Whether it is returning to an existing office or searching for a new workspace for your business, creating a safe and healthy workspace for your employees is the key to a productive and healthy work environment. Research has also found that businesses that offer health insurance as part of their employee benefits package can attract more qualified and enthusiastic applicants; this is mainly because employees have higher morale than those workplaces that don’t support wellness. An Australia-based study found that health workers were three times more productive than those in poor health.
A good health plan can also help promote small businesses. Small businesses looking to remain competitive in the talent marketplace can do so by thoughtfully packaging medical, ancillary, and wellness benefits into plans that appeal to the needs of current and future employees. While this might seem daunting, professionals in this space regularly guide employers to options that will meet their financial needs while also addressing employees’ wants. Here are some pointers to consider.
Offer mindfulness and meditation classes
It’s important to keep in mind that health at work does go beyond physical health initiatives such as exercise and healthy eating. Mental fitness is equally as important to your workplace health offerings. A popular way to incorporate this area of health is to offer mindfulness, meditation classes, and deep breathing exercises.
This can be done in-office by hiring coaches who are happy to take a seminar at your office, or you can organize a group trip. You should also consider offering some form of confidential counseling services that employees can access autonomously.
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
Health Maintenance Organization is one of the major options for well-managed health care insurance for employees. HMO members receive a comprehensive health care plan at a fixed cost. Applicants receive a Primary Care Physician as the first point of contact for health concerns. A referral from the physician can lead you to seeing a specialist within the HMO or to having any diagnostic services covered by the insurance company. If you were to pursue specialist treatment, tests, or x-rays outside of the HMO, you would be responsible for the full cost of these services.
Direct payments or taxable stipends
Small business owners often give their employees extra money to cover their health expenses. They bump up their employee’s pay and avoid having to put the time or energy into choosing a plan and administering it.
Another way for small business owners to promote wellness can be through increased flexibility and fewer regulations; offering a taxable health stipend can be an excellent choice. A health stipend works similar to an HRA, where they can reimburse employees for the employee’s medical expenses. However, employers still must be careful about compliance, as it’s not a formal health benefits plan.