With low unemployment levels low across most of the country, competing for the best workers has become an important focus for many businesses. Salary and locations are certainly significant factors, but what about those perks that are instrumental in promoting employee health? As younger workers consider all of their employment options beyond just getting free snacks and coffee, this new category of benefits is becoming increasingly relevant. Here are a few of the most notable ways that companies are attracting top talent through innovative programs and ongoing health and wellness tips for employees.
Traditional Health Benefits
Even with the current Affordable Care Act structure in a state of uncertainty, some type of health insurance coverage is expected to be offered by any company hoping to appeal to skilled workers. While we don't always know what is covered under those plans, businesses are free to come up with structures outside employee health insurance products to fill in the gaps. This is found with innovative programs addressing mental health concerns, such as free counseling and access to dependency services for those struggling with alcohol or drug use. Unlimited sick time and family leave for partners is also a growing trend, especially in startups where the "honor system" is used to take as much — or a little — time needed to recover from all kinds of illnesses.
Innovative Holistic Wellness Perks
We know that health insurance and access to services is only part of the puzzle. Employees need more than visits to their primary care doctor to stay fit. That's where some of the more modern and unique employee benefits can be instrumental in enticing talent. Some of the most buzzworthy offerings of leading hiring managers include:
- Gym memberships, on-site gym facilities and access to diet coaching services and trackers, such as Weight Watchers
- Stipends to buy health equipment for the home, as well as tech accessories, like fitness trackers
- Replacement of traditional office furniture with ergonomic options, including standing desks and bike desks
- Napping stations and encouragement of 15-20 minutes of "quiet time" daily for those who need it
- On-site medical care, vouchers for quick-care clinics and concierge medical services that come to the office on scheduled days
- Free on-site immunizations and health screenings
Each company will have needs specific to their workers. As these change, the business should adapt to meet them. Enlarging the company's lactation station and related amenities, for example, may be required as the number of nursing moms in an organization warrant it.
Going Beyond the Body and Mind
While companies are taking the initiative in providing health and wellness tips for employees, they are also expanding their coaching programs to include wellness spheres outside the traditional "body and mind" scope. Money health is a growing concern for workers of all ages, and as millennials stress over paying college loans while Gen Xers stress over retirement, huge opportunities exist for money coaches and financial wellness programs to positively impact the workforce. These should work in tandem with more traditional benefits, such as student loan repayment plans and tuition reimbursement programs.
Looking to the Future
Remember, employers that succeed at promoting employee health through new benefits and wellness campaigns aren't just attracting the best new talent; they also hold on to their current staff at a higher rate. With employee turnover costs making up 50 to 200 percent of the salary of a given position, it's wise to do what you can to hold this expense to a new low and increase worker morale with a stable crew of team members who can build long-term connections. The job market may change. Investing in new programs nurtures everyone in your business and helps to build your brand as a changemaker in your given industry.