With managers, business owners and CEOs looking for ways to better support their team, increase their productive capacity and revenue, and even recruit new staff at a time where New Zealand employment rates are at an all-time low, more companies are making the switch to offering employer aid benefits – and are quickly reaping the benefits of a flexible and preventative approach to healthcare for employees and their families.
Here’s a closer look into how investing into your employees’ health now via employer aid can pay off for your company, helping improve revenue, productivity, and success.
How Does Employer Aid Benefit My Employees?
Employer Aid allows employers to direct funds that would otherwise go into the behind-the-scenes hands of an insurer or other pathway, into an employees’ personal health savers’ wallet. This app-based wallet is available to be used only on medical or health-related appointments, services, products or co-payments for your employees or anyone in their family – and the services they select are entirely their decision without any restrictions, conditions, or being subject to an insurer assessment.
Employer aid payments put money visibly into the hands of your employees to spend on promoting their health and well-being in the way they need to, not in the way an insurer dictates they’re eligible to.
How Can Employer Aid Improve Business Revenue?
Investing in your employees’ health can pay off in a variety of ways, ranging from employees feeling more valued by having the funds in front of them instead of potentially ‘losing it’ if no claims are made, to helping employees feel understood that the tick-boxes of health offered by health insurers often don’t meet a person’s immediate health and wellness concerns – which can be more complex. As an overview, three key ways that employer aid can improve business revenue include:
Preventing Absenteeism Days
Sick days (absenteeism) are a significant expense for all businesses, estimated to cost NZ employers more than one billion dollars every year – and this number is only expected to increase due to the ripple effects of the Covid pandemic. Yet sick days aren’t all too surprising, given nearly one quarter of New Zealanders are currently delaying or neglecting to seek support for their physical and mental health because of the financial barriers involved in paying to see different medical specialists, book screening tests, fill prescriptions, or invest in strengthening their health. This means that they may put off their yearly dental checkup, avoid visiting a dermatologist to have a regular skin check, struggle to work each day with back pain or even choose to prioritise essential groceries over much-needed nutritional supplements for themselves or their child.
The public health system covers accidents, injuries and health issues once they become major and problematic, and health insurance covers a limited list of pre-determined healthcare services, but giving employees the gift of employer aid means they have complete freedom to be proactive about their health now, at the moment they need it or first notice a health need, so that they’re less likely to become unwell and need unplanned or elongated sick periods in the future.
This benefit doesn’t just apply to employees, but to their families too. Many parents take time off work due to illness of their children and loved ones, which is where being able to use their health savers’ wallet to book flu vaccinations for their entire family, for example, can go a long way in reducing the amount of sick days they would need to take from work.
Improve Mental Wellbeing
More than half of employees will experience a mental illness at some point in their lives, such depression and anxiety, or something else. This number is expected to increase in periods of significant stressors, whether that is grief, relationship breakdowns, or other crises.
Now, more than ever, employers and researchers are recognising the importance of supporting mental wellbeing to reduce the number of sick days needed for both mental health reasons, and for improving employees’ physical health, too. For example, depression increases the risk for many types of physical health problems, especially long-lasting conditions that require extensive time away from work for medical appointments and treatments such as diabetes, heart disease, and strokes. Having a chronic condition can also increase a person’s chance of a mental illness, creating a continuous cycle.
Employer aid helps to overcome these barriers, with employees being able to choose to see a counsellor to talk about the low mood and anxiety that’s left them feeling fatigued or anxious at work, or take their child to receive support from a psychologist so that they feel more confident being left at school, meaning your employee gets to the morning meetings more relaxed and on time. Whatever their mental health concerns are, they can seek the support they need, allowing them to be more present at work, and be proactive to prevent issues from becoming more problematic in the future.
Thriving Employees Boost Productivity
Employees may be well enough to be at work, but are they present and surviving, or present and thriving? Beyond the issue of absenteeism is the issue of presenteeism. Presenteeism means that an employee is physically at work, but they’re not performing anywhere near their potential and helping the company to succeed. This may be because of mental health concerns as we described above, or because they aren’t investing in boosting and optimising their physical health. Presenteeism lowers employees’ productivity by as much as 18% – a significant number that can have a substantial impact on your company’s revenue, especially when calculating how many employees may struggle with this on a near-daily basis.
Presenteeism is another area where employer aid can allow for prioritising their physical and mental health in the way that your employee needs, to help prevent future issues arising.
How Can My Business Get On Board With Employer Aid?
Operating across New Zealand and the US, HealthNow makes offering employer aid easy and simple, by welcoming you into their AI-driven platform and international technology that comes with a dedicated health saver’s wallet for employer aid payments.
The onboarding process is free and easy – and can be implemented with no additional out-of-pocket costs than what you’re already paying towards their health insurance plans or other wellness measures. Payments to your employee’s health wallets can be automatically made monthly or at a frequency and dollar value that you choose. You can leave your employee’s health wallets open to be used on any health or medical service with HealthNow, or specify the services you’d prefer. The funds can only be spent on health services and products within New Zealand, and can be used for themselves or their family members.
HealthNow provides updates on your impact to help you measure the value of employer aid within your company. Your contributions are not subject to the Fringe Benefits Tax, are free for your employees to use (they even get a free $10 credit with their free sign-up), and HealthNow has an ever-growing trusted network of medical providers to keep your staff healthy and happy.
To get started, register your company’s interest via this contact form and a HealthNow team member will get back to you promptly.