Employee health benefit plans have exploded in popularity in the last 20 years. More and more companies now offer employee benefits and for good reason: employee health benefits are a good return on investment; they’re good for your business; and they’re good for your employees. There are many reasons why it makes sense to offer employee health benefits, including:
1. Attract and retain top talent
Most organizations agree that employees are their most valuable resource. Employees can make the difference between whether an organization fails or succeeds. The right employees can do more. They can take an organization to the next level; the level where the company not only succeeds but excels. The challenge is to find those exceptional employees and keep them working for your organization.
The job market is competitive. Even before the world was blindsided by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was competitive. The pandemic has just taken things to a new level. It has had a significant impact on employment and the labour force, and the result is that it’s even tougher to attract and retain employees. This is where employee health benefits can be an important strategy.
The right employee health benefits plan can help attract top talent. A recent Ipsos survey reinforced the value Canadians place on having employee health benefits. According to the survey, “a majority (68%) of Canadians say they would take a job with a good benefits plan over another job that pays more but does not have a benefits plan.” The takeaway here is that if you don’t offer a good employee health benefits plan, you’re going to have trouble attracting that top talent. You may also have challenges retaining employees if you don’t have a plan worth staying for.
2. Improve productivity
The right employee health benefits plan should aim to improve the total wellbeing of employees. That means addressing and preventing negative health events – whether they be physical or mental. If the plan is working as it should, your employees should be healthier and happier than employees who don’t have employee benefits. The reason this should matter to you, the employer, is that healthier employees are known to be more productive.
Healthier employees are less likely to call in sick. This means other employees don’t have to take on additional work to cover for the sick worker, or replacement workers aren’t required. A healthy workforce will also mean less presenteeism; this refers to employees being present at work, albeit operating at a sub-optimal capacity. Both these scenarios mean lower overall productivity for the company – something you want to avoid. Instead, the employee health benefits plan can help boost productivity by creating happier, healthier employees.
3. Address mental health
The importance of supporting and addressing mental health is a topic that has received a lot of attention lately. For too long there was a stigma about mental health and those suffering with mental health issues encountered many barriers when trying to get help. It has become clear that mental health can and should be addressed, and one of the best ways that a company can do this is by offering an employee health benefits plan.
Including an employee and family assistance program (EFAP) as part of the employee benefits plan is a good place to start. Most employee and family assistance programs offer 24/7 telephone support, free short-term counselling and online dashboards with information about mental health. Providing toolkits and support for mental health issues like stress, anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges can make a huge difference in the lives of your employees, and their contribution to your company.
4. Support employees and their families
When you’re running a business, you’re focused on numbers. Profit, loss, debt, equity, sales, margins. It’s all easy to measure. But sometimes you just have to take a step back from the numbers and realize that the non-tangibles are just as significant. That’s why an important reason to sponsor an employee health benefits plan is to support your employees and their families. These are your workers. They’re your people. If you have the opportunity to improve the quality of their lives by sponsoring an employee benefits plan, it just seems like the right thing to do. Period.
5. Prevent negative health events
An important reason to sponsor an employee health benefits plan is prevention. By preventing negative health events, you’re helping ensure your employees are able to continue doing all that they do for your organization.
A negative health event can cause absences and presenteeism. It can affect the quality of the work being done, and it can impact the morale of other employees. By sponsoring an employee health benefits plan, you can help prevent negative health events. For example, prescription drug coverage means employees are more likely to take prescribed drugs to treat existing conditions. This can help prevent those conditions from deteriorating. Other benefits (such as paramedical services, dental and vision care) can: identify health issues sooner, prevent them from occurring in the first place, and mitigate those that have already occurred.
Preventing negative health events ties into many of the other important reasons to offer employee health benefits. Preventing these events can help maintain productivity levels, address mental health and support your employees and their families.
Good Advice is Key
There are many good reasons to offer an employee health benefits plan. Do you need more info or more reasons? Review your options with one of our licensed advisors on the phone, or contact us for a comparison quote.
Whether you’re looking for extended health and dental coverage, disability coverage, or life and critical illness coverage, GroupHEALTH has affordable benefits packages that work as hard as you do.