Fortune magazine released its Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® List for 2023, identifying the leading corporations across the nation. A significant factor behind these companies’ success is focusing on their employees’ emotional health and well-being. It’s a crucial differentiator from the competition, and the proof is in the statistics—88% of employees working for a Fortune 100 company report that their workplace is psychologically and emotionally healthy compared to 52% of employees working elsewhere.
The looming threat of a recession has many companies looking for ways to reduce expenses, but reducing resources or eliminating benefits could worsen the company’s long-term outlook. Research consistently shows that a positive employee experience is essential for a company to survive economic challenges. Unsurprisingly, the most successful companies invest in their employees’ wellness.
The following are several wellness benefits that boost productivity and profitability by focusing on the employees’ health and well-being.
- Flexible flexibility. Offering flexible schedules is becoming more mainstream, but many companies still get it wrong. For example, some companies that offer flex schedules constrain it once the employee chooses their hours. The employee may need the option to arrive at 9:00 a.m. on certain days of the week while retaining the ability to shift those hours earlier for others. Additionally, many employers limit flex scheduling to salaried employees. Hybrid work models are also a highly sought benefit, as many employees realized it’s much easier to achieve a work-life balance with the ability to work from home. Workplace flexibility looks different at every office, and company flexibility policies should reflect their employees’ needs.
- Support caregivers. People are living longer and having children later in life, creating immense pressure on those who fall into the sandwich generation. For example, a woman in the early 20th century commonly had her first child around 20. Her parents were likely the same age when she was born, making them grandparents around 40. In recent years, women often have their first child closer to 30, meaning their parents are approaching 60 when they become grandparents. A 60-year-old is more likely to develop health complications or need support before the grandchildren reach adulthood. As a result, many working adults are raising children and simultaneously caring for aging and infirm parents or relatives. Employers that adapt to this new dynamic have happier, healthier employees. Examples include providing backup childcare and eldercare, discounts for tutoring sessions, virtual homework help, and offering caregiver leave.
- Finance education. Money problems are a significant stressor on any household. An unstable economy can compound those difficulties, increase anxiety, disrupt sleep, and make it impossible for employees to perform well at their jobs. Financial wellness programs can educate employees on building financial security and retirement planning.
- Well-being allowances. Supporting employee health and well-being doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all solution. A benefit that may appeal to one demographic might offer little to another. Some companies are addressing this issue with well-being allowances. Employees can submit claims to request funds or reimbursements up to a certain threshold for well-being expenses. Companies that utilize this practice provide a list of covered items, such as gym memberships, spa visits, courses, coaching, and more. Giving employees the freedom to choose options that support their specific wellness needs maximizes the program’s potential.
- Prioritize time off from work. Employees need to take time away from the office to recharge and refill their mental health coffers. Otherwise, they’re at a significant risk of developing burnout. Companies need to do more than provide a leave bank for their employees. Many worry they’ll be seen as lazy or not a team player if they take vacation time. Others worry their projects will fail if they take time off, while the idea of an overloaded inbox overwhelms others. Some companies address this by encouraging employees to take leave at the same time. Much like teams work hard together, they should also be able to disconnect together. If the entire team is away, it’s much easier to disengage without work piling up or burdening other employees with the additional workload.
Millennials account for nearly 40% of the U.S. workforce and are far more likely to look for new job opportunities than previous generations if they’re unhappy with their workplace. Although the younger half of Generation Z isn’t old enough to work, experts predict they’ll account for 30% of working adults by 2030—and they’re just as likely to leave one job for another with better benefits. Contact Windermere Insurance Group to learn more about implementing employee benefits packages that resonate with your employees.