Prioritizing Wellness: Discussing Benefits with Your Team

In today’s professional landscape, where work-life balance is often elusive, prioritizing wellness in the workplace has become more important than ever. As a leader or manager, it’s essential to initiate conversations about benefits and wellness with your team to ensure their overall health and productivity. Addressing these topics is crucial for fostering a positive and supportive work environment.

On average, full-time employees spend approximately 36.6 hours per week at their jobs, making the workplace a significant influence on their well-being – potentially, even one of the largest. And with great power comes great responsibility, so good employers have a duty to promote and support employee wellness initiatives inside and outside of the workplace.

The first step in discussing benefits and wellness with your team is to create an open and inclusive environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their concerns and needs. This can be achieved through regular check-ins, team meetings, or anonymous surveys to gauge employee satisfaction and identify areas for improvement.

Once you’ve established open communication channels, it’s essential to highlight the benefits available to your team. Many workplaces offer comprehensive benefits packages that include coverage for medical expenses, mental health services, and wellness programs. However, research shows that many employees are unaware of the benefits available to them or how to access them effectively.

As a manager, director, or owner, it’s in your best interest (and theirs!) to educate your team about their benefits and provide guidance on how to utilize them. This may involve organizing information sessions, distributing educational materials, or offering one-on-one support with your plan administrator to address specific concerns. By empowering your team with knowledge, you can ensure that they take full advantage of the resources available to them.

In addition to traditional benefits, such as health insurance and retirement plans, employers are increasingly recognizing the importance of holistic wellness programs. These programs may include initiatives such as fitness classes, mindfulness workshops, and employee assistance programs (EAPs) designed to support mental health and well-being.

It’s also beneficial to incorporate extended benefit programs into your plan, like Health Spending Accounts (HSAs) or Lifestyle Spending Accounts (LSAs), critical Illness benefits, and access to telemedicine services and expert medical second opinions through virtual services. These options allow those with families, chronic illnesses, and other lifestyle responsibilities the peace of mind they need to prioritize wellness.

When discussing wellness with your team, it’s essential to emphasize the benefits of these programs and encourage participation. It’s been proven that employees who engage in wellness activities are more productive, engaged, and satisfied with their jobs. By promoting a culture of wellness, you can create a positive work environment where employees feel valued and supported.

Let’s not forget motivating by example! It’s important to prioritize your own well-being as a manager. By practicing self-care and setting boundaries, you can demonstrate the importance of work-life balance to your team. Encourage employees to take breaks, use their vacation time, and seek support when needed.

Finally, ongoing communication is key to maintaining a culture of wellness in the workplace. Check in with your team regularly to assess their needs and gather feedback on existing programs. Be receptive to suggestions for improvement and be willing to adapt your approach based on the evolving needs of your team.

Prioritizing wellness in the workplace is essential for supporting the health and happiness of your team. By initiating conversations about benefits and wellness, educating your team about available resources, and fostering a culture of well-being, you can create a positive and productive work environment where employees can thrive.

Remember, a healthy workforce is a happy and successful workforce!