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3 Effective Ways Employers Can Support Employee Health and Finances

Selerix Leadership

June 7, 2023

HR teams have seldom complained about having too many resources at their disposal. Now, corporate budget constraints and rising healthcare expenses have made it even more challenging for HR to find ways to support their employees. This limitation can lead HR leaders and employees to feel helpless.

The good news is that strategies exist for companies to ease this collective burden and make the most of what they already have. Here are three strategies that can help HR leaders play a positive role in employees’ financial lives and well-being.

Offer Continuous Education on Comprehensive Healthcare Benefits

As a starting point, a comprehensive healthcare benefits plan for employees ought to be the goal for every employer. This can include providing health insurance coverage and forms of financial assistance, such as flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs). By offering employees these types of benefits, employers can not only help offset some healthcare costs, they can also help employees more easily manage their financial responsibilities.

However, HR’s role doesn’t end there. Employers should also educate employees about their available healthcare options. For instance, not every employee may feel educated or empowered regarding the best investment options for their 401(k). Or they may be confused about whether an HSA or FSA better fits their budget and healthcare spending. Many employees need help formulating a monthly spending plan. It is far too easy to put off this sort of planning amid the stress of everyday life. The cost of not offering employees continuous education on all of their healthcare and health-related benefits creates simmering financial (and emotional) stress that builds over time and manifests in physical or mental health problems, greater costs, and lost workdays.

HR can step in by providing resources and organizing periodic training sessions on healthcare plans, medical expenses, and enrollment requirements. This helps foster an environment where employees feel their overall well-being is a goal shared with the organization.

Create an Avenue for Employees to Voice Their Needs

Another way to help employees manage healthcare expenses is to boost 1:1 communication within the organization. For example, sharing information that demonstrates the importance of preventive care and how employees can access it can encourage them to stay proactive. Employers can use two-way messaging, quizzes, surveys, creative infographics, and short videos to disseminate relevant information and gather feedback from employees.

This kind of communication helps build a supportive work environment, an environment in which employees feel heard, valued, and respected. The result is not just improved employee morale and reduced stress, but a more positive and productive mindset.

Incentivize Preventive Care

As the old adage says, “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.” Incentivizing preventive care rings true as one of the most effective methods to provide support for employees.

For instance, incentives such as paid time off, lower premiums, and reward and recognition points can encourage employees to seek medical help that can prevent or mediate a range of health problems, including heart disease, weight loss, and mental health support.

HR leaders can get creative here by offering incentives that align with their organization’s culture, values, and budget. Discounts on local gym memberships or wellness classes, along with wearable fitness trackers, are great ways of encouraging healthier lifestyle choices for companies that value another, newer adage: Bring your whole self to work.

Conclusion

Employees may know they have great resources as part of their healthcare benefits. But they often only know this in theory. When HR leaders reach out with specific resources that can help with stress management, burnout, and financial planning, that’s where an individual employee can feel a sense of connection to the organization. That is the road to a healthy work-life blend.

It is essential for HR teams to understand the importance of employee health and finances in maintaining a productive and engaged workforce. By educating employees about available healthcare options, ramping up communication, and incentivizing preventive care, organizations can support their employees while also promoting a healthier work environment.

These strategies require time and effort, but the results for employees and the company are well worth the commitment.

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