• Survey reveals pressing need for employee support amid economic challenges
• 5% Pledge aims to tackle employee concerns and achieve overall individual and business well-being.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 30 August 2023: Global economic shifts driven by pandemics, food shortages, and inflation have led to unprecedented uncertainty for businesses and their employees. To gain a better understanding of the challenges confronting employers within this new landscape, Cigna Healthcare, the leading global health services company, conducted a comprehensive survey involving nearly 9,000 individuals worldwide, including 1,100 participants each from the UAE and KSA. The survey aimed to uncover their concerns, assess their current health status, and gain insights into the support needed to promote healthier lives in these challenging times.
Economic Challenges and a Looming Health Crisis
The survey revealed that rising inflation and the escalating cost of living stand as major concerns for individuals globally, with 25% of respondents in the Middle East identifying the inflation crisis as their primary concern. Rising bills and sluggish economies are leading to heightened uncertainty, causing stress levels to mount and mental and physical health to decline. Regionally, 72% of respondents felt that these rising costs were making it challenging to maintain good health, and 54% expressed uncertainty in their ability to meet their own or their family’s medical needs.
Workplace Well-being Requires More Attention
Dr. Dawn Soo, Cigna Healthcare's Regional Medical Officer for the Middle East and Asia, stressed the need for employers to provide holistic healthcare benefits, initiatives, and a supportive culture where employees can openly discuss challenges. The survey further highlighted the critical connection between employee mental and physical health and productivity, underscoring the necessity of prioritizing employees' health security as a core ESG imperative.
Recognizing that poor employee mental health isn’t just detrimental to individuals but also impacts organizations' financial health, Cigna Healthcare introduced the 5% Pledge, urging business leaders to invest 5% of their work time to enhance employee mental health and well-being.
Jerome Droesch, CEO of Domestic Health and Health Services, International Health, Cigna Healthcare, reflected on the survey's findings: 'The survey underscores the delicate balance individuals face in accessing essential healthcare. These figures underscore the critical need to address the affordability of medical services for our workforce.'
He added: “Recognizing the pivotal role of employee well-being in driving organizational success, Cigna Healthcare introduced the 5% Pledge. The Pledge is a commitment to empowering employees with the tools they need to navigate today's challenges. By prioritizing mental well-being and creating a supportive workplace culture, we are fostering not only healthier employees but also a more resilient business.'
The Path Forward
As uncertainties continue to reshape the business landscape, the Cigna Healthcare 360 Global Well-being Survey highlights the urgency for companies to prioritize employee well-being. By dedicating resources to the health and mental well-being of their workforce, businesses can ensure their resilience and success in an ever-changing world.