Across the business landscape on a global scale, companies are recognising the importance of investing in their employees’ health and wellness. Investing in health and wellness benefits fosters a positive work environment and directly impacts employee productivity and overall business success.
In Australia, the concept of providing health and wellness benefits to employees has gained significant traction for businesses of all sizes. In this blog, Paytime will explore the significance of offering such benefits and highlights the role of earned wage access in boosting employee productivity.
Let’s delve into the details.
The Importance of Health and Wellness Benefits
Enhanced Employee Engagement:
Health and wellness benefits play a crucial role in boosting employee engagement. When employees feel supported and valued, their morale and dedication towards their work increase. Offering comprehensive health and wellness benefits, such as gym memberships, mental health resources, and access to nutritionists, showcases an organisation’s commitment to its employees’ well-being.
Reduced Absenteeism and Presenteeism:
Illness and burnout are significant causes of absenteeism and presenteeism, where employees show up for work but are not fully productive. By providing health and wellness benefits, employers can help prevent common health issues and promote a healthier workforce. This, in turn, reduces the number of sick days taken, reducing time delays, increasing the number of deadlines met and enhancing overall productivity.
Increased Retention and Attraction of Talent:
In a competitive job market, talented employees have numerous options – particularly with global opportunities becoming more accessible with remote work. Companies that offer comprehensive health and wellness benefits have a significant advantage when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent as employees, who are also individuals with needs, value these benefits as they contribute to their overall well-being and work-life balance.
Improved Mental Health:
Mental health is a critical aspect of overall well-being. According to statistics, nearly one in five Australians experiences a mental health condition each year. By prioritising mental health initiatives, such as providing access to counselling services and mindfulness programs, employers can support their employees’ mental well-being, leading to increased focus, productivity, and reduced stress levels.
The Role of Earned Wage Access
Earned Wage Access (EWA) is a financial wellbeing solution surging in the U.S and gaining traction in Australia. It allows employees to access a portion of their earned wages before the traditional payday, which is particularly helpful for employees who may face unexpected expenses or financial emergencies.
Here’s how EWA can supercharge employee productivity:
Financial Stability: EWA helps alleviate financial stress by providing employees with timely access to their wages. This stability reduces distractions and allows employees to focus better on their work. Studies have shown that financial stress negatively impacts productivity, and by addressing this concern, employers can support their employees’ overall well-being whilst simultaneously improving the output of their workforce.
Reduced Employee Turnover: Financial difficulties can lead to increased turnover for two reasons; Firstly financial stress impairs one’s ability to enjoy their day-to-day, thus resulting in an employee beginning to dislike their job and searching for a new one. Secondly, employees may need to find a job with a better salary to meet their obligations.
By offering EWA, employers demonstrate a commitment to their employees’ financial health, directly reducing financial stress and thereby increasing loyalty and retention and reducing the likelihood of employees seeking employment elsewhere.
Increased Job Satisfaction: Access to earned wages when needed fosters a sense of control and empowerment for employees. When employees have the freedom to manage their finances effectively, they experience increased job satisfaction as they are not burdened with stress. This positive experience translates into higher productivity, motivation and a more positive work environment.
Examples of health and wellness benefits in Australia
Gym Memberships: Many companies provide subsidised or fully paid gym memberships to encourage employees to stay physically active and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Health Insurance: Offering health insurance plans shows a level of care beyond employment. These plans commonly cover medical expenses, including doctor visits, hospital stays, and specialist consultations.
Mental Health Support: Mental health is a large factor in employee turnover. Mental health support can include access to counselling services, employee assistance programs (EAPs), and workshops on stress management and mindfulness.
Flexible Working Arrangements: Flexibility in work schedules and remote work options promote work-life balance and allow employees to manage personal commitments, thus reducing stress which seeps into the workplace.
Health and Wellness Education: Companies commonly organise workshops, seminars, or webinars on various health topics, such as nutrition, stress management, sleep hygiene, and exercise routines to promote healthy habits.
Subsidised Healthy Meals or Snacks: Some employers offer subsidised healthy meals or snacks at the workplace, assisting employees save money and maintain a balanced diet.
Parental and Family Support: Benefits such as parental leave, flexible work arrangements for caregivers, and access to childcare services or subsidies help employees balance work and family responsibilities.
Health Screenings and Preventive Care: Employers may organise health screenings, vaccinations, and preventive care programs to proactively manage employee health and identify potential health issues early on.
Statistics that supporting the above benefits
According to a study by Medibank Private, companies with comprehensive wellness programs experience a 25% decrease in absenteeism. In addition, The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that outside of work stress, and mental stress, accounts for roughly 91% of total workplace stress, highlighting the need for mental health support programs in every business.
Lastly, a survey by the Australian HR Institute found that companies offering wellness programs had a 16% increase in job satisfaction among employees, thus improving retention, productivity and workplace culture.
These statistics highlight the difficulties all individuals, who are the foundation of your business, face. Thus, demonstrating the significance and effectiveness of small yet meaningful benefits, such as earned wage access, gym memberships and complementing counselling can have.
Investing in employee health and wellness benefits in Australia goes beyond simply ticking a box. It is a strategic move that directly impacts employee productivity, engagement, and overall business success. By providing holistic benefits, employers can foster a healthier and more motivated workforce, ultimately leading to improved business growth and profit for the business. Embracing the value of employee well-being is an investment that pays dividends in the long run.
To learn how you can improve the wellbeing of your workforce, get in touch with Paytime.