When an employer offers preventative health programs, they're investing in their employees' health, future, and productivity. A healthier workforce is a more productive workforce. However, sometimes just offering the program is not enough to get employees engaged. In order to get employees engaged in these health programs, employers need to be sure to promote them properly and provide plenty of detail.
Some of the main reasons that employees aren't participating in health programs include:
- Lack of incentives
- Not enough time
- Financial shortage
- Insufficient trust in employer/employee relationship
- Lack of communication regarding the benefits
How can employers increase employee involvement? There are some key practices that should be put in place:
If an employee understands all the ways that they can utilize the programs, they're more likely to enroll. Employers should work with their H.R. team to create simple, educational, and accessible information surrounding employee benefits. Distributing these materials to new hires ensures that everyone has access to the right information. According to a study conducted by Johns Hopins Bloomberg School of Public Health, targeted communications that effectively motivate employees saw a 12.8 percent greater participation rate than less-thorough communications strategies.
Create Participation Incentives
Some incentives are more effective than others, including voluntary and non-discriminatory incentives. For example, an HSA with employer contributions, discounts on gym memberships and discounts on insurance are all great motivators. It's crucial to frame these incentives in a way that does not promote favoritism and allows all employees to participate.
More and more employees are becoming more aware that their medical data is being collected, and they're hesitant to get involved in benefit programs for that reason. In order to create a trusting environment, emphasize security, be transparent, empathize, and prioritize discretion.
In order to see what benefits are being utilized, work with your claims department. Employers can monitor what benefits are being used, which ones need some improvement, and if there are any other benefits that need to be added. Monitoring these programs can help employers boost employee engagement, measure benefit relevancy, and save money if a benefit isn't appropriate for your employees.
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