La Chica in a statement Wednesday.

Ms. La Chica said the study found that 83% of employers view stress as a labor concern, after work pressures intensified due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Companies are also looking to upgrade programs to adjust to their employees’ rising stress levels. Willis Towers Watson Head of Business Development and Medical Director Demosthenes Villarin, Jr. said employers view their current programs to be no longer sufficient.

“The pandemic has taken its toll on employees, especially in terms of their physical and emotional wellbeing. In fact, the impact is so great that many employers expect these effects will continue in a post-vaccine environment. Fragmented programs that act as band aids for short-term concerns are no longer sufficient. Many employers are now acting with urgency as they look to take their wellbeing programs to the next level and also address the changing needs and demographics of today’s employees,” he said. — Gillian M. Cortez

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