Employee health benefits are an important element of the total compensation package you offer your employees. They can positively impact recruitment and retention, productivity and general health, but can they also help make your employees happy?
Happiness is Subjective
Much research has been done on the subject, but alas, there is no magic formula for happiness. What makes one person happy does not necessarily make someone else happy. Some people believe that the keys to happiness are having good relationships, helping others or being in good health. While it’s impossible for everyone to agree on one magic ingredient, there are definitely some things in life that can contribute to happiness: employee health benefits are one of them.
Health and Happiness are Linked
It’s more difficult to feel happy when you’re struggling with your health. Physical and mental ailments can overshadow everything else. As an employer, you can help promote happiness by supporting the health of your employees. Many components of a typical employee benefits plan contribute to better health:
Extended health benefits can encompass a variety of health-related products and services. The goal of these benefits is to improve health (which opens the door for happiness). Some examples include:
- Prescription Drug Coverage – Without prescription drug coverage, some employees may choose NOT to fill a prescribed medication. Not filling the medication means the employee’s condition is not being treated, which can cause it to persist or deteriorate. With coverage, an employee is more likely to take their prescription medication – this can be an important factor in improving their health.
- Paramedical Services – Coverage for paramedical practitioners means employees can access services from a Physiotherapist, Massage Therapist, Podiatrist, Dietician or many other practitioners. These services can often effectively prevent health conditions and/or treat them. As a result, they contribute to better health.
- Virtual Healthcare – Virtual healthcare means employees can connect with a doctor or nurse practitioner using technology. Many employees do not have a family doctor and/or face obstacles when travelling to or accessing their doctor. Virtual healthcare helps remove obstacles by allowing employees to connect with a healthcare professional 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The result is quicker, more consistent access to healthcare.
- Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) – An employee and family assistance program supports and improves mental health. 24/7 access to counselling and support means employees can get help when they’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, anxious or just in need of some support. Counselling is expensive and can be difficult to access – giving employees access to it through an employee and family assistance program means they’re more likely to look after their mental health.
Supporting your employees in attaining good health helps remove a significant barrier to happiness.
Wellness benefits are designed to support employees in achieving better physical and mental health. The idea is to help employees “thrive” instead of just survive. There are many different types of wellness benefits that can be provided. Some more common wellness benefits include: gym memberships, personal fitness coaching, nutritional programs, in-office yoga, walking clubs, mental health training and more.
Wellness benefits can also help improve relationships within the workplace because they help build comradery. Good relationships are often considered an essential ingredient to happiness.
Moving up the Ladder
A benefits plan can help make your employees happier because it can support employees in advancing within the organization. Healthier employees are more productive – they can focus on their work, allowing them to pursue career advancement. A health benefits plan makes employees feel supported, which can give employees the solid foundation they need to move up the ladder.
Career counselling services and other tools available through the employee and family assistance program can give employees the boost they need to advance. Those same services can help employees deal with mental health challenges before their work is impacted. Why does career advancement matter? For many people, a challenging and rewarding career is a significant source of happiness.
Support Can Mean a Lot
Having coverage through an employee health benefits plan can make employees feel like someone has their back. For most people, that means a lot.
Coverage for some of life’s most challenging times is also important. How is this done? Through employee benefits such as disability coverage, accident and serious illness coverage and life insurance. These types of coverages can give employees security and peace of mind – this can contribute to happiness.
Benefits can also help improve team cohesion – this is especially true for wellness benefits. When an employee has a team of people that they can rely on it makes an impact. It’s another way of encouraging a strong relationship with others; this is something that many researchers believe is important when it comes to happiness.
Employee benefits are good for your business in so many ways. Turns out, they’re also a great way to help your employees live happier lives. Supporting the health and well-being of your employees helps remove barriers to happiness, which is a pretty powerful thing.
Good Advice is Key
Are you considering sponsoring an employee benefits plan? If you already sponsor one, are you sure your plan is optimized to support the happiness of your employees? Talk to 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.