Low Cost Benefits Your Employees Want

Low Cost Benefits Your Employees Want

Employees care about benefits, and the package you offer can make the difference between maintaining a top-notch staff and losing your best workers to the competition. While federal law mandates some perks, including time off to vote and serve jury duty, others are purely voluntary offerings intended to improve the health, happiness and productivity of your workforce.

Of course, you should be aware that a rock-solid benefits program requires more than a health plan and some sort of time off. In fact, surveys have repeatedly shown that there are many other types of benefits employers can offer that are attractive to workers and pack a positive psychological punch to boot. They don’t even have to cost a bundle. Consider the following low to no-cost benefits that really add up.

Heartfelt Appreciation – Taking the time to thank employees for a job well done has never really gone out of style. When workers feel appreciated and know their contributions are valued, you build employee loyalty and longevity. That’s not just good for company culture; it will also benefit your bottom line.

Employee Ownership – Workers who feel like stakeholders in your business will be more committed to and satisfied by the work they do. Ownership can be creative—it doesn’t have to involve stock grants. While bonuses tied to organizational performance can play a part in an employee ownership program, allowing your staff to play a direct role in decision-making processes may provide an even greater incentive.

Professional Development – Your best workers likely have a vision for their future. You can help them get there by paying for additional training and providing mentoring opportunities. Not only will you increase your company’s core competitiveness by bettering your workforce, you’ll also build employee loyalty.

Flexible Schedules – If you want to improve productivity, allow workers to create schedules that best fit their lives. Top-notch performers who are capable of self-management will find a flexible schedule particularly appealing—maybe even more so than a raise or promotion.

Telecommuting – While Yahoo may have cut telecommuting as an employee benefit, it’s still growing in popularity at many other companies. If your business will allow employees to work from just about anywhere, telecommuting can be a very attractive option. It may even reduce your staff’s usage of sick days.

Guilt-Free Vacations – Our modern-day corporate culture often makes employees feel guilty for taking the vacation time they’ve rightfully earned. Unfortunately, discouraging time away from the office only leads to a burned out, uninspired workforce. Require your employees to use their vacation time and they’ll come back rested, recharged and full of renewed enthusiasm.

Wellness Programs – From an onsite gym to the occasional yoga class or visit from a nutritionist, there are many ways you can incorporate wellness into your employee benefits package. A healthier workforce means improved productivity and fewer absences. When employees work out together, a wellness program can also build camaraderie and morale.

Talk with your benefits provider about other ways you can economically expand the benefits you offer to your employees. You may be surprised at the difference a few low or no-cost additions can make in employee retention, productivity and your bottom line.

Legal Issues and Workplace Wellness Programs

Legal Issues and Workplace Wellness Programs

Workplace wellness programs are benefits that employers offer voluntarily or mandatorily to their employees to promote wellness and fitness.  Employees benefit from these programs that encourage employees to quit their unhealthy habits such as drinking and smoking and take up exercise.

The benefits of the workplace wellness programs can be helpful for both the employees and employers, if legally implemented. Employees benefit by becoming healthier; thus, reducing the risk of having more serious health problems. As a result, employers will pay lower costs for health insurance. Employers can also receive larger profits because of the increased productivity of their employees.

There are two types of wellness programs. The first one is voluntary. This program’s implementation is at the employee’s discretion to participate or not. Usually, there are rewards and incentives given to the employees who will participate. The second is mandatory. This requires the employees to undergo the wellness program. Mandatory wellness programs often penalize employees who will not participate.

Although both the employers and employees benefit on the wellness programs, legal issues may still arise. The implementation of the workplace wellness programs must comply with the state and federal law. These laws or acts are Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA), American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) requires the employers to keep the medical records of their employees. It is also their responsibility to keep their employees’ medical information private, only to use it in a legal way. Employees benefit from this because it allows equal opportunities and incentives for everyone who will participate in the wellness program.

Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) gives the employees the right not to disclose their genetic information. An employer must not request or require his employee to disclose such information. Medical family history is also included in the said information. Because of this, the employees are eligible to undergo the wellness program of their organization. They also have the right to receive the proper amount of insurance premium without disclosing their genetic information or family medical history.

American with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits the employers to ask their employees on their disabilities. The disabled employees benefit from this because they still have the right to participate in a wellness program voluntarily without any fear for punishment.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act or (ADEA) is applied to workers who are over 39 years old. This act does not permit the employers to discriminate their workers based on age. Every wellness program must be flexible on age and health conditions of their employees.

It is recommended for employers, who want to establish a wellness program, to hire an experienced professional who will guide them. Employees should understand the legalities involved in the wellness programs implemented in their workplace.

Contact us with any questions you might have on workplace wellness or other employee benefits.