The Health Industry: Employee-Benefit Strategies

Abstract

Health remains the most expensive and important thing in the life of an individual. The hope of a dying person is always in the hands of a health practitioner. This health practitioner cannot provide better services if there is no motivation and encouragement. The solution and or the secret here is to come up with employee-benefit strategies targeting the health practitioners to boost their morale and attitude towards their job. Various employee-benefit programs can be put in place to ensure that all healthcare employees are motivated and encouraged to carry out their obligations with zeal. Some of the major programs include rolling out training programs based on healthy living, professional and personal development, provision of insurance cover, provision of resources that help the employees to lead a comfortable life that is free of stress even after their retirement, paying them during vacations, and providing good working conditions amongst many others. The government and all other stakeholders have the duty to ensure that health workers are treated well in order to harness their talents and abilities. Older or mature workers may move out of employment if they are not provided with these benefits, thus, leading to a loss of expertise that otherwise could have been used to promote the development of the health industry. Therefore, there is a need for institutions to embrace change besides putting in place various employee-benefit programs to stimulate a positive spirit among their employees.

Introduction

Health is one of the fundamental needs that people require to ensure that they live well in a bid to continue with their day-to-day activities. Healthcare providers need to have enough skills to provide better services. Health practitioners are therefore principal components when it comes to health provision. Like any other employees, they require motivation to help patients recuperate from their ailment. The working conditions of such professionals should be deferential. This will enable them to provide better services to patients. Many countries around the globe are not able to provide charitable healthcare services to their citizens because of problems such as poverty, lack of expertise, poor infrastructure, and the failure to motivate the health workers by providing them with employee benefits amongst others. Therefore, investing and integrating employee-benefit programs is essential in a company’s quest to invest in its human capital.

Discussion

Health professionals like any other employees deserve their employment benefits when they are working, as well as when they retire. To ensure that these employees are motivated, most employers have taken insurance covers for their employees. They have subsidized the amount that every health employee pays, which has helped to cover their health expenses. However, according to Brenner (2010), in the healthcare industry, it is estimated that only 57% of employers provide health benefits to their employees (p. 24). Furthermore, not all employees in the healthcare industry qualify for the employment benefits immediately when they get jobs (Adelman, 2012, p. 133). Most of the employees wait for a certain period of approximately 1.9 months before accessing these benefits. These findings show that there is laxity among employers to provide these benefits to their employees. This reveals the poor working conditions experienced by many employees in the industry.

Employees can be offered wellness benefits in the course of their services. Many organizations provide these services to their employees. In a study conducted by Brenner (2010), it was revealed that around 86% of the employers or organizations offered at least one wellness benefit to their employees (p. 25). One of the commonest wellness programs is healthy living that is accessed on the website. Various resources offering guidelines and advice on gracious living are given to employees for them to read. Other programs include provision of newsletters that teach about healthful living, weight loss programs, smoking cessation programs, nutrition classes, discounts on gym membership, and on-site physical exercises. These programs are meant to benefit employees and their family members. For instance, health workers who are addicted to smoking may be rehabilitated through such programs. At the same time, they may influence another person’s life positively.

Changes in the economy such as the economic downturn may affect the provision of employment benefits to employees negatively. Programs that require expenditure such as insurance and training programs may affect the lives of the employees in a positive manner. For instance, during such times, the amount of money required for insurance cover may increase thus rendering the employee incapable of paying. This leads to the accumulation of debts that later affect the financial position of the employees.

It is imperative for companies in the healthcare industry to provide various employment benefits to their employees. This serves the purpose of retaining and attracting dedicated and talented employees (Mirvis, 2012, p. 94). These programs should be innovative and comprehensive to benefit all employees. These motivators may include offering flexible summer-hour schedules. Such programs are critical to the employees, as they refresh their minds besides preparing them psychologically to begin another session after summer. Such programs are also healthy, as they enable the health workers to refresh themselves in a bid to reflect on their personal lives and their goals.

The employment-benefit programs need to have various features. These include a health insurance cover that should cover up the workers and their children. Such arrangement is beneficial, as it ensures that the family of the workers access legitimate medical services. It is one way of motivating and encouraging employees to work hard to achieve a higher performance in their tasks. The company can also provide up to two weeks vacation for employees in their first employment year to motivate and encourage them in their daily activities. Other employment programs include providing benefits that target children and the elderly or retired and initially employed people through schemes such as a dependent-care spending account. Such funds can help the retired members to access appropriate medical facilities even when they do not have adequate funds at their disposal. Apart from the provision of insurance programs and savings plans, companies can also invest in employee trainings to ensure that they achieve personal success. They can be trained on sound and healthy living styles, as well as ways of advancing their careers to reach the peak.

