Maximizing Employee Wellbeing: Key Strategies for a Prosperous 2024

By Kellie Rondon on May 07, 2024
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We all know it, and data confirms it: employee wellbeing and the success of a business are inextricably linked. Various studies have connected low employee wellbeing to higher rates of burnout, workplace attrition, lower customer service levels, and ultimately, lower total revenues

Perhaps these revelations are why “wellbeing” has become a buzzword in 2024. But unlike many trends, the focus on wellbeing is here to stay. The staying power of employers’ investments in wellbeing comes from the hard return they’ve seen on every dollar spent. 

For example, according to a report published in the Harvard Business Review, leaders at Johnson and Johnson “estimate that wellness programs have cumulatively saved the company $250 million on health care costs over the past decade; from 2002 to 2008, the return was $2.71 for every dollar spent.” 

Across corporate America, and in companies large and small, employers are finding harmony between their needs and the needs of their employers by funding wellbeing programs that work for them. In this post, we’ll share how your organization can craft your own employee wellbeing strategy, and determine which employee wellbeing programs will work for you. 

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Designing Your Unique Employee Wellbeing Strategy 

Your employee wellbeing strategy will be unique to your organization and the needs of your employees. Follow these steps to begin designing your own strategy: 

1.  Include your employees in the conversation 

You’ll never know which benefits your employees need or will take advantage of if you don’t hear their voices. A short, simple survey can go a long way in helping you gather honest employee feedback about the kinds of wellbeing support your employees may benefit from and appreciate.

Surveys may be disseminated online or on paper. You may consider incentivizing participation with a small reward or encouraging openness by keeping survey responses anonymous. 

RELATED: Watch Out for These Employee Burnout Signs >> 

2.  Define a list of “wants” and “needs” 

Every organization would offer full 401(k) matching, free gym memberships, chronic disease management tools, and fully covered access to mental health services if they could. In reality, however, many small to mid-sized businesses aren’t able to offer every wellbeing benefit under the sun.

This fact doesn’t have to limit the effectiveness of your employee wellbeing strategy. Making a list of “must haves” can help you and your employee benefits consultant craft a set of offerings that packs the most effective possible punch. 

3.  Determine your budget structure 

Not all employee wellbeing programs are fully employer-funded. For example, employers may offer discounts through a partnership with a health studio or gym; they may offer reduced rates on access to financial planning professionals, or similar.

No matter your budget, it’s possible to offer wellbeing assistance to your employees. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, as of the year 2020, most small firms offered some kind of wellbeing program. 

4.  Connect with employee relations and benefits experts to provide the strongest offerings 

Navigating the world of employee wellness programs alone can be intimidating, but an employee relations and benefits expert can help. Working with a dedicated expert can provide insights into the top-performing programs and best employee wellbeing strategies for your unique workforce demographic while keeping ROI top of mind.

What’s more, certified professional employer organizations (PEOs) can offer small to mid-sized businesses access to top-rated employee wellbeing programs SMEs may not have had access to alone—all at affordable rates. 

the ultimate guide to certified PEOs

Exploring Options for Employee Wellbeing Programs that Work for You 

When it comes to crafting an employee wellbeing strategy that brings the highest hard returns to your organization, variance is key. The more diverse your workforce is, the truer this statement becomes.

Older employees, for example, may value wellness benefits such as those focused on retirement planning or chronic condition management; younger employees, on the other hand, may value tuition assistance benefits and supported access to mental health care. 

To strike the right balance, many employers offer a mix of employee wellbeing programs. Consider the following available options: 

Physical Health Employee Wellbeing Programs 

When we talk about employee wellbeing programs, physical health-centered options typically come to mind first. Options within this space are broad—ranging from gym memberships and wellness challenges to free or reduced-cost screenings for critical health indicators like high cholesterol and blood pressure.

Depending on the results of your employee wellbeing surveys, you might consider more creative or unique wellbeing benefits, such as fertility assistance, pain management benefits, weight loss programs, health coaching access, and even employee sports leagues. 

is a gym membership tax deductible for a business

Mental Health Employee Wellbeing Programs 

Employee assistance programs (EAPs) are among the most popular mental health employee wellbeing programs. EAPs offer employees confidential counseling services for a range of issues that people of any age could face, including grief, professional issues, substance and alcohol abuse, family strife, smoking cessation, and more. 

Mental health employee wellbeing programs aren’t limited to EAPs, however. They can also include educational mental health workshops, stress management classes, or even reduced-cost access to traditional therapy.

While group health insurance plans may cover some of the cost of a visit to see a mental health professional, employers can consider ways to reduce or cover co-pays. 

RELATED:Remote Work Best Practices for Improved Productivity & Mental Health >> 

Financial Employee Wellbeing Programs 

Financial wellness is an oft-forgotten aspect of an individual’s overall wellbeing. However, data shows that “one in three full-time employees says that money worries have negatively impacted their productivity at work,” making investing in financial employee wellbeing programs a great option for ROI-focused organizations.

Examples of financial employee wellbeing programs may include access to financial advisors who can provide guidance on saving through an employee’s 401(k) and other personalized advice on preparing for retirement.

Employers may also deliver access to financial literacy workshops on topics such as investing, managing debt, and budgeting. For employers with younger employee populations, tuition and loan repayment assistance is incredibly lucrative and can be an excellent employee retention tool. 

Work-Life Balance Prioritization 

Without working with outside vendors, employers can begin to create an internal employee wellbeing program all their own. One of the easiest ways to do this is to provide flexible time off where an employee needs it. Increasing paid time off is a great place to start.

According to a recent study, as reported by Forbes, the average American takes 17 days of paid time off each year. Does your organization offer more or less? 

Further, encouraging employees to fully disconnect when tending to personal responsibilities, such as parenting, medical visits, and other obligations, can pay dividends in employer efforts to reduce burnout. 

RELATED: Improve Lawyer Work-Life Balance to Reduce Turnover >>

Finding the Right Employee Wellbeing Programs for Your Team Members 

Is it time for your small business to focus on employee wellbeing? It’s never too late to explore your options for creating a healthier and happier workforce. 

At Axcet HR Solutions, our experienced team of employee benefits and employee relations experts can deliver tailored workplace wellbeing insights that can transform your workplace culture for the long haul. Reach out to our team today to find out how we can help. 

PEO small business employee benefits

Written by Kellie Rondon

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