Taking a stand for employee wellness is hard in one of the hardest-working nations in the world, but the payout is well worth it – healthier lives, not just physically but mentally as well.

This article is brought to you by AIA Singapore.

There is a tried-and-tested saying, “Tough times don’t last but tough people do.”

The same holds true for Singapore's workforce. Employees with healthy physical and mental wellbeing are likely to perform better with work-life demands, especially in the current pandemic environment.

Eight ingredients to living healthier, longer, better lives

In an AIA study involving 80+ wellness experts and 6,000 people across six Asia-Pacific markets, we have found eight key ingredients for living healthier, longer and better lives.

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One of the key findings of the study is that people who feel active and engaged in life would have high correlation to physical exercise and mindfulness techniques. Whilst physical exercise would come as no surprise, there is increasing evidence that mindfulness techniques can significantly help improve mental wellbeing.

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Standing up for mental wellbeing

COVID-19 has forced businesses to adopt new ways of working and working from home. The lines between work and home are blurred for the average employee. Many employees find themselves working longer hours. Together with lower levels of social engagement with their colleagues, many find work transactional and exhausting.

A recent study by Qualtrics1 found that 65% of employees in Singapore are more anxious in the current environment, while 64% reported that they are feeling more stressed . Increasingly employers recognise that the mental health of their employees is decreasing, and they have to make a difference.

A good place to start is mindfulness training, stress management and learning how to segregate work and home. For organisations with more resources, ensuring that your employee benefits programme covers mental wellness as well as provides psychological counselling would certainly help those silently suffering from mental health conditions.

Stand up with the support of your wellness partners

The good news for employers: Holistic wellness for employees is not a journey you are traversing by yourself – indeed, employees themselves want to get fitter, happier and healthier. This ecosystem is supported by your employee benefits providers who are gearing up to provide an evolving array of solutions to complement your in-house health and wellness offerings.

Singapore’s largest employee benefits insurer, AIA Singapore has been committed to providing support throughout the entire health and wellness journey. Its primary focus lies in its preventive care solution anchored in AIA Vitality, a pioneer and one of the most comprehensive health and wellness programmes in Singapore, inclusive of fitness, sleep, and nutrition tools to improve health holistically. Its weekly fitness challenges, HealthyFood™ benefit, health screenings, and sleep tracking are all supported by a suite of like-minded partners who provide a range of benefits to reward members for reaching significant milestones in their health and wellness journey.

A holistic approach to health and wellness is critical to truly achieve optimal wellness in all senses. Aside from keeping active and resting well, eating well is just as important. To that end, AIA has also carved out a regional partnership with Holmusk, a Singapore-headquartered global data science and healthcare technology startup. AIA Vitality members in Singapore can expect updates on Holmusk’s nutrition services in the months to come.

Based on health data tracked on the programme, members with unhealthy results in their initial health checks have reported positive clinical outcomes: 51% improved their blood pressure, 39% improved their cholesterol levels, 66% improved their glucose level, and 16% improved their body mass index (BMI) readings. The programme currently supports over 100,000 members.

Further, AIA Singapore has also launched a Resilience Mindset programme for all AIA staff and corporate customers free of charge, reaching up to 1.2mn (or one in three) members of Singapore's workforce. This programme introduces the foundation of being mindful and includes follow-up check-in sessions in order to make mindfulness a daily habit for better mental health. During a pilot training, 97% of the participants said that they found the programme helpful and would recommend it to their colleagues. Further, the tone at the end of the sessions has been reported as “overwhelmingly positive (91%)”, affirmed by a more honest, open, and positive mindset.

From payor to partner: Revolutionising employer support

These initiatives by AIA are part of a larger commitment to drive a revolution on healthcare for employers – a change in mindset on perceiving insurers formerly as ‘payors’ to ‘partners’. The relationship is not about merely submitting and paying out medical claims, but rather a consistent, evolving conversation about improving health and wellbeing in your workforce.

For corporate customers, this means the team at AIA will partner with employers throughout the healthcare journey, starting with greater emphasis on preventive healthcare, early detection, chronic disease management, all the way to holistic health & wellbeing covering underserved needs such as mental health. The objective is simple: To help customers live physically, mentally, and financially better.

These efforts have not gone unnoticed. AIA Singapore has bagged the coveted Best Employee Insurance Provider (gold) award for the 15th consecutive year at HRO’s HR Vendors of the Year 2020 awards. The team has also won the Platinum Award, in the Life Insurance category at the Reader's Digest Trusted Brand 2020.

Stand up for your workforce

Employers, your employees are one of the hardest working workforces in the world. You will need them to continuously contribute in the midst of a pandemic at the highest level of productivity. The good news is that leveraging your relationship with your employee benefits partner can be a cost-effective way to tap into readily available health and wellness resources.

Tough times don’t last but tough employees do. Your employees are counting on you to stand up for their wellbeing in tough times.


[1] Qualtrics study: https://www.hcamag.com/asia/specialisation/mental-health/how-has-covid-19-affected-employee-well-being/219269


Lead image and infographics / AIA's study

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