Employee benefits, health programs and an increased focus on employee well-being is the new norm in the modern workplace. Earlier, employee health benefits and mental wellness programs used to be offered by companies with a large workforce. However, in the post-pandemic corporate workspace, these have become integral parts of the employee experience across small and medium-sized organizations as well.
Now, instead of asking, "Do we need to include health programs and other benefits for employees in our plan?" HR professionals across the world are trying to find or create an employee health benefits plan that suits their team members' needs.
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As per a study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), over 75% of companies reported that their organizations included some kind of wellness programs, perks, or additional health benefits for employees.
Planning and creating effective employee health plans is a time-taking process as every organization differs in its objectives and needs. Additionally, HR managers also need to constantly stay updated about the ever-changing needs of their various team members across the organization, so as to create a work environment that caters to each employee's personal and professional growth, while also working to improve employee retention and attract more talented people to work with the organization. This is where it helps to have a clear set of objectives that act as a guiding hand in making decisions related to employee benefits and health plans.
How to implement it - Creating space in the work-week for meditation sessions, holding team meetings discussing stress areas, one-on-one counselling sessions with trained mental health professionals; these are all good ways to create a low-stress working environment.
How to implement it - Encouraging employees to participate in stepathons, incentivizing them to improve their exercise habits with small and easy to implement changes in their lifestyle, creating challenges to foster a spirit of competition among employees with regard to their health goals; these are just a few of the ideas that you can implement when trying to improve your team members' physical fitness.
How to implement it - As with creating an environment that encourages employees to focus on their physical health goals, it becomes important to create a work environment that fosters good mental health habits as well. Creating pockets of time dedicated to self-care, educating employees on the importance of counselling, and reducing the stigma around mental wellness; these a few ways that an HR professional can help create a positive work environment and help team members thrive.
How to implement it - Anonymous feedback forms, directly asking employees about their concerns, holding seminars on team management and interpersonal skills; these are some of the ways to implement better communication channels across the organization. The most efficient way of implementing this would be to reach out to all team members with an open door policy and to encourage them to share their concerns and feedback freely.
A well-planned employee health benefits program helps companies give employees the resources and guidance that can help them improve their health and well-being. The challenges of creating a holistic wellness plan that focuses on benefits for employees that truly matter, should not deter organizations and HR professionals from trying! To inculcate a culture of better health habits and improve the productivity and capabilities of the organization, it is important to plan for emergencies and create contingencies where necessary. This post is a good starting point to help readers understand the importance of creating a list of objectives for a potential health benefits plan, and also gives insights on how to go about implementing these objectives when designing the program as well.