The coronavirus pandemic has brought many health and wellbeing-based issues to the forefront of people’s minds. There have been many changes in terms of the way our health and wellbeing is being monitored because of the restrictions to stop the spread of the virus. The waiting times for treatments have increased and there are fewer in-person appointments available. Some have even had planned treatments cancelled completely due to not enough time or resources within the hospital.
However, this lack of available services hasn’t lessened people’s needs. To help your employees out, you can add and promote health and wellbeing related employee benefits to your employee benefits proposition. In this article, we will go through some of your options to make this process easier for you.
Why are health and wellbeing benefits so important?
With such a huge focus on health and wellbeing due to the pandemic, many companies and are looking into their practices and the impact. Why is this so important though? And how can it help your company overall?
Many areas of our lives have been affected due to the pandemic. Also, one thing being affected can mean a lot of the others are too. So, getting to the root of the problem is important because it can help stop any further problems from cropping up.
An employee struggling with their health or wellbeing can lead to them needing extra time off to deal with appointments, illnesses or burnout meaning it’s crucial that they get the support they need.
Not only is it important to show that you care about your employees, having a good health and wellbeing package can be attractive to potential candidates for your company. Particularly for people who have existing health or wellbeing related issues, it’s reassuring that there is support there for them.
From a business perspective, it is beneficial too. Including health and wellbeing propositions within your employee benefits shows a commitment to looking after your staff.
Implementing a good health and wellbeing proposition
Knowing the importance of a great health and wellbeing initiative is good but knowing how and what to include in your health and wellbeing proposition is where your efforts become successful. Healthwise there are lots of options, ways to provide information, medical cost aids and easier access to treatments. There are many barriers to easy healthcare in daily life and your support package should help mitigate this.
Although some issues are unavoidable and many employees will already have them when they come to your company, having support in place for your employees to help prevent future health issues can be beneficial in the long term.
Health Assessments are a great consideration as they can help to make the process of getting assessments done less stressful by giving employees the flexibility to have them done when convenient.
Part of keeping problems at bay is attending therapeutic appointments and having diagnostic tests done. However, if you aren’t entitled to any aid with these payments then the price can quickly add up.
If you add a Health Cash Plan to your employee benefits package then your employees can get some cash back on the cost of their appointments. The great part of this is that regular assessments are included too alongside more complicated, diagnostic ones which give the benefit a wider appeal amongst employees.
Alongside the Health Cash Plan, you can give your employees the opportunity to take advantage of a Dental Care Scheme and Eyecare vouchers. This gives staff the chance to have optician and dentist appointments and not have the prices add up. Of course, the added bonus to this comes if any sort of extra appointments or treatments is needed!
2. Maintaining good health
As important as finding and treating illnesses is being supported in maintaining pre-existing conditions too. One way to support this is by having a healthy living library that can provide employees with information that can help them to keep on top of their health.
Health Assessments and the Health Cash Plan are again useful because they help to make it easier and more cost-effective to test for, diagnose and treat different health problems. Sometimes when you have health issues they can flare up and you feel particularly bad, the thought of going to the doctors and the process of treatment adds extra stress. Knowing that your access to appointments will be easier and that you can claim money back on expenses helps to ease some of the worries.
In terms of wellbeing, an Employee Assistance Programme is a great addition to your benefits package. It gives your employees the chance to sign up for professional wellbeing support and discuss any issue they may have, completely confidentially, 24/7. This can be really useful for people with pre-existing health conditions because they will have worries related to their health and potentially past trauma that they need support with. It also gives people with a new diagnosis a space to process it and openly feels the emotions that come with it.
Even once the initial illness is diagnosed and treated, there may still be some aftercare needed. This can be as overwhelming and take up as much time as treatment. Having benefits available for the maintenance of employees’ health will provide more long-term support and peace of mind.
Again, the EAP can give people the opportunity to deal with any stress or traumatic memories that came with their initial illness. Having this available is very important right now because the coronavirus has bought about more illnesses than usual, and many have been hospitalised due to the virus. A lot of employees will have had sick loved ones too and potentially suffered a bereavement, stress or anxiety.
Keeping on top of your general health and wellbeing is essential when it comes to keeping issues at bay. Easy routine changes like making time for exercise and meditation can make a real difference when it comes to new problems propping up. Subscriptions to mindfulness apps and gym subscription discounts can help employees to implement more health and wellbeing-related practices into their routine.
Being able to look after your health and wellbeing is something that will always be necessary but it’s not always easy, we hope that this breakdown of some of the health and wellbeing related employee benefits that are available will make supporting your employees with this easier.