Many organisations are approaching their financial year end after what has been a very tough year. Uncertainty – never a friend of business – has been at an all-time high. In addition, businesses are having to work hard to motivate employees, particularly those who have been working remotely, given the challenges the pandemic has brought, including financial, health, family, and mental health pressures.
This raises an interesting question for organisations as they look at how to adequately reward their people against an economic backdrop which may make meaningful pay rises difficult.
An increasing number of businesses are exploring benefits and reward options that address employee health and wellbeing. While financial reward will always be important to employees, this is now balanced with a broader focus on quality of life. Employees are increasingly motivated by reward packages that reflect this – whether through flexible working, more generous holiday entitlements or benefits that help them to look after the physical and mental health of both themselves and their families.
One comprehensive but surprisingly cost-effective option for supporting employee wellbeing is an employer-paid health care cash plan. These plans can provide an inexpensive, accessible way for businesses to offer health and wellbeing support to every employee from just a few pounds, per employee, per month. Health care cash plans work by paying employees cash back towards their everyday health costs such as dental treatment, eye tests, glasses/contact lenses and physiotherapy. They also cover treatments that might be seen as more of a luxury, such as sports massage, acupuncture and reflexology.
Cash plans are quick to implement and can include access to an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). EAPs provide confidential support, assistance and counselling to help employees deal proactively with challenges including stress, anxiety and depression; family and relationship matters such as divorce, separation, abuse, bereavement, child care and caring for relatives; and health issues such as nutrition, smoking and drinking. EAPs also offer practical support such as legal and financial information, enabling employees to access guidance to help resolve issues.
One of the major pluses of health care cash plans is their accessibility; they are an affordable and usable benefit for all employees. Regardless of their job role or where they work, the plans can support them physically, financially and emotionally; and they cover pre-existing conditions so they really can be used by everyone.
Supporting wellbeing is mutually beneficial for employees and businesses alike, and offering health care cash plans as a core part of benefits packages will not only help reward and retain employees but is also a key part of ensuring a happy, resilient and healthy team.
To find out more about Sovereign Health Care and its range of cash plans available for businesses, please visit sovereignhealthcare.co.uk/business.