Corporate Wellness Insights, we are featuring our first ever "guest post" this week to highlight the importance of corporate wellness and add fresh voices to the ongoing discussion of healthcare in the workplace.
Kyle Lagunas, an HR Analyst at softwareadvice.com, reports on trends, technology, and best practices in human
resources and recruiting.
He is a fan of our blog and truly believes that creative workplace benefits can mean the difference between a heathy, engaged workforce and an unproductive, lackluster team.
Read on for his ideas about creative perks that make office wellness a tool for company success.
Employers are learning that when chosen and implemented effectively, benefits can demonstrate leadership’s concern for the well-being of employees, reinforce cultural values, and foster deeper employee engagement.
Rather than assuming you know what your employees want, [experts] suggest you ask them. Though answers will vary, many people are interested in more benefits in these areas:
1. Healthy Living and Wellness Benefits. The biggest benefit that employees request is gym membership reimbursement. Wellness programs (like WalkingSpree - which creates walking clubs, assigns teams and creates competitions) are another great way to motivate employees to live healthfully (thereby reducing your health care costs).
2. Flexible Work Options. Telecommuting and other forms of flexible work options make employees healthier and happier. And as Sara Sutton Fell, Founder and CEO of FlexJobs points out, “Employers who offer flexible schedules and alternatives to the traditional nine-to-five not only see higher productivity, but also save on health-related benefits they already offer.” Stanford University conducted a large study that showed that telecommuters were four percent more productive than office workers, working more hours, and taking a larger workload.
3. Commuting Relief Benefits. More and more employees are looking for commuting relief benefits from their employers. Incentivize carpooling; use services like Transit Chek so employees can purchase transit tickets with pre-tax dollars; Or, promote healthy living and alternative commuting options by installing bike racks at your office.
4. Perks You Can Afford. Great perks aren’t just for the guys in Silicon Valley. Many companies–big and small–bring in a massage therapist who offers chair massage to employees. Convenient and relaxing, this perk costs the employer next to nothing and might just keep employees in the office longer. Others adopt reward programs like BetterWorks, where employees are given an allowance to spend on discounted food from local restaurants, dry cleaning, gym memberships and more.
Clearing The Great Leadership Hurdle
by offering benefits that are actually competitive, an organization can set itself above the competition - and build a strong culture of engagement and motivation.
Company leaders are often focused on costs, immediate benefit, and employee utilization. [To effectively implement these programs], it’s up to you to deliver on these key points.
Address the issues of cost by reminding leadership how little (if anything) creative benefits cost the organization.
It might also help to frame benefits in terms of investments--not costs--in new employee acquisition and retention.
For further reading, you can find the full article on Kyle's HR blog.