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While managing and providing adequate health benefits is important for employers, it can also be one of the biggest investments. Developing an employee benefits strategy that is both impactful and cost-effective is a balancing act.
A meaningful employee benefits program that equally meets employee needs and employer objectives are needed for both recruiting and retaining a company’s most valuable resource: its employees.
Since the concept of holistic health management has been followed for quite some time in India, employers view it in different ways. Short-term management can result in short-term benefits, but employers who move beyond it to an all-encompassing approach that focuses on preventive care and the promotion of healthy lifestyles will see more significant results — and greater cost savings — further down the road. A successful health and well-being strategy can encourage employee engagement, boost workforce effectiveness and shift the entire culture of the organization toward a healthier path.
Here are a few major challenges HR teams face while delivering health and well-being programs to their employees.
Health care costs, and consequently employee benefits costs, have been increasing at an alarming rate for nearly a decade.
So why are healthcare costs skyrocketing?
There are multiple factors that contribute to climbing health care costs over the past decade:
Consequently, this high healthcare cost has become a major factor influencing employee’s health care decisions. For instance, most employees enrolled in healthcare plans are more likely to delay or skip care for fear of incurring huge costs.
ekincare has saved $1Million+ in healthcare costs in the last 12 months.
It’s time now that organizations must realize that an effective communication strategy that is segmented, creative, multi-channel and sustained over a campaign period is absolutely critical for employee participation, engagement, and eventually the success of any health and wellbeing strategy.
With regular communication, at least once a week, ekincare witnessed up to 80% registration by employees on the well-being platform.
Technology is also being increasingly leveraged. When we think about technology in the context of health and wellbeing, we might think about wearable devices or smartphone applications, but there is a wide range of solutions. Recent decades have seen a number of advances, such as improvements to occupational health systems, attendance management software, health risk assessment tools, and wearable devices.
While these devices and other advancements result in a tremendous amount of health data being generated every second, it becomes difficult for the organizations with no proper technology solutions to digitize and structure this data, thus making it arduous for them to create a preventive, predictive and highly personalized healthcare journey for employees.
According to a survey, over the next three years, 67% of the companies will be using the web and mobile-based lifestyle behavior coaching programs and 58% will be sponsoring the use of wearable devices for tracking physical activity or nutrition.
Read more: Evolution of Fitness Wearables in Corporate Well-being
Employee engagement in the health and well-being program is about more than just showing up at a health screening or other activity to receive an incentive. Although engagement involves creating and maintaining a sincere interest and involvement in living a healthy life—at home and at work. Workplace well-being programs are only as effective as the proportion of employees who are truly engaged in the program.
While disengaged employees can cost the economy between $450 billion and $550 billion each year in lost productivity, more and more employers are feeling the business impact.
In fact, after reducing health care costs, employers cite “improving employee engagement” as their second-most important objective for offering a well-being program.
The stepathon challenge initiated by ekincare for one of its leading clients gave flabbergasting results with a 187% increase in employee engagement and making employees walk 50% more than average.
On the other hand, the inter-corporate stepathon organized by ekincare in the month of January was indeed a huge success with over 100+ corporates actively taking up the challenge.
Employee health and well-being programs are certainly not without challenges. They are a significant undertaking that requires constant attention and resources to achieve their greatest potential.
By understanding the responsibilities and struggles HR departments face when delivering employee health and well-being programs, ekincare can help you prepare and implement the right strategies to stay profitable. The benefits landscape is one that is constantly changing, and there is a multitude of options to choose from, so it’s important to stay well informed and up-to-date with what there is to offer.