For years, many American businesses have provided wellness programs dedicated to encouraging employees to improve their physical health and fitness. But a new work culture is emerging, as employers recognize the need to focus on the overall well-being of their associates in order to keep them at a company.
Recruitment is expensive, and an emphasis on retaining top talent through efforts to support their well-being can lead to a significant reduction in these costs. A recent Staying@Work survey revealed that within the next year, 64 percent of employers would adopt programs to address the overall wellness needs of employees in five areas:
1. Financial: Nearly 75 percent of people worry about their finances at least some of the time, reports the American Psychological Association. Concerns about house and car payments, child care and daily living expenses, and student loan debt can affect an employee’s work performance. The World Health Organization calculates that financial stress costs employers $300 billion each year in missed work and lost productivity.
To address these concerns, nearly 84 percent of employers provide financial wellness programs, offering services like counseling to set up and maintain family budgets. However, only 4 percent of employers provide loan repayment assistance, such as the BenefitEd program, making this a benefit that would help many employers stand out from their competitors when vying for talented employees. With BenefitEd, employers can easily set up a monthly, quarterly or annual contribution, or matching payments, toward employees’ student loans. Employers may provide BenefitEd for specific positions or to employees meeting certain criteria. Some employers are using BenefitEd’s platform to let their employees take advantage of match dollars that have traditionally only been used for retirement.
2. Social: One key way employers support employees’ social well-being is with policies that allow for greater flexibility and work-life balance. Employees who can telework or control their schedules to better juggle work and family responsibilities are more relaxed, productive and satisfied with their jobs.
3. Community: Seventy-nine percent of employees surveyed in a recent study preferred to work for an employer that cares about social and environmental issues, and encourages community involvement.
4. Career: Employees want to work for employers that appreciate them and provide learning opportunities. To meet this demand, many employers offer tuition assistance programs, repayment programs like BenefitEd, and lunch-and-learn options offering employees a chance to develop new skills and get training for jobs in other departments.
5. Physical: Nearly two-thirds of employers encourage their staff to develop healthy lifestyles. Popular programs include nutritious food and snack choices in cafeterias and workout areas to make it more convenient for employees to exercise.
To learn more about how employers are supporting employee needs, visit YouBenefitEd.com/Happy.
Employee engagement and happiness are essential to running a successful business. As more companies make this connection, employees can expect to be offered more opportunities and benefits that they need and want to be healthy, happy and effective in the workplace.