As a business owner and employer, you walk a fine line. Of course, you want to take care of your employees and offer the best, most robust health insurance and benefits options ever. But you also have a budget to consider, along with administrative overhead and costs, when you enhance health offerings.
So, how do you find the sweet spot?
What can you be doing to promote the health and wellness of your teams without breaking the bank? There are tips and tricks to consider. And today, we’ll share three ways you can enhance health offerings while you reduce that burdening administrative overhead.
1. Create a Culture Centered on Employee Health
You’ve heard about promoting health and wellness with gym memberships and healthy break room snacks. But there’s more to creating a workplace culture centered on employee health. And in doing so, you’ll cut costs by shaving off claims, time off for medical issues, and losses in production.
Promote Preventive Care
One of the best ways to cut administrative costs while promoting enhanced health benefits is with preventive care services. If your employees can stay ahead of conditions, illnesses, or potential injuries, they’ll be less likely to file claims. And the healthier your teams are, the more productive they’ll be at work. These types of services might include routine physicals and age-specific screenings.
Employee Health Is a Company Investment
When you ask employees directly what they think about health and wellness, they will tell you it’s more than just an annual doctor’s visit. To them, health means fitness, nutrition, appearance, sleep, mental, emotional, and mindfulness. Investing in better methods, support, and coverage for these factors will directly impact your bottom line. For example, staff members who suffer from poor sleep are more likely to be less productive on the job, and it correlates, too, to less-than-stellar attendance.
Rework Company Policies to Support Healthy Lifestyles
To enhance health offerings while simultaneously reducing overhead costs, your company may need to do more than introduce new initiatives. You’ll also want to revisit your existing company policies. Look to identify and eliminate any policies that don’t support your new health and wellness practices. More specifically, if your time off policy is too strict and doesn’t allow for the flexibility needed for employees to take care of themselves, it’s time to redefine the policy standards.
2. Getting Employees to Use Services Offered
You can offer all the health and wellness perks you want. But, they won’t be effective if your employees aren’t using them. Some reports suggest that nearly 80% of workers use very few, if any, health or medical services each year. Here’s how you can inspire your staff to make the wellness shift with you.
Reminders About Free Services
Healthcare costs continue to rise, and they’re a primary reason people don’t seek medical attention or health-related support. So keep your employees healthy by reminding them about any free services that come with their health plan. For example, if your company offers an ICHRA, your employees may be enrolled in an ACA Marketplace plan, with a full roster of essential health benefits, free to enrollees. And many of these are preventive care services.
Support Resources for Health Initiatives
Sometimes employees won’t make use of available services because of complicated steps or confusing processes. Get them comfortable with your benefits plan and wellness health offerings by providing ample support resources. Offer insurance jargon definitions, helpful guides, handbooks, and local community health resources when applicable.
A Focus on Mental Health
Ten years ago, health offerings were often focused on physical wellness benefits. But in today’s workplace, there is a growing shift to address the mental, emotional, and behavioral health needs of employees. There may be a negative connotation and ongoing stigma associated with taking advantage of these services. So, you can introduce support resources, privacy policies, and incentives for teams to leverage the mental health offerings you have.
3. Cut Spending That Doesn’t Support Wellness
As your company makes huge strides in enhancing employee-based health offerings, you’ll also need to revise past spending practices that no longer align with your new wellness efforts. You can significantly reduce administrative overhead while promoting health with a few key shifts in spending.
Time Off, Attendance, and Leave
We previously mentioned the importance of revising company policies, including standards you might have in place for time off requests. But also take the time to review your employee handbook for cost reduction opportunities in attendance requirements, leave, and vacation time. The old rule about penalizing salaried employees who show up five minutes late no longer applies. And when that employee routinely commits to staying late or working off-hours, the archaic attendance policies will impact stress levels and company culture.
Losing great workers because of these old-school methods of employee management will cost your company thousands. And considering that many companies are adopting hybrid work environments, there’s no need to pay people to monitor such out-of-date metrics either. Keep flexibility in mind whenever your teams need time off, too, including vacations, mental health days, bereavement, or medical leave.
Adjust Performance Standards to Align with Realistic, Healthy Goals
Some companies base performance metrics on a bell curve or pre-determined ranking systems. But these old ways of rating staff can create insecurity in the workplace. And in today’s environment, incorrectly evaluating employee performance will lead to turnover and increase the cost to the company’s bottom line. Make sure how your managers gauge performance aligns with healthy and realistic goals that allow individuals to feel appreciated and judge them based on actual performance output.
Health Insurance Benefits That Are Easy to Use and Understand
If employees opt-in to a health insurance product that doesn’t meet their needs, costs too much or is complicated, they’ll be less likely to use it. Companies today need to find the perfect balance of enhanced health offerings that employees want to use. For example, an ICHRA option puts the health coverage control back in the hands of the participating worker. When they can manage their coverage budgets, enrollment decisions, and plan selections, they’re more likely to use what they choose. And on an administrative cost level, the ICHRA provides the same control and flexibility to the employer in identifying reimbursement amounts and qualifying medical expenses to be covered.
Bonus Tip: Many businesses are seeing significant reductions in overhead costs with brilliant digital and software upgrades that streamline health-related engagements. If you’re still processing requests with paper, you have opportunities to cut costs with digital upgrades to those processes.
If you’re looking for better ways to enhance your employee health and wellness initiatives while simultaneously reducing administrative overhead, consider these suggestions. And if you’d like to explore the ICHRA solution for your employees, let W3LL be your guide!