Anyone in HR will tell you that the success of a recruitment campaign depends heavily on the type of employment package that is offered. But where once salary would have been top of the priority list by a very clear margin, health and wellbeing benefits are fast becoming just as significant.
According to the latest Capita Employee Benefits Insight Report, some 69% of employees surveyed in the UK confirmed they would be more likely to remain with or join an employer who offered good health and wellbeing benefits – a 3% increase on 2015.
And although this figure reflects a reversal of a general trend that had been running since 2013, when the figure stood at 72%, it nonetheless highlights the significance a strong wellbeing package has.
What is more, almost 45% of the 3,000 employees who participated in the survey admitted their evaluation of an employer is based on the quality of the health and wellbeing packages they offer. That figure increases in line with the size of the salary, rising to almost 49% for those earning £45,000 (or €50,000) or more.
Amongst the other interesting statistics revealed in the survey are:
- 43% believe their employer should help them manage their personal health and wellbeing
- 54% want incentives that reward healthy behavior (i.e.: health screening cost contributions), especially employees aged 25-34 (57%).
- 65% say their employer should provide guidance on employee benefits they offer and how appropriate each is to them and their family.
- 13% aged 25-34 say their employer communicates with them in a way they want.
- 47% say their employer uses communication channels they’re not interested in.
What Health and Wellbeing Benefits to Consider
The statistics show that employees have a clear idea of the quality of workplace they would prefer to work at. While many companies already offer well-packaged health and wellness benefits, HR departments still find themselves seeking new programs and initiatives to stay competitive in the recruitment sector and successfully attract the best candidates
So, what kind of initiatives could a company benefit from including? Well, below is a shortlist of 3 of the most popular that employees are looking for. There are many others, but they are options that carry a considerable amount of value.
- Workplace Workouts
In a recent study from UCLA, the advantages of including free fitness workouts amongst health and wellbeing benefits was proven to extend far beyond simple productivity and creativity increases. It actually improves the mental health of personnel. Carried out by researchers at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, the study used data gathered from almost 300 volunteers taking part in UCLA’s own 12-week Bruin Health Improvement Program. It revealed that mental health improved by nearly 19 percentile points compared to levels taken at the start of the program.
Physical workouts can include aerobics classes, spin classes and general membership of a local gym. Chesapeake Energy Corp in the US, provides its own 72,000 sq ft fitness center, complete with Olympic-sized swimming pool, climbing walls and a staff of personal trainers.
- In-House Paramedics
By paramedics we don’t mean opening a dedicated hospital wing. It’s more about having trained health professionals at hand that can be called upon to tend to any employees who require them. Healthy and safety legislation already stipulate first aid facilities must be available, but some companies (not least Google and Boeing) offer additional options like massage therapy.
With an in-house therapist on call during office hours, stress levels and even twinges and strains can be dealt with, but there are many health benefits to be gained from offer such a service to employees at their chair at work.
- Quit-Smoking Programs
It’s common knowledge that smoking is detrimental to your health, with a lengthy list of associated diseases and conditions from strokes to a variety of cancers. According to ASH, the UK’s public health and anti-smoking charity, about 66% of almost 10 million current smokers would like to stop smoking but only about 30%-40% make a quit attempt in a given year. Offering employees a helping hand to beat the habit is clearly beneficial to both parties.
As a health and wellness benefit, such initiatives has proven popular – and successful. The Union Pacific Railroad has long offered a Tobacco Cessation Program (with lifestyle advice and support) to their personnel. The number of smokers amongst its staff has reportedly fallen to 17% (2007), down from 40% two decades earlier.
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