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Employee Benefits Can Create a Culture of Well-Being

Workplace well-being is more essential than ever, as we’re all still dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and all its associated outcomes—working remotely, reduced business travel, limited childcare, and economic uncertainty.

While employees try their best to be flexible and adapt to whatever their employers require, it certainly goes a long way for them to know their employer values their health and well-being.

Just about everyone values well-being. Human resources and benefits administrators can directly impact wellness in the workplace by promoting and communicating about company benefits.

1. Promote Enrollment in Essential Healthcare and Regular Check-Ups

One of the easiest ways to encourage a better sense of wellness and happiness is to promote your health plans, dental plans, and mental health plans and options to your employees. In addition to encouraging them to sign up, it’s critical for you to continually encourage them to schedule regular check-ups for preventive care.

Provide some statistics that will help open your employees’ eyes to the value of regular checkups. For example:

  • Just by lowering cases of hypertension in Americans by 5 percent, the healthcare industry can save $25.3 billion in 5 years.
  • Even though plenty of places offer free flu shots, only one-third of insured Americans and just 17% of uninsured Americans got the shot last year.

2. Conduct Health & Wellness Assessments

Obtaining information about the health of your employees—and your organization’s willingness to make improvements based on this information—is a critical step in promoting workplace wellness. This information will enable you to design a program that is most beneficial to employees. Here are a few suggested ways to obtain health information:

  • Conduct employee surveys. Surveys help you evaluate your employees’ wellness needs and interests. They can help determine what kinds of information employees are willing to share and how they might receive a program. Click here for guidance from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on how to design an employee survey.
  • Conduct a health risk assessment. Assessing the health of your organization will help you determine which wellness programs to implement. Several laws affect the use of health risk assessments; therefore, consulting with legal counsel is recommended. For general guidance, see the CDC information on health risk assessments and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance on wellness programs.

To get the best value out of your surveys, consider combining both health assessment questions and benefits preference questions into the same surveys.

3. Create a Culture that Focuses on Wellness

Foster a workplace environment that encourages and promotes mental and physical well-being. Below are some ways to help employees adopt healthy habits both at work and at home.

  • Encourage physical activity at work. Nothing says “culture of wellness” more than small groups or pairs of coworkers conducting walking meetings, taking walking breaks, using standing desks, or walking to and from lunch or home. Encourage teams to track their accomplishment and create a fun reward system.
  • Offer healthy food choices.Provide fresh fruit and veggies with any company meals. Supply breakrooms with healthy snacks in vending machines, fresh fruit, and filtered or bottled water. If you don’t have an onsite cafeteria, distribute and post online a list of healthy nearby eateries and restaurants.
  • Encourage healthy habits in groups or teams. Most people find it much easier to quit smoking or start walking if they have an accountability partner. Not only does partnering up with a work buddy keep people “honest” if they stray, but it also encourages healthy competition and a sounding board for needed encouragement.
  • Combine wellness with social responsibility. A great way to build rapport, get moving, and foster emotional and social wellness is to encourage employees to find ways to give back to the local community. Ask them to suggest community outreach projects they would enjoy.

4. Adopt Stress Reduction Guidelines

The world we live in today is chaotic, unpredictable, and sometimes dangerous. It’s no wonder that workplace stress is at crisis levels in many organizations. Here are several tangible and effective ways to address and minimize workplace stress.

  • Allow for flexible hours and remote working.You probably hired your employees because you have confidence in their ability to do their jobs well — so let them prove it. Employees’ performance can be measured by quality and timeliness of work, regardless of when or where they clock in and out.
  • Offer quiet workspaces.Not everyone thrives in an environment of constant chatter and busyness. Enjoying quiet and calm is one of the reasons that so many people value working from home. Quiet goes a long way in reducing distraction and minimizing stress.
  • Provide easily accessible counseling. Many companies offer counseling to help employees deal with stress. Remind them about company benefits that provide onsite or remote counseling services.

However you decide to approach it, fostering a culture of well-being in your organization has no downside. Take the first step by making employees aware of what’s available to them through their benefits and how you’re planning to make their wellness a top priority.

Cosmo Insurance Agency is a full-service independent insurance agency based in Hackensack (Bergen County) and Lakewood (Ocean County), New Jersey that offers an all-encompassing range of insurance options for both individuals and businesses. Cosmo keeps its promise to assure an efficient and creative approach to the services we offer. Each of our clients experience a personalized and long-term relationship with us. Our New Jersey based team of health brokers guides our clients in helping them choose the most cost-effective options. By incorporating our knowledge of the insurance guidelines for healthcare, employee benefits, life insurance, self-insurance, dental, disability, and long term care insurance, we keep our clients up-to-date with affordable plans that cover all their specific insurance needs.