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Trends to understand situation across corporates in India, its impact on employees, their benefits: ekincare study

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The study takes into account insights from over 100 organisations across industries like OpenText, LinkedIn, Ecom Express, Grofers, United Breweries, Aditya Birla Group, Mahindra Finance etc.

Widely considered as a black swan event, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses all over the globe. HR professionals are in a unique position to witness the direct impact of a healthcare crisis on business, and on the personal front of individual employees as well.

A recent study ekincare has unveiled interesting insights, trends to understand the situation across corporates in India, its impact on employees, and their benefits. This study covers the following:

  • Steps to tackle the COVID crisis
  • Impact on business and employee benefits
  • Post-COVID situation analysis

The study takes into account insights from over 100 organisations across industries like OpenText, LinkedIn, Ecom Express, Grofers, United Breweries, Aditya Birla Group, Mahindra Finance, and many more.

Key findings of the study

Only 50 per cent organisations felt their existing health benefits were beneficial

Most organisations offer adequate health benefits to their employees which includes – health insurance, annual health checks, EAP, etc. But with the COVID-19 pandemic bringing in a new normal of work, only half of the organisations felt that their existing health benefits helped them during this crisis.

Positive impact on employee well-being & engagement functions

As the COVID-19 pandemic impacted businesses in an unprecedented way, many organisations opted for cost-cutting measures and the impact on employee benefits and human capital functions was imperative. While these cost-cutting initiatives are affecting various human capital functions, the impact on employee engagement and well-being programmes are majorly positive.

Telemedicine, EAP and online engagement helped in COVID-19 response

With the lockdown-enforced pan India, organisations had to adapt new ways of working that urged employees to work from home. While extensive communication helped increase awareness around COVID protection, telemedicine brought healthcare services to the employee’s phone. Engagement activities helped keep employees mentally and physically fit during these tough times.

India Inc getting back to work with precautions

Post COVID-19 as India Inc plans to get back to work, it is mandatory for organisations to ensure proper sanitisation of workplaces, social distancing, protection gear, and thermal screening for all employees.

When do employers think workplaces will be back to normal? 75 per cent of respondents feel that businesses will be back to normal during JAS 2020.

Re-evaluate employee well-being strategy for the future

COVID-19 impact has exposed an open hole in the potential of organisations to help keep their employees healthy and ensure business continuity. While corporates are looking to pivot to the new ways of working, there is no expenses spared in the well-being department.

  • 88 per cent of respondents expect employee well-being budgets to stay the same or increase!
  • 83 per cent of respondents feel that they may have to re-evaluate their employee well-being strategy!

When employers were asked about what their company would do about the health benefits budget;

  • 48 per cent said it will need to stay the same
  • 40 per cent will increase the budget
  • 12 per cent will cut down the existing budget

When employers were asked about whether their company will re-evaluate the employee well-being strategy;

  • 36 per cent said Yes
  • 46 per cent said Maybe
  • 17 per cent said No

Key Takeaways

  1. Employee well-being is more important than ever: With its long-lasting impact, COVID-19 has exposed gaps in India Inc’s most valuable resource, its human capital!
  2. Traditional health benefits do not cut it: With traditional programmes being reactive in nature, more new-age proactive solutions are the need of the hour.
  3. Execute back-to-work precautions post lockdown: Post lockdown, follow all mandatory requirements to ensure a safe and healthy workplace.
  4. Relook at your employee well-being strategy: Incorporate out-patient health benefits like telemedicine, mental well-being programmes (EAP), etc. to keep them healthy.

Kiran Kalakuntla, CEO and Founder, ekincare, said, “It’s interesting to note the importance that employers are looking to spend on the health benefits of their employees. This trend has definitely come into existence only because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is definitely a positive outcome during these trying times – by establishing this; employees will also understand that their employers are investing in their health. At ekincare, we strongly believe that corporates benefit from having healthy employees and this is a trend to stay.”

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