Employees are also entitled to work/life benefits. These benefits create a productive and satisfying work environment. They can help workers meet both their personal responsibilities, as well as their daily professional duties. These benefits include paid-time offs. Employees are paid for the time they are not at work such as during their vacations, parental leaves, personal days, and holidays. They can also reimburse their money, for instance, the money they pay for tuition or a training program for eligible expenses. They can also be reimbursed on their healthy lifestyle benefits contributions, healthy-club membership reimbursement, nutritional counseling programs, and smoking cessation programs amongst others.

Financial protection benefits can also be given to employees. These may include disability coverage whereby employees are covered in case they become disabled through accidents or sicknesses. Others include survivor income plan, which ensures that children and the surviving spouses get monthly income to cater for their needs and life insurance cover besides other schemes (Jackson, 2012, p. 296). Other financial and retirement planning benefits that the company can provide for its employees include the provision of withdrawing loans, employee contributions schemes, and groups or legal financial planning services that enable employees to access financial and legal advice on issues concerning leases, insurance, estate planning, retirement, and many others. Financial education programs can also be provided to employees in a health set up to ensure that they get skills and knowledge on various issues concerning savings. These skills can be accessed through on-site and e-learning workshops.

Older employees aged between 55 and 74 have enough experience. Therefore, retaining them in their employment is a key factor in an employee-benefit strategy (Brenner, 2010, p. 26). These workers are professionals, as they have talents and abilities that can be utilized by institutions. It is also one way of appreciating employees besides supporting them financially in their old age. However, such employees are prone to leaving the workforce if companies do not put in place appropriate policies to retain them in a bid to harness their potential. Mature workers are also at risk of leaving their jobs if their salaries and bonuses are reduced. This deprives the institution of its talented professionals. This however can be solved through the adoption of employee-benefit programs that will allow the mature and old workers to continue providing their services to the institutions even as consultants.

The development of benefit programs for mature workers is another good strategy to attract, retain, and motivate the elderly workers that requires them to be educated on various issues such as management of social security funds (Brenner, 2010, p. 27). This education aims at making them know their rights, as well as the function of the kitty upon their retirement. When employees are empowered with this knowledge, they will be able to demand their rights. Therefore, they can access such funds thus continuing to live well upon their retirement. Another area is insurance. Employees, especially the elderly, should also be covered with health insurance and life assurance. This can help them when they retire. They should also be given resources on how they can lead a virtuous life after they retire. For instance, the benefit can assist them to navigate healthcare issues, aging solutions, as well as helping them relieve the stress that comes after their employment (Brenner, 2010, p. 24). Workers with work limiting disabilities can be enrolled in the Progression of Disability Benefit (PODB), which enables them benefit from economic disability gains that help them enroll in the social security disability Insurance. Such arrangement allows the disabled workers to get funding to enable them sustain their lives (Hawley, Diaz, & Reid, 2009, p. 53)

Conclusion

Therefore, based on the expositions made in the paper, health industries are indispensable in ensuring that citizens access superior medical care. Health professionals are among the most prominent people in the society because they help in providing medical care to citizens. Employers who include the government, non-governmental organizations, and parastatals should endeavor to provide adequate employee-benefit schemes. The talented and skilled professionals can only be motivated and attracted to an organization if they are treated well by their employers. There are many employee-benefit strategies that organizations can put in place to ensure that all healthcare employees are satisfied and motivated. Some of these programs include providing health insurance to employees and their children.

To ensure that the general working conditions of the employees are courteous, there is the need to train the workers on various issues such as succulent nutrition, healthy living, and management of stress among many more programs. Employees can also be allowed to advance their careers to achieve their personal goals besides attaining a high level of professionalism that they desire. This will help to motivate and encourage workers to perform to the best of their knowledge. The elderly or rather the older workers possess enough skills in their work. Therefore, such skills should be harnessed so that the services that are provided by health professionals remain excellent. This employee-benefit program can have positive impacts on the life of the employee. It is therefore imperative for the government and all other stakeholders in the health sector to team together in an effort to come up with the best strategies that can ensure that employee-benefit programs are put in place to promote service delivery in the health industries. So far, the institutions that have already implemented such programs are reaping the benefits. This should be extended to all parts of the country and other sectors.

Reference List

Adelman, K. (2012). Promoting Employee Voice and Upward Communication in Healthcare: The CEO’s Influence. Journal of Healthcare Management, 57(2),

133-147.

Brenner, B. (2010). Using Employee Benefits Can Help Recruit, Attract, and Retain the Workforce of the Future: The Mature Employee. Journal of Financial Service Professionals, 64(3), 24-28.

Hawley, C., Diaz, S., & Reid, C. (2009). ‘Healthcare employees’ progression through disability benefits. Work, 34(1), 53-66.

Jackson, K. (2012). An Essay on Sustainable Work Systems: Shaping an Agenda for Future Research. Management Revue, 23(3), 296-309.

Mirvis, P. (2012). Employee Engagement and CSR: Transactional, relational, and developmental approaches. California Management Review, 54(4), 93-117.

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