If we’ve learned anything from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s the importance of focusing on the health and wellness of ourselves and the people that we love. Employers are becoming more motivated than ever to invest in their corporate health plans to make sure that their employees and their families alike are protected. Now that this is becoming part of a modern business model, here are some things to know as you get involved in your company’s wellness program.
The importance of workplace wellness programs starts with understanding the health benefits that an employer provides. It starts with an insurance plan that accounts for various options to cover health care costs. Some employers will expand benefits with ever-growing innovation in healthcare to allow for greater financial assistance for prescription medication or cover other health care vision and dental expenses.
Physical wellness assures that all-encompassing bodily functions are accounted for. This expands beyond health insurers to initiatives including exercising and nutrition. Some workplaces have even found that a little healthy competition incentivizes these programs. Whether it’s weight loss challenges or extra-curricular activities, this has created greater health outcomes through different ways of getting in physical activity. This can even be as simple as encouraging a better diet with healthier snacks in the breakroom.
One of the greatest developments in wellness programs is the expansion of mental health treatments. More workplaces are recognizing this need for healthy behavior, burnout, and stress management. Employers have expanded their health benefits to offer therapeutic services that provide their employees and their family members with a safe space to address their issues. More insurance companies are expanding even their most basic plans of coverage to include mental wellness initiatives.
The stigma around mental health is slowly drifting away, especially after the stress and anxiety that was brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, several mental health professionals were able to offer their time and attention with the help of telemedicine. While it was a different approach than being in the room with a therapist, it allowed patients that same feeling of protection for the session.
Beyond health promotion and mental wellbeing, financial support has emerged in workplace wellness programs. More employers are offering 401(k)s or IRAs as part of long-term retirement savings accounts for employees to capitalize on. Some companies even offer matching contributions up to a certain percentage to further pad those accounts. Employers view it as rewarding worker loyalty for their time dedicated to the job.
These incentives are even sometimes extended to current financial circumstances. Enrollees can take out hardship loans in the event of a medical emergency or unforeseen occurrence. Employee participation in these plans allows for access to some credit unions through a company that can help in obtaining loans to put towards a home or car. Wellness program incentives can even be extended to allow for personal savings accounts that help to cover some expenses pre-tax like transit to and from the office.
All of the incentives and wellness promotion make not completely make an employee happy in their duties. Workers are willing to go the extra mile for their employer if it means taking the next step in their career. Laying out long-term plans with a worker is actually crucial to employee health, as it helps them know the expectations of a position along with what possible elevation and opportunities could come down the pipeline with a little hard work.
Long-term job dissatisfaction has found to be a stress trigger for some people, and others have experienced burnout from trying to do too much to get ahead to no avail. Having clear and transparent communication between worker and boss on potential opportunities will help both parties sustain the long run.