Current trends indicate that health-care benefits are a top priority for employees and can be the key differentiator in retaining employees for the long haul. For example, according to the 2009 Staying@Work Report, based on a survey by Watson Wyatt and the National Business Group on Health, almost half of employers are seeing an increase in their workers’ use of employee assistance programs. In the event that a small business can’t financially provide a full health-care benefit package, there are other valuable, affordable options. Consider the following:
1. Offer "wellness" days. Wellness days offer employees a chance to receive a quick health screening and discuss routine health and dietary issues with a nurse as well as receive seasonal vaccines.
2. Offer health-care memberships. Affordable membership-based health-care services are available that cover the cost of routine care, which makes up 70% of all U.S. health-care transactions. These services help keep employees out of doctors’ offices and emergency rooms for issues that aren’t emergencies.
3. Create awareness of what health-care services are available. Whether or not you are able to provide an insurance or other health-care service option, employees often are unaware of the complete list of services and benefits available to them. Keeping your employees informed of all the services available to them—such as discounts on health club memberships or vaccines—allows them to take advantage of the offerings and benefit from a wellness and cost perspective.
Small businesses don’t have to cut health-care services from their employees’ benefits when trying to reduce company expenses. There are ways to offer health-care services to employees that not only help control the overall cost to the business, but also keep employees satisfied with the level of care.
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