4 reasons why taking care of your employees' health benefits your business

  • taking care of your employees' health benefits your businesstaking care of your employees' health benefits your business

Key Takeaways

  • Businesses with health and wellness programmes for employees are likely to attract talents and retain employees
  • With happier and healthier employees, businesses can reduce both absenteeism and presenteeism
  • Increased employee engagement helps boost business productivity and profitability

A thriving business needs thriving employees. Staff costs are a business expense and must be managed carefully; but bear in mind that your business cannot succeed without employees who function at their best. How can you, as their employer, enable that?

The best way to view your employees is not as expense line items, but as productive assets. Do not look at the costs of healthcare and employee benefits programmes as expenses.

Instead, think of such expenses as investments that will reap rewards for your business down the line.

Here are four reasons why you must take care of your employees' health so that they can take care of your business.

1. Attract and keep the best talent

We often assume that the most important thing that employees look for when taking up a new job is salary. However, the focus on salary as a priority is less than you may think.

According to a new survey from Vietnamworks1 on “Factors which jobseekers are really into?”, The quality of work and life is as important as the quality of good leaders, company culture & core value and employee welfare.

Up to 67% of the surveyed participants said that “Works & Life Quality” is “important” or “extremely important”. Particularly, the criterion “Good Health and Wellness Program” received high attention, with 34.2% of participants rated “extremely important” and 35.8% rated “important”.

The presence of a good medical benefits program can boost the reputation of a company. Another survey2 showed that 89% of employees consider companies that offer good health and wellness programs as the ideal workplaces. This is also a factor that makes them willing to introduce the company to other people as an ideal place to work.

A medical benefits program also boosts employee retention. A report showed that the millennials (people who born from 1980 to early 2000s) consider these benefits as key factor to stay with or leave a company.

2. Reduce absenteeism

Sick leave can reduce productivity and cause financial losses for companies. A strong employee benefits program with wellness benefits could help reduce these numbers. Wellness programs encourage healthy habits, and healthy employees tend to have higher productivity.

In addition, benefits such as preventive flu vaccinations or annual medical screenings within an employee benefits programme can help reduce absenteeism by keeping their health in check.

If you are wondering what's the return on investment? According to a government study conducted in the US3, it found that for every US dollar spent on health programmes, almost six US dollars was saved in lower absenteeism costs.

3. Lower presenteeism

A lesser-known problem is presenteeism - the practice of showing up to work despite being sick. Some employers may feel that this helps productivity, but they couldn't be more wrong - presenteeism can be worse than absenteeism.

Imagine your employees coming in when they should be at home recovering. Not only will they not be able to perform at their best, but they also risk spreading illnesses to their colleagues. Sick employees might make mistakes and also work at a lower level of productivity.

Why would employees show up to work despite being sick? One factor could be the job demands. With high expectations, employees may feel the need to continuously perform even when unwell. Another reason could be job insecurity. According to International Labor Organization (ILO), employment security is about the protection of workers against fluctuations in earned income as a result of job loss.  Job insecurity may cause employees to show up at work to demonstrate their commitment to their jobs.

One way to address this issue is to build a supportive work environment, so that employees can rest assured knowing that their responsibilities can be covered by their colleagues in times of need. More importantly, businesses can implement health and wellness programs to encourage their employees to focus on taking better care of their health.

4. Improve employee engagement

In working environment, stress is a noticeable health issue. Not all businesses make efforts to reduce workplace stress.

One factor contributing to high-stress levels is rising healthcare costs. With the highest health care inflation rate4 in the region, up to 14.2%, Vietnam’s health cost is forecasted to increase in the near future. Employees, particularly older workers, are rightfully worried about this problem. This healthcare-related stress negatively impacts employee engagement and productivity.

Global research by Gallup5 shows that the level of employee engagement is a crucial metric in driving business outcomes. Specifically, companies with greater employee engagement had 147 per cent higher earnings compared to those with lower employee engagement. That's a huge difference!

This means the more engaged your employees, the better your chance of business success. By taking measures to safeguard your employees' health, you are not only supporting their well-being - you are helping your business.

By investing in the physical well-being of their employees, employers can not only improve their bottom line but also contribute to creating a more positive working culture for the good of all.