You may not consider employee health benefits a cutting-edge tool in the competition for talent and the quest to engage your workforce. But the benefits that employees value are so much more than the traditional insurance programs of past.
Employees today — particularly younger workers — want holistic support for their overall health and health and wellbeing. Employers are responding by expanding their view of employee benefits to include many more aspects of health and wellbeing — from work environment, convenience services and onsite facilities, to leave policies, flexible work arrangements and corporate discounts.
The reward for employers is a healthy and engaged workforce, prepared for the future of work and ready to drive business success.
OPTIMIZING BENEFITS TO ENHANCE HEALTH AND INCREASE ENGAGEMENT
The key to developing and delivering benefits that engage employees and enhance their health is to apply a “design thinking” approach that starts with an understanding of your employees’ specific pain points. You should:
1. CONSIDER THE WHOLE PERSON
Benefits must be aligned with all aspects of your employees’ lives — from where they live, to the social and caregiving systems they are part of, to their worries, passions and life events – in order to truly support health and wellbeing. Mindfulness training, nutrition advice, flexible work schedules, health literacy training and support for passions like travel are all possibilities for boosting physical and emotional health and wellbeing.
2. PERSONALIZE TO DIFFERENTIATE
Different segments of your workforce have different needs, concerns and health risks, and so need to access different employee experiences in order to thrive. Allowing employees to exchange some or all of their employer-provided benefits for others they value more highly is one approach. Offering flexible benefits is another — and can help employers not only gain the productivity boost associated with a healthier, more engaged workforce, but better hedge against the limiting effects of talent scarcity.
3. MINE ALL AVAILABLE DATA SOURCES
Companies have access to more health data than ever before — and technology makes it easier than ever to analyze — but few are leveraging this information to design the benefits that engage their employees and best support their health and wellbeing.
By analyzing and correlating demographic, health and employee-provided data from sources as varied as candidate-screening assessments, absence-management systems, performance reviews, social media and even wearables, you can identify which benefit programs your employees truly value — and which deliver value to your company.
4. ALIGN USER-FRIENDLY BENEFITS WITH USER-FRIENDLY COMMUNICATION AND TECHNOLOGY
Finally, you need to market the benefits experience to your employees using engaging, relevant and timely communications and deliver through seamless, user-friendly digital health technology to make it easy for individuals to engage with their benefits when it counts.
By ensuring that your employees have access to benefits that best support their individual health and wellbeing — and the right tools and information to choose among them — you can capture the added value of a healthy workforce for enhanced business results.