Finding good employees is often a daunting task. Training them takes time and money. So when you find the right people you want to encourage them to be healthy and happy on the job. It’s important to be cognizant of the fact that what happens in a person’s life off the job affects how they perform on the job. A conscientious employer takes that in mind when developing a wellness plan for their employees. Here are some ‘must haves’ if you want to get the most from the people you hire.
• Provide the most inclusive health insurance for the employee and their families as your business can afford. Coverage like dental, chiropractic, and alternative medicine can influence a person decision to join your company. Keep costs to an absolute minimum. Health costs are taking more and more out of people’s tangible income. If employees have good coverage they will be more likely to take care of themselves. Their effectiveness in the office will be greatly affected if they have a sick child or spouse. Encourage your employees to take the coverage for their families and help them afford the benefit.
• Having a baby is one of the most life changing experiences any employee can have. That goes for Dads and Moms alike. Everyone needs some time off when the baby arrives. Knowing that your children are safe when you are at work is essential to being able to focus and concentrate. Bigger companies provide in-house child care. If you are too small to provide that, consider assisting with the cost of day care.
• Every company, no matter how large, should provide EAP benefits to their employees. An EAP is an Employee Assistance Program. Unlike an insurance plan which requires a medical necessity to use, an EAP allows a person to get a few free sessions with a therapist to discuss interpersonal issues, like marital problems and family issues. Most also provide financial counseling and substance abuse referrals and will help with other ‘non-medical’ issues that arise. An employee can access them without the knowledge of their employer though many times employers can make mandated referrals when there are problems on the job. Providing an EAP benefit may also keep the costs of your mental health coverage down.
• The work environment can have a serious impact on the health of your employees. Is there enough light and ventilation? Do you have smoking policies that respect the need to protect workers from second hand smoke? Do people have enough room to do the job? Is the chair they sit in all day comfortable and does it provide enough back support? Are you providing a break room so that they can take a few minutes each day to eat something? Most people experience a drop in their sugar levels and become tired in the middle of the morning or afternoon. A few minutes away from their desk can help keep them awake and alert for the rest of the day.
• Here’s a sure way to know what your employees want and need- ask them. At least once a year send around a letter asking your employees to tell you what they need to do a better job. You may think you know the answer but you may be surprised. You may not be able to provide everything they request but showing that you care to know makes a difference too. And making the changes you can brings about increased employee loyalty and job satisfaction.
When in doubt, use yourself. What would you like to have or see different on the job? Don’t assume additions are too costly. Explore possibilities and get bids. It’s a competitive world and you may be able to afford more then you realize. Labor bureau statistics say that an American worker today should expect to have at least 5 jobs in their lifetime. Considering the health and wellness of your employees will help considerably with discouraging turnover.