The top health and wellbeing benefits to implement in 2024
December 15 2023 - Employees are the lifeblood of any organisation meaning that their wellbeing should not merely be a consideration; it's a fundamental necessity. Beyond cultivating a welcoming and inclusive work environment, providing well-considered health and wellbeing benefits can drive your business to new heights by reducing presenteeism and absenteeism, decreasing employee turnover, lowering business costs, and increasing productivity.
In this article, we explore the leading health and wellness benefits that forward-thinking employers should consider implementing in 2024 to enhance physical, psychological, and overall employee wellbeing.
Exercise isnít just beneficial for physical health; it can make a big difference to mental health as well. A survey by PureGym found that 77% of their members felt regular exercise improved their mental health. Therefore, incorporating free or discounted gym memberships within your employee benefits package can contribute to their overall wellbeing. However, be sure to offer them the flexibility to select a gym that suits their preferences, be it based on location or facilities.
Private health cover
Booking a GP appointment can be a challenging task for employees, especially when trying to secure a convenient time that works with their schedule at a time when NHS services are under ever-increasing strain. This can lead to delayed medical interventions, heightened stress and health conditions becoming worse. Offering private health coverage ensures employees can access healthcare when needed, providing them with invaluable peace of mind. Extending this benefit to their family members further bolsters overall employee wellness.
Complaints about poor dental care, steep fees, and challenges in getting treatment have risen by 66% in the last five years. Data such as this supports the importance of dental coverage for employees. Employee dental cover provides access to private dentists, routine check-ups, and cost-effective treatments, removing financial and time barriers to dental health.
Menstruation and menopause leave
Recognising the unique challenges faced by individuals during menstruation and menopause is an important component in becoming an empathetic, person-centric workplace. Offering flexible working options, paid time off, and access to resources and specialist support will ensure that employees feel empowered to take action that helps them navigate the symptoms of menstruation or menopause.
One in two people will develop cancer in their lifetime. Of those, approximately 36% are of working age and 85% of individuals in employment at the time of diagnosis say it is important for them to continue working. Therefore, comprehensive cancer support should be an essential component of any employee wellbeing program. An on-demand service which delivers tailored, holistic advice, will enable employees and their loved ones to have access to invaluable specialist support when they need it most.
Paid sick and mental health leave
Demonstrate your commitment to employee mental health with paid time off for mental health concerns. Consider options such as annual mental health days or unlimited paid time off, providing employees the flexibility to address their mental health needs effectively.
Recognise the need for accessible mental health services, as evidenced by the 1.46 million NHS referrals for talking therapies in 2020-2021. Implement an employee assistance program (EAP) that offers specialist mental health support, ensuring employees understand how to access it and their usage entitlement.
As of 2022, almost 96% of UK internet users owned a smartphone, demonstrating that these handheld devices have become invaluable as a tool for accessing information. Employers can make use of the prevalence of smartphones and promote employee wellbeing by subsidising or providing free access to apps. Allow employees to choose from a variety of apps, granting them the freedom to select the ones they feel best suit their needs and will contribute to their wellbeing. These could be mindfulness apps, mental health support, budgeting tools or digital journalling, for instance.
1 in 7 heterosexual couples face fertility challenges and many others experience barriers to treatment. Providing financial and emotional support for egg/sperm freezing, adoption, surrogacy, and fertility treatments will help employees navigate their unique family planning journeys.
Personal finance can be complex and stressful. Help employees by connecting them to education and advice on budgeting, investments, tax allowances, and pensions. This will empower employees to take control of their assets, reducing financial burden and contributing to the financial health of the whole workforce.
Employee benefits such as private medical care and cancer support undoubtedly make a significant difference in employees' lives but don't underestimate how much small perks can enhance employee morale. Free tickets, discount vouchers, personalised gifts, and casual dress days can all help with the cost of living, contribute to a better work-life balance and show that you value each employee as an individual.
As we head toward 2024, investing in these health and wellbeing benefits can set your company apart from others and contribute to an engaged, healthy, and productive workforce, ensuring a brighter future for your business and employees alike.
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