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When most people talk about employee benefits, they usually mention health insurance, life insurance, retirement, paid vacation, and sick time. Maybe it's time to introduce mental health into the conversation. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one out of every five adults in the United States lives with some sort of mental illness--and it can affect both productivity and workplace safety.
Employee wellness is big business. According to a recent story by National Public Radio, companies across the country spend about $8 billion a year trying to get employees to exercise, eat better, stop smoking and live lives that make them happier and healthier.
Employee wellness programs are a bit of a trend these days. Every company wants one and many have their own reasons for focusing on employee wellness. Some companies just want to save money. Some want to build their brand. Some just genuinely desire to help their employees. So, what is the true importance of a wellness program? Let's try to separate the fact from the fiction.
Employee wellness programs often boast some lofty goals. The truth is that your expectations often don't manifest themselves as well as you'd like. With an employee wellness program you are dealing with people after all, not just numbers or statistics, and people have a will of their own. That said, there are a few things you can do to ensure your wellness program is the best that it can be.
Healthier workplaces are more productive workplaces, that much we know for sure. How to best approach employee wellness is something that is constantly being studied and refined, however.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recently updated their guidelines associated with high blood pressure, and this change puts many Americans who were previously considered healthy squarely within the realm of hypertension. Prior to this change Americans with a blood pressure of 140/90 or lower were considered to be within the healthy range with anything over that being stage 1 hypertension. Now 130/80 is the cutoff for stage one and 140/90 is considered stage two hypertension.
We all love a hard worker, but it's not a good sign when your employees are overworked. Stress is, unfortunately, the norm in many workplaces but it can have many negative consequences including reduced productivity and increased employee turnover rates. Here are a few ways to tell if your employees are stressed out, along with a few ways to combat stress with employee wellness.
There are good ways to cut costs and bad ways to cut costs. In a candidate driven job market where competitive benefits packages are key to employee retention, you don't want to be the business slashing necessary programs, like health insurance for example. Fortunately, there is a way to make your health insurance more affordable by implementing a robust employee wellness program. It sounds like a pipe dream: you can cut costs while providing a valuable service to your employees, but it's true! So what is employee wellness and how can it make health insurance more affordable?
Employee wellness is one of the key predictors of productivity. Unhealthy stressed, and overworked employees are not working at full capacity. Workers who come in stressed and sleep deprived can easily make costly mistakes, and someone coming into the office sick can quickly spread that around to other employees. Fortunately, there are many low-cost ways that you can encourage employee wellness and increase overall productivity.
For most businesses, offering a comprehensive employee benefits package plays a big role in employee retention. Unfortunately, the rising cost of benefits, such as health insurance, is causing some companies to reduce the benefits offered to employees and their dependents. While scaling back on benefits or the contributions that an employer makes towards the benefits can provide upfront cost savings, it can also put you at risk of losing quality employees if they are impacted by the changes you made.
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