Today’s workplaces include multiple generations of employees with different tastes, interests and personal preferences. Naturally, these differences extend to the types of health care and other benefits and perks that employees find valuable and appealing.
While health insurance coverage is a priority for virtually all employees, there is a growing interest in benefits beyond traditional health care. By thinking outside the health insurance box, you can leverage your benefits program to attract and retain employees in an increasingly competitive talent marketplace.
The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) 2018 employee benefits survey found that 92% of employees feel that benefits are important to their overall job satisfaction. However, nearly one third cited their current benefits package as a top reason to look for a new position with a different employer in the next 12 months.
That reality concerns employers as the labor market tightens. Businesses are finding it more difficult -- and more time-consuming — to recruit for open positions. Because of this, many employers are starting to look beyond compensation and benefits packages to attract stronger candidates. These plans may include specific features and other perks appealing to young professionals just out of college, or to those looking to change jobs.
I recommend that small business owners consider enhancing existing employee programs with the following four programs and features:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a fourth of Americans spend more than eight hours a day sitting down. All that sitting can wreak havoc on our spines, necks and shoulders, leading to stiffness, muscle pain and headaches and ultimately, decreased productivity. On top of that, old sports injuries can aggravate these aches and pains. Chiropractic care can help relieve tension while realigning the back, shoulders and neck, creating a happier, pain-free work environment.
Acupuncture is part of a larger wellness trend that includes healthy eating, exercise, stress-reduction and sleep incentives; together, they continue to gain popularity in the workplace. Researchers at Harvard Medical School found that lack of sleep affects judgment, mood and the ability to learn and retain information. That can lead to workplace injuries and accidents. The Rand Corporation noted in a 2016 study that sleep deprivation costs U.S. employers billions of dollars annually in lost productivity. Incorporating acupuncture into a benefits program gives employees a proven way to decrease anxiety, which can help them fall and stay asleep throughout the night. Your team is also likely to be happier, less stressed and more productive when they arrive at the office.
Health And Fitness Discounts
Increasingly, insurers and benefits administrators are offering savings programs to help employees improve their health and quality of life. They offer discounts on health and active lifestyle products like Fitbits, Vitamix and others, plus low monthly rates at fitness centers and YMCAs and savings on health care specialty services like therapeutic massage. They may further include discounted pricing for members who need dental, vision and hearing services at no added cost to the employer. A prescription drug discount card is often available too, giving employees and their families the opportunity to pay less than their insurance co-pay on prescription medications at participating pharmacies nationwide.
Entertainment Perks And Employee Discounts
We often spend more time in the company of co-workers than we do with immediate family members. When the weekend finally arrives, time with loved ones becomes a priority as a way to relax. Employers who include access to movie discounts, savings at retailers, amusement parks, sporting events and other attractions in their benefits plans convey a message of overall value to every team member. Being able to take advantage of these perks at any time and with anyone demonstrates your overall appreciation for your employees’ hard work. I have also seen an increase in businesses incorporating elements like pet-friendly workplaces, flexible schedules, professional development opportunities and more. These can be effective in attracting new employees and keeping your current team intact. While health insurance and access to medical care will remain a core component of employee benefit plans, businesses that incorporate other valuable add-ons are likely to see overall improvements in the company culture, employee retention rates and even increases in the bottom line.