The need for an enhanced healthcare benefit plan

Employee well-being is not just “nice to have”, it is mission-critical to the strategic business plan. The employees are the backbone of any business. They are the mission-critical system underpinning the organization’s ability to grow and thrive. Businesses spend billions of dollars every year to ensure that their CRM, ERP, IT, and other technological systems are in the best of shape. But are they investing in the right employee wellbeing solutions to address their goals and needs? When employees are happy and healthy, they can bring their best selves to work and their best work to the business. Many employers provide access to a variety of clinical programs like HRAs, biometric screenings, and telephonic coaching, or promote employee wellbeing through tools that support healthy nutrition and sleep — but are they fully aware of what a truly engaging and integrated wellbeing program can accomplish?

Seventy-six percent of respondents to an SHRM survey indicated, their organization offered some type of wellness program, resource or service to employees. Three-quarters of organizations are aware of the importance of wellbeing at their places of work. But is the type of return seen as anticipated at the inception of their wellbeing initiatives? It is a fact that wellbeing will improve the company’s bottom line, which implies that healthier the employees more the reduction in healthcare costs for the organization. Employees with fewer health risks take fewer sick days, visit doctors less frequently, spend more time working and being psychologically sounder are more efficient in the tasks they have to perform.

This makes the employer wonder:

  1. What’s the true value on investment in employee wellbeing?
  2. Are wellbeing programs making a real impact on employees?
  3. Is employee wellbeing translating into better business performance, stronger products and services, and more positive client feedback?

Employee engagement has hovered around 30% for close to a decade.

Many people in the workforce may see employee wellbeing as an afterthought or as bolt-on programs— when it should be foundational to any company culture and a seamlessly integrated part of the business. Wellbeing is not a bolt-on program, it is the heart of the workplace culture — a commitment to helping

people bring their best selves to work every day. Employee wellbeing will drive strategic decisions for the company. It has the power to form positive habits that change behaviors across organizations, increase productivity, drive employee engagement, and provide real-time insights into the positive growth of the organization. It will effectively and transparently make the workforce happier, healthier, and more productive. The right tools will seamlessly make the intangible factors easier.

People’s well-being will have a direct impact on:

  • Reducing healthcare costs
  • Decreasing sick days
  • Preventing safety incidents, accidents, and errors
  • Attracting top talent
  • Driving engagement
  • Increasing productivity

As the old saying goes, “Iron sharpens iron.” When people are encouraged to work together to achieve a common goal, the ability to measure their success increases and they are inspired to accomplish more. That’s where social wellbeing comes in. Initiative campaigns and awareness drives to endorse and emphasize on positive habits across a wide range of wellbeing areas and challenges is one way to spark the health goals and the challenges can span over a range of wellbeing priorities from:

  • Getting active
  • Eating healthy
  • Sleeping well
  • Reducing stress
  • Managing finances
  • Contributing to the community
  • Building relationships
  • Learning new things
  • Being productive
  • Practising mindfulness

Challenges also bring a unique corporate culture and brand to life. They evangelize the corporate values in a way that is company-specific, culture-specific, and fun. Only 51 percent of companies have an active employer brand strategy in place. Employer branding is important and not only increases user adoption and engagement but contributes to the retention of valuable talent. Social wellbeing doesn’t just let the people compete as it allows the entire organization to become a part of a global community by participating in broader challenges across the world.

When employees are able to focus on the work ahead of them without having to worry about the personal health aspects of their day-to-day lives, they can be a fully productive and engaged member of the organization. They will choose healthy behavior over habits that would otherwise set them back. They will make the organization more efficient. Not all that long ago, employees were happy simply to get a pay check. Benefits were nice, but they were just that — benefits, not necessities. Today, employees expect health and dental insurance,

retirement plans and much more from their employers. While providing benefits may seem expensive, a majority of executives rank benefits and paid time off as having the best ROI. Companies that invest in employees by offering health insurance, paid time off and flexible hours see increased productivity, improved morale and positive effects on the bottom line.

The top five reasons that an enhanced employee-benefits program is beneficial for your business are:

1. It’s profitable.

2. It increases employees’ physical and mental health.

Keeping employees in a healthy physical and mental state enables them to apply their brainpower to further the company’s objective.

3. Recruiting is more expensive than retaining. It is crucial to retain the good workers by rewarding them with what they want, not what the status quo tells is adequate.

4. It enhances corporate culture and fosters camaraderie.

Investing in team-building will keep the company together, limit high (and expensive) turnover and create better teamwork among the employees. 

5. It’s just good business.

Analytics that gives you the ability to monitor, measure, and optimize employee wellbeing in real-time insights and data that prove value on investment. To achieve this, a central repository or a ledger can be designed in order to keep track of the health status of all the employees. It will have information on previous medical history, reports of various medical tests, BMI, and other vital parameters crucial in analyzing a person’s health. In the age of smartphones, several mobile applications can be designed and rolled out that will monitor important health data of employees after their consent like a number of footsteps, heart rate, daily eating and sleeping habits using various sensors already present in the smartphone. Engaging surveys, awareness campaigns, regular full body checkups and floor-walks can be impactful in highlighting the importance of small but important changes in lifestyle can be very beneficial in achieving a healthier, mentally sounder and efficient workforce.

As employers pursue A-list workers, they’re competing not only against other companies but the needs of a changing workforce as well. While traditional executives may baulk at these investments, taking good care of employees has proved effective in boosting the bottom line. If a company is truly focused on generating long-term profits, it needs to show confidence in its employees. Offer them compensation and benefits packages that go above and beyond, show them that you care about their physical as well as psychological well-being– and they will, too.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Shivangi Gautam

Shivangi Gautam is an Electronics engineer and IR enthusiast, passionate about politics, literature, policymaking and the latest developments in the technological sector. She can be reached at smartshiva.94@gmail.com

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