That deep breathe of relief the moment your head hits the pillow. Another long day of navigating the events of work, family, and “stuff.” It’s exhausting. In today’s world, the day of life can be challenging. All people deal with an emotional roller coaster either professional or personally and it starts to take a toll on our mind and body. As you look to develop your organization, health is probably one of the most impactful benefits you can provide your employees. Health isn’t just healthcare. It’s everything from time off to gym memberships and healthy eating. Everything that gives an employee time to relax will only enhance your employee’s performance, and have a greater reward on your organization.
There are 4 areas of health your organization needs to consider important to maintain a healthy employee and therefore, a healthy company. There is a variety of other benefits you can offer that contribute to a healthy environment, these are just four of the best that should be a “non-negotiable” on positive performance.
There’s no doubt that healthcare is the single most important item when it comes to maintaining a healthy employee. If your organization’s healthcare costs are too high or you don’t offer any healthcare then you’re contributing to the possibility of those individuals not leading a safe and healthy lifestyle. For example, last month I had a couple of days where my neck completely tightened up where I couldn’t move it at all. I was in so much pain; I ended up going to a chiropractor. My healthcare cost was only $20 vs. $50. If my cost wasn’t so low, I might have reconsidered going and lived with the pain. I was back to performing at optimal levels in a few days vs. if I would have waited until the pain went away. If you want to invest in your employees and show them you care, buy a good healthcare policy and pay a good portion of the policy. It’s worth it.
2. Paid Time Off (PTO)
I’m sure your organization has PTO or Paid Time Off. However, it’s not enough to just offer PTO because you have to. Be generous with your PTO policy and don’t make it difficult for your employees to take time off. They need to refresh 1-3 day refresh every 3-4 months. Give them time to take off and spend it relaxing or being with their family. If you offer sick days (3-5 days) then you should have at least 12-13 additional days for PTO. If your sick days are part of your PTO policy then you should start employees at 14-16 days a year of PTO. In addition, in your FMLA Policy, you should not mandate that PTO must be used during that period. Imagine having some major medical accident and leaving for 6 weeks. You come back and two weeks later you’re sick. Wasting all PTO for a medical emergency does not add to a healthy employee’s ability to be successful. For the most part, it’s very uncommon for an organization to mandate PTO on FMLA but if yours does then reconsider.
3. Alternative Work Arrangements (AKA. Flextime)
Alternative Work Arrangements have become one of the hottest benefits among organizations seeking top-notch talent. In Silicon Valley, it’s a poaching mechanism. Employees need some flexibility to work around their busy lives and if they’re stressed about tasks outside work then they will not excel at work. Give them a couple hours each week to make up time, allow them to occasionally work from home (if your organization can), or work longer shifts on certain days to allow for shorter shifts on other days. Giving employees flexibility allows the employees to use their time wisely and in return create success.
4. Supplemental Benefits
Not all healthy benefits fall under the three above categories, therefore supplemental benefits is a great way to help with a healthy employee and a healthy lifestyle. A great example is paying for gym memberships or healthy eating programs. Bringing in chefs every once in a while to prepare a meal or teach on healthy eating for families. This helps employees make smart decisions about their personal habits and leads to a healthier employee.
When employees are healthy, they work more. While it may seem like giving employees more days off and giving them flexibility, is counterproductive, I assure you it’s not. When employees feel healthy and happy, they are more productive. They get more done in a shorter period of time causing your organization to excel. Think about what it will take to make your employees healthier, because it could lead to one of the greatest success stories of your organization.