October 27, 2022
The following is an executive summary of the Global Institute’s EMEA Regional Summit Recap. The full resource is available to current Global Institute members. To learn more about membership, contact us.
The Global Institute held the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Regional Summit on September 13, 2022. Participants engaged in a number of discussions on topics including mental health, flexible benefits, cost management, global leave and chronic condition management. From these discussions, five key themes emerged, all supporting the concept that a company can boost its long-term business performance by investing in its employees — from creating a culture of holistic well-being acceptance to increasing flexibility to aligning the company’s purpose and values with its benefits strategy.
1| Managers Are the Front Line of Defense: How They Play a Unique and Critical Role in Supporting Employees’ Needs
Managers directly contribute to company culture and their employees’ mental health and should be focused on cultivating a safe and productive work environment. The great re-evaluation and silent resignation saw an increased number of employees leaving their jobs as a result of factors such as feeling a lack of purpose in their work and unhealthy work environments stemming from misaligned work cultures and poor management. Encouraging managers through training to create a space that is conducive for employee growth by rewarding risk taking and giving employees the opportunity to “fail forward” is one way of creating a safe working environment.
2| The Importance of a Governance Approach
A unified governance approach is essential to implementing a global consistency strategy. Global Institute members discussed the importance of establishing a global governance strategy in a top-down approach. Companies with an established governance approach are able to use it to enable efficiency in their benefit design processes, expose gaps and unite regions and countries that may have disparate approaches.
3| Global Leave Policies Are Top of Mind
As leave categories continue to grow and the global regulatory environment continues to evolve, it becomes more and more necessary to establish a wider strategy to meet growing needs such as caregiving, expanded parental and family leave, bereavement, menopause and more. Leave and flexibility continue to dominate conversations on benefits with global employers, along with the future of work and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), largely because remote work, caregiving and flexibility have become key components of employers’ leave strategies. The pandemic also ushered in an increased need for caregiving and bereavement leave. At the EMEA Summit, attendees discussed how these growing needs and concerns are influencing their leave strategies.
4| Virtual Health Care and Telehealth Care’s Ability to Address Mental Health and Chronic Disease Management
Virtual health services and capabilities were cited as avenues to address both mental health and chronic disease management. For mental health, digital platforms were emphasized as an entry point for employees who are seeking mental health care services. Having a combination of both virtual and in-person services increases utilization rates as different demographics may have varying preferences. Virtual health care may also ensure sustainable and ongoing care prior, during and after chronic care coordination. Chronic disease management can be effectively managed through telehealth solutions to address both physical and psychological needs.
5| Financial Well-being is the Next Great Stigma to Address
Financial well-being is increasingly recognized as an area that impacts an employee’s overall well-being. At the Summit, employers discussed how they are supporting their employees financial well-being needs. Achieving financial literacy through the use of financial educational materials may be an opportunity to empower employees in their financial goals and help them feel comfortable discussing any concerns they may have.