Corporations that offer their employees health, vision, and dental insurance have a massive advantage when it comes to obtaining and retaining highly skilled employees. While those are important benefits, there are other incentives people are seeking that can benefit their daily lives and physical and mental health while also providing long-term benefits for the company.

Physical Health Benefits: Fitness

Free Fitness Classes

Recent studies show that the average cost of a gym membership is $50 a month. Add that up, and that is $600 per year. Offering free fitness classes, yoga classes, and gym memberships is an incentive for those who would not otherwise be able to fit these things into their budget. Employees benefit by having an outlet for regular exercise that keeps both mind and body healthy and prevents illness and disease. The employer benefits by having healthier employees and saving money on insurance expenses.

Fitness and Entrepreneurship

As you weigh your fitness options, think outside the box. You could encourage current employees who have experience in specific fitness areas to contract out classes for other employees. They may need to start an LLC to become contractors, but that is a relatively simple process that they can handle on their own or through a formation service. Once they have their operating agreement and EIN (employer identification number), you can begin paying them to offer on-site or online classes for other employees. The new contractor gets a bonus pay increase through their contract, and the company gets the benefit of experienced training from someone they already know.

Fitness Strolling the Sidewalks

If your office is in an area with a high walk score, encourage your employees to walk to a local cafe or restaurant instead of dining in. You can even cultivate relationships with these businesses and negotiate discounts for your employees. Doing so benefits the neighborhood because they are getting more foot traffic and business. It benefits your employees because they get a walk-in each day and a discount on their meals. And it benefits you by developing a stronger reputation in the community. 

Physical Health Benefits: Lunch, Snacks, and Beverages

Free Healthy Food

Offering employees free lunches and having nutritional snacks and beverages on-site serves as an incentive for employees to eat healthier. Not only is eating out every day unhealthy, but the money saved by employees by not purchasing or providing their own lunch each day can be a great benefit, saving them an average of $20 to $40 a week.

Provide Meals to Promote Collaboration

Research shows that free lunches and snacks make employees happier, and that means increased productivity for the company. It also gives staff the opportunity to sit with other employees at lunch they wouldn’t normally communicate with, creating interaction and camaraderie within the company. According to Mother’s Kitchen, employers can also deduct meals for their employees, which is a long-term perk for the employer.

Mental Health Benefits: Tuition Reimbursement

Increased Retention

Offering tuition reimbursement for education provides employees a means to advance in their careers they may not otherwise be able to do because of financial circumstances. There is always a fear that employees who gain additional training will leave the company, but in reality it increases retention

Education Can Mean Advancement

Tuition reimbursement allows employees to continue their education and utilize their new skills to advance themselves and the company. Online courses, such as programs that help IT professionals with a number of compTIA stackable certifications, have the advantage of enabling the employee to work at their own pace and prevent burnout at their current position. The employer benefits by obtaining highly skilled talent who can move into senior positions in the company as well as obtaining a tax break for providing tuition reimbursement. 

Mental Health Benefits: Flexible Schedule/Telecommuting

These days, you can use technology to communicate instantly during a remote meeting or change image size during a marketing campaign, but that’s just the beginning. The standard 9-to-5, Monday-through-Friday schedule with some overtime thrown in isn’t very standard anymore. 

Offering flexible schedule options to attend to family matters and working some days at home is a great benefit for both employee and employer. It reduces stress on employees trying to balance work and family needs. For the employer, it can increase productivity, improve employee retention and attract skilled talent.

Mental Health Benefits: Counseling and Support Services

Make sure that the healthcare options you provide for your employees include good mental healthcare benefits. Good coverage is becoming more common, but some insurance companies skimp on this aspect of care and leave the insured with high copays that dissuade them from seeking help when they need it. You can also work with nonprofit organizations to offer training seminars and counseling sessions separate from their insurance coverage. 

Mental Health Benefits: Paying It Forward

Providing paid days off to “pay it forward” to the community by volunteering helps the employee, employers, and the community. Employees give to others, which creates positivity and self-esteem leading to physical and mental health benefits. According to one survey, volunteering aids in the effects of diseases and disorders. At the same time, employers take care of their corporate social responsibility and help their surrounding community.

Go Beyond for Your Employees and See the Difference

Corporate benefits can go beyond health, dental, and vision insurance. Although these are still important benefits to offer, a win-win situation is to provide benefits to employees that enhance their daily lives, give opportunities for personal growth and provide work-life balance, all while boosting the employer’s business and growth. 

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