Becoming an Employer of Choice for a Healthier Bottom Line

What does it mean for your business to have a healthier bottom line?  This typically means your business is doing well and you are making money.  But how do you get there?  Having happy, healthy employees is a big part of this.  Offering a benefits plan that includes wellness programs can have positive impacts on employee morale and productivity.

Catch phrases like “the great resignation” sum up the struggle to attract and retain talent, with small businesses being impacted as much – if not more so – than mid and large size businesses.  Group benefits and other perks have been a  staple for employee retention but it seems that this standard offering is not having the same impact as in the past.

Employees are looking for enhanced benefits with flexibility and help with their financial wellness.  So how do you go about attracting and retaining employees while still trying to maintain or reduce costs?

Designing your benefits plan to force economically smarter options is a start but mental health investment also offers help to employees suffering side effects of the ‘shadow’ pandemic spurred by two years of uncertainty and anxiety.

While mental health has always impacted short-term disability claims, it is now the number one cause of long-term claims.  With an aging workforce and the number of younger employees increasing, it is concerning that long-term mental health claims among 18 to 35 year old individuals is up 49% since 2019.

Insurers are aware of this shift and the causes, and many are offering virtual mental health programs that are either embedded or come at an extra cost.  The focus needs to be on early intervention to reduce the number of employees going on disability or incurring more cost to the plan trying medications and other costly treatment.

Health and personal spending accounts also provide employees a catalyst to improving health and well-being, which benefits your business as well.

And, of course, given that the most prevalent form of stress among Canadians is financial, and that nearly half of non-retired Canadians say that they don’t think or don’t know if they will be able to live comfortably during retirement, a key part of your employee retention attraction and retention strategy should include a group retirement savings plan.   Employers who take steps to help ensure their employees’ financial futures, in addition to helping ensure their physical and mental well-being, are the kinds of employers who a growing number of Canadians are choosing to work for.

With high inflation also looming, your benefits plan sustainability is something  to keep an eye on.  Employee well-being and engagement may be the key to a healthier bottom line for you and your business.

 

Lana Fehr,

Senior Benefits Administrator

Wiegers Financial and Insurance Planning Services Ltd.