Why a broad health and wellbeing benefits provision is so important

We all know that looking after our health and wellbeing is important, but with so much information and so many methods out there – it can get confusing.

Another thing to keep in mind is that one size doesn’t fit all. Your different employees will require different approaches to support them.

As an employer, you are likely to want to do what you can to help support your employees with their health and wellbeing. Your employee benefits package is a great way for you to do this as it helps to provide support for all manner of physical and mental health challenges.

Providing benefits that can fit all your employees needs will take planning.

One way is to break them down into proactive and preventative measures, looking at benefits that can help to prevent problems and ones that can help employees solve any problems that do occur.

Another key consideration to make is how your employees would prefer to receive support. For some situations, face to face appointments will be more appropriate but in others, written information and advice that they access any time will support them better.

A great start to knowing what employee benefits would best support your employees is surveys. You can do an initial survey to get answers about what health and wellbeing related issues that your employees have. Try to ask open questions and use comment boxes for this, so they can answer it truthfully and don’t feel pressured to make a specific choice.

Once you’ve collected the data then you can look at the biggest issues amongst your employees and have this as your main starting point for finding the right employee benefits.

Sending a second survey specifically highlighting their options and giving them the chance to pick out the ones that can support them is a useful follow up, particularly if you’re offering benefits that are new to your employees. Doing this will educate them on what’s available, so that they can make informed choices.

Now we’ve discussed a little about how to ensure you can deliver a well-rounded health and wellbeing provision, let’s look at some of your options.

Preventative measures

Nobody wants to fall ill and whilst sometimes it’s purely down to chance, other times it could be prevented, either through having regular check-ups or lifestyle changes.

A scheme like Health Assessments can help your employees to access regular assessments that can spot problems before they get worse. It can also give them the chance to make lifestyle changes if any reading or result is off, giving them a comprehensive view of their health.

Lifestyle changes

One of the most encouraged and successful ways to look after our health and wellbeing is to make some lifestyle changes.

Exercise has always been a tried and tested way to keep a good sense of health and wellbeing. A good option to have is the Gym Scheme as it helps to make exercise more accessible for employees. At caboodle, our Gym Scheme gives your employees discounted memberships to over 3,000 gyms, both high street and low-cost authority centres.

Another popular option is the Bike Scheme where employees get a new bike for travelling to work and pay for through a salary sacrifice scheme. They also save 42% on a new bike and accessories.

Employees spread the cost over 12 or 18 months. Cycling to work helps to form a good exercise routine. According to Healthline, it takes anywhere from 18 to 254 days to form a new habit and an average of 66 days for a new behaviour to become automatic. So, the Bike Scheme can help cycling to work become a habit which will improve your employees’ health over time.

Exercising regularly is a preventative measure because it has a wide positive impact on your overall physical health. Getting outdoors, creating new routines and exercise are all great for boosting a person’s mental health too.

Appointment support

Getting a doctors’ appointment can be frustrating, particularly if you need flexibility for when you have the appointment. The COVID-19 pandemic has without a doubt heightened the pressure on doctors and nurses, both in hospitals and primary care centres, so the access is more strained than ever.

Offering Private Medical Insurance provides your employees access to more healthcare options. These options are often more flexible and give employees the chance to make looking after their health work for them.

With schemes like Dental Care and Eyecare Vouchers, your employees can also take care of their important yearly check-ups. Having these yearly check-ups is a preventative measure because it heightens the chance of finding issues early and changing habits for better health. For example, if an optician picks up that someone’s extended screen usage is straining their eyes, they can help them to form a better habit to lessen the risk.

Proactive measures

Sometimes, no matter how well you take care of your health and wellbeing, problems can still arise.

If your employees do have problems crop up, then there will be some practical and emotional challenges that may add even more pressure.

Hospital wait times, costs and lack of access to treatments and helpful information can make dealing with an illness, injury or health issues more complicated.

As well as the employee benefits mentioned already, there are more that can help your employees with managing their health.

Ongoing health problems or a sudden increased amount of appointments and treatment can incur large costs, sometimes running the risk of putting the employee in debt.

Offering a Health Cash Plan gives the chance for employees to claim money back on everyday healthcare such as eye tests, new glasses or contact lenses, as well as therapy treatments such as physiotherapy and osteopathy making maintaining any ongoing health problems more affordable.

Again, Private Medical Insurance is useful here because employees can get private healthcare rather than going through the NHS, benefitting from a lesser or no wait time at all and private professional care.

Healthy Living Library

A useful, easy to implement option when it comes to supporting with employee health and wellbeing is a healthy living library.

The healthy living library is an offering of advice and contact details for expert support on a range of health and wellbeing topics. All the information can be put on your company platform and pulled together into an easy-to-read format.

There are a few great benefits of a healthy living library that make it a worthy addition to your employee benefits package.

Throughout this article we’ve spoken a lot about preventative and proactive options. A healthy living library covers both. The information provided covers ways to stop issues propping up but also support for if they do get ill.

Mental Health

Although a lot of the employee benefits that have already been mentioned can help towards improving and maintaining good mental health, there are some that are specific to helping your employees with their mental health.

The Employee Assistance Programme is a 24/7 confidential helpline for employees that are struggling with a range of problems. They can get access to therapy and other means of professional support and lots of employers already offer this scheme and find it popular with their employees.

The healthy living library has its own dedicated section for mental health, with links that help your employees with self-support and accessing professional support.

A great option for helping with self-support is to give employees discounted subscriptions to apps like Headspace, where the employee just downloads the app and can use the support in their own way.

At Caboodle, we recently announced our exciting partnership with Togetherall. Togetherall is an easy-to-access, online community that provides a safe place for people to chat to each other anonymously about their challenges and express their feelings. You can read more about this in our full guide to providing mental health support to employees through employee benefits.

Providing a broad health and wellbeing provision is important because you have a wide range of demographics and needs amongst your employees, and the more options you provide, the more employees you can successfully support.

For more, see our extensive range of health and wellbeing employee benefits, all available through our innovative, comprehensive employee benefits platform.