As the most important asset in almost any business, it is imperative that employers prioritise the wellbeing of their employees. There are many ways that an employer can do this. For instance, creating a positive, inclusive working environment is an important contributing factor to employee wellbeing. Well-considered, fit-for-purpose health and wellbeing benefits can also help ensure that employers are supporting the physical, emotional, and financial wellbeing of employees.
This guide from Perci Health explains what is meant by employee health and wellbeing, explores the advantages of providing employee health and wellbeing benefits, and outlines some of the best health and wellbeing employee benefits that businesses can adopt in 2023.
What is meant by health and wellbeing?
Promoting good employee health and wellbeing involves a lot more than providing adequate sick leave. It also isn’t focusing on employee engagement and productivity. Instead, it refers to employees’ mental, physical, and financial health, as well as other facets of their being. If an employer is truly supporting employee health and wellbeing, they should be able to thrive as individuals, in and out of work.
Why are employee health and wellbeing benefits important?
There are many benefits that come from focusing on employee health and wellbeing, not just for the workforce but for employers and their bottom line too.
Well-designed and implemented employee health and wellbeing benefits can:
- Make employees more content
- Boost morale and job satisfaction
- Increase productivity
- Decrease presenteeism and absenteeism
- Attract top talent
- Improve employee retention
- Lower business costs
- Contribute to reducing health inequalities
Private health insurance
In the UK, booking a GP appointment has become more challenging, and medical investigations and procedures are facing significant delays. For some people, this means that physical conditions are becoming worse, and they feel anxious about their health.
Providing employees with private health insurance can give them all-important peace of mind that they can access healthcare promptly when needed and forego lengthy NHS waiting times. To go the extra mile, businesses can extend coverage to the family members of employees, as a way to further contribute to overall employee wellness.
Physical health employee benefits
Aside from private health insurance, there is a range of other employee benefits that focus on physical health. However, many of these can also contribute to financial wellbeing by saving employees money and supporting employee mental health too. Examples of such benefits include:
- Dental cover
- Eye care
- Stop smoking support
- Gym membership
- Cycle to work scheme
Menstruation and menopause leave
87% of people who menstruate have experienced stress or anxiety in the workplace because of their period. What’s more, managing the effects of menopause at work, such as irregular bleeding, mood changes, and hot flushes can be both challenging and upsetting for those experiencing such symptoms.
There are numerous ways in which businesses can support individuals who are menstruating or going through menopause. Examples include offering flexible working options, providing paid time off and facilitating access to resources and/or specialists.
Mental health employee benefits
Almost 1 in 7 people experience mental health problems in the workplace. Furthermore, research indicates that more than 12% of sickness absence days in the UK are a result of mental health conditions. Data such as this shows that supporting employee mental health benefits both employees and the business. Mental health employee benefits come in many forms including:
- Paid sick and mental health leave
- App subscriptions
- Mindfulness programmes
Around 15% of heterosexual couples experience difficulty conceiving and non-heterosexual couples and individuals who want to become parents often face challenges in accessing fertility treatment. This can cause emotional distress and leave them needing to fund expensive fertility treatment if they want any chance to expand their family.
Companies can provide fertility benefits to employees to support them with family planning including financial and emotional support for IVF, IUI, egg/sperm freezing, adoption and surrogacy.
Personal finance can be complex, even more so given the current economic climate and the seemingly ever-increasing cost of living. Therefore, employers can help employees achieve financial wellbeing and reduce financial worry by providing access to specialists that can provide bespoke advice on budgeting, investments, tax allowance and pensions.
One in two people will develop some form of cancer in their lifetime. Furthermore, 36% of people living with cancer are of working age and 85% who are in employment at the time of their diagnosis say it is important for them to continue working.
This is why workplace support for employees with cancer is important. Perci Health can help employers with this. Their pioneering virtual clinic offers online access to 20 different holistic cancer support types, from cancer specialist nursing to psychologists, dietitians and life coaching. Every specialist carefully tailors advice dependent on each individual’s experience of cancer and support is available to anyone who has been affected, including the family, friends and colleagues of those who receive a diagnosis.