Companies in every industry are investing in the health and well-being of their employees, and it's easy to see why. Healthcare is complex and hard to navigate, and the pandemic brought the importance of employee mental health into the spotlight. Employers can prioritize this in many ways, including adding a wellness room at work.
One of the biggest cost-related challenges facing mid-sized companies today is employee healthcare. According to Wellable Labs, 72% of companies say that the rising cost of healthcare benefits considerably influences them.
Looking for alternatives to the standard employee health plan? You’re in the right place, and you’re not alone. Every day, we talk to leaders who want to help their employees live happy, healthy lives but also need to manage the bottom line. Unfortunately, the healthcare industry makes achieving both of those goals challenging.
If you’re feeling discouraged, know that you have alternatives. For example, a center for employee health mitigates rising healthcare costs while improving employee well-being, making it an attractive option for mid-sized companies.
Over the last decade, NeoPath Health has helped dozens of mid-sized companies like yours design and build onsite employee health centers. When we sit down to help companies assess whether an onsite employee health center makes sense, they tend to ask these four questions:
- What are the benefits of a center for employee health?
- How does a center for employee health improve employee well-being and productivity?
- What investment level is required to establish a center for employee health?
- What logistics are involved in the ongoing operation of a center for employee health?
This Ultimate Guide to Building Your Company’s Center for Employee Health answers these questions and shares our tips and best practices.
Employee health has always been one of your top priorities as a human resources or benefits leader. But after three years in a global pandemic, broader awareness of how workplace stress impacts mental health, and a competitive recruiting landscape, you may be looking for new ways to offer your employees health-related programs and services.
Employee health programs are unique in that what's good for employees is also very good for business. A healthy workforce leads to improved job satisfaction and increased productivity while controlling healthcare costs for your company and your employees.
At NeoPath, we view employee health strategies on a continuum. At one end, there's offering a basic benefits package; at the other end, there's a fully funded and customized health program designed just for your team. Along the continuum are several strategies you can implement to improve employee health at your company.
Providing healthcare benefits is an integral part of the employer-employee contract. So, employers continue to invest heavily in this benefit despite increasing costs. If this is the case, why have we yet to see growth in the onsite health clinic industry?
According to theU.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cost of providing healthcare benefits now equates to about one-third of an employee's total compensation (with wages accounting for the remaining two-thirds). Yet even at this level of investment, many employers find that the current healthcare system isn’t meeting employees’ needs because:
- Appointments are hard to find, with some specialties booking out months in advance
- Doctors are stretched thin, and most have fewer than 20 minutes to spend with patients
- Employees are busy, too, and find it hard to prioritize their health when they’re balancing work, families, and life
- Coordinating care is complex and challenging to navigate by oneself – especially for certain health conditions
As a result, many employers feel frustrated by their current options and are looking for alternatives. One option is to move away from the traditional healthcare model to something more personalized, like an onsite health clinic.
When it comes to employee wellness, many mid-sized companies are surprised to learn that onsite employee health centers are a viable option for their business. It’s one of those well-being solutions that seems reserved for big companies with deep pockets.
We get it. Over the last decade, we’ve talked to hundreds of leaders who initially felt this way. They had a similar set of questions, including:
- Costs – What are the initial costs? What about ongoing expenses for staffing or supplies?
- Time and resources – Do we have the time, staff, expertise, or bandwidth? How does the planning, construction, and operation work?
- Utilization – Will employees use the facility? Will it fully address their health needs?
- ROI – Can we measure the return on investment with hard data and clear metrics?
These questions are understandable, of course, because an onsite employee health center is a significant decision. Yet many mid-sized companies prematurely disqualify themselves from this unique benefit because they don’t know about some of its most important benefits.
Employee wellness initiatives are having a moment, from online resources and apps to health coaching and onsite clinics. But with so many options, how do you know which ones are a good fit for your team?
At NeoPath Health, we’ve helped mid-sized companies deliver better health services to their employees for over a decade. In our experience, there are a few simple steps employers can take to provide better wellness outcomes.
Even before the pandemic, the World Health Organization added burnout to their International Classification of Diseases, calling it an occupational phenomenon. Since then, conversations about burnout have become more commonplace, but employee burnout signs are still on the rise – in part due to the many stressors employees have faced over the last few years:
- Social unrest
- Political divide
- Recession fears
Yet while burnout is regularly in the headlines, many companies and leaders don’t clearly understand what employee burnout is, why it’s important, and what signs to watch for.
Modern life is stressful if the last few years have taught us anything. Your employees are doing their best to balance work with world issues – like the pandemic, social unrest, climate change, and the political environment. Employee mental health support needs to be a priority for leaders starting now.
On the upside, our collective challenges brought mental health out of the shadows. Topics like anxiety, depression, stress, and burnout are being discussed more frequently, and more leaders are being vulnerable by sharing their mental health struggles.
At the same time, even the most well-staffed EAP program cannot handle all the mental health support needs. And while the stigma is changing, not everyone feels comfortable discussing mental health or extending their support.
If you've been waiting for a sign that it's time to expand your employee mental health and wellness program, here's one: A recent poll from the American Psychological Association shows that 81% of employees would prefer to work for companies that provide support for mental health concerns.
That means what was once found only in large enterprises or well-funded start-ups is now a mainstream expectation. Employees want to be seen as people and need support as they navigate all that life throws at them. More importantly, they don't want to feel stigmatized if they ask for help.
As a healthcare partner to mid-size employers, we understand. Each week, we talk to companies that want to dial up their mental health support or assess their current approach. The most common question is: "Are we doing enough?"