Sponsored by MetLife.
Early-2024 is the perfect time to outline goals for the year ahead. As business owners, many of us will have professional goals that are unique to our companies, such as growing our revenues, attracting and retaining talent, training and developing, and supporting employees with their mental health and overall well-being.
New Year’s resolutions are a near-universal experience; your employees are likely already working on their goals, such as improving mental and physical health, learning new skills, focusing on budgeting and finances, traveling to new places, and more.
So, how can you provide your employees with resources that support their personal resolutions, all while working toward your organization’s goals? Today, I’m sharing four ways to do just that:
1. Offering Medical Insurance Supports Physical Health
Not only is medical insurance a highly sought-after benefit, but it is also one of the best ways employers can promote physical health among employees. According to MetLife’s Employee Benefit Trends Study (EBTS) 2023 deep-dive into small business trends, 71% of small business employees are interested in their employer offering medical insurance. That said, 44% of small business employers do not currently offer health insurance to their employees. A lack of health insurance coverage is a barrier to healthcare access and may negatively impact the health of U.S. employees, as highlighted by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
Not offering health insurance to employees can have several disadvantages. Here are some common drawbacks:
- Employee Recruitment and Retention: Small businesses may struggle to compete with larger corporations that offer comprehensive health benefit packages, putting them at a competitive disadvantage in the labor market. Small businesses may find it more difficult to attract top talent, as health benefits are a significant factor for job seekers.
- Higher Turnover: Employees may be more likely to leave for positions with better benefits, leading to higher turnover rates.
- Impact on Productivity: Concerns about healthcare costs or health issues can distract employees, potentially affecting their productivity and focus on work.
- Health and Well-being of Employees: Employees without health insurance may delay seeking medical attention due to financial constraints, leading to more severe health issues over time.
- Impact on Overall Business Health: The health and well-being of employees are closely linked to their performance. Unhealthy employees may not perform at their best, affecting the overall health of the business.
Investing in medical benefits and providing employees with access to health insurance can help them overcome barriers to care and ultimately better support the physical health of your hardworking staff. While offering health insurance comes with costs, the potential long-term benefits in terms of employee satisfaction, productivity, and overall business success often outweigh the disadvantages.
2. Mental health resources
It’s no secret that in today’s world, all our personal and professional lives are increasingly interconnected. This, of course, means that external factors can greatly impact how employees show up at work. As 92% of all workers report that it is “important to them to work for an organization that values their emotional and psychological well-being,” the impact of providing mental health resources cannot be overlooked.
According to MetLife and the U.S. Chamber’s Small Business Index, mental health support has become a greater priority for many small business owners; 68% of small businesses report using at least one resource to assist with employee mental health and well-being. For some employers, this can look like encouraging employees to take mental health breaks during work, offering mental health days or flexible PTO, covering therapy within health insurance plans, or having an employee assistance program.
It is safe to say the importance of mental wellness is not going to slow down. Consider implementing programs that support your employees’ mental health this year, if you haven’t already.
3. Financial health support
More than seven in 10 small businesses say helping employees make better financial decisions has become a key benefit objective, according to the 2023 EBTS. However, four in 10 small business employees report they have poor financial health, which can have a significant impact on other areas of wellness, including physical, mental, and social well-being. As such, small business employers should supplement pay with other resources and voluntary benefits, such as financial planning tools, educational workshops, or commuter benefits, all of which can promote financial wellness.
4. Paid leave opportunities
As we kick off the year, time off will certainly be top of mind for employees. Due to variable hours, staffing constraints, and limited resources, it’s understandable why offering paid time off can be a challenging feat for some small businesses. However, data from the 2023 EBTS shows that offering paid leave is associated with a host of outcomes; among small business employees who have access to paid time off, 70% say they’re satisfied with their work, and 40% say they’re holistically healthy.
As small business owners, we are uniquely positioned to support employees as they work toward their personal goals this year. I have no doubt all of us will prioritize recruiting and retaining our teams, and benefits and resources like the ones listed above can ultimately deliver on our business objectives and drive higher employee satisfaction. Which one of these resources would be most beneficial for your workforce and your business goals for 2024?
This is a sponsored post, but the views in this article are the opinion of the author, Melinda Emerson.
About the sponsor:
The MetLife Small Business dedicated website has more information and resources for small business owners looking to find the right mix of benefits that can help attract and retain top talent. You can also connect with a small business expert or build a plan for your business that you and your employees can feel confident about. Find out how MetLife can help you achieve your business goals and offer the benefits employees want.