0 Comments | Apr 03, 2010

It’s About the Benefits, Boss

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You’ll probably be as surprised as we were. We recently accomplished some hardcore employee retention research (and learned quite a few surprising tidbits we’ll share in an upcoming white paper), and discovered that employee benefits packages have equal weight as pay when it comes to staff retention and motivation. That certainly got our attention.

Most of us aren’t thinking much beyond surviving the recession, but it’s probably the perfect time to take a strategic look at your employee benefit plan. If it doesn’t include a wellness benefit, it probably should – notes that of the employees who view their wellness plans favorably, 64% plan to remain with their employer for five years or more. Employees who don’t like their company’s employee wellness benefits are four times more likely to find a job elsewhere.

And if you’re looking at wellness benefits, it pays to get the most return on your employee benefit dollar. Most workplace wellness programs focus on hypertension, weight, smoking, and lack of exercise – all beneficial health pursuits, but not the costliest conditions from a business standpoint (they all add under 21% to your healthcare costs – real money, but not the biggest cost burdens in the wellness sphere). Stress and depression can add 46% and 70%, respectively, to your healthcare bill. Some estimates place the cost impact of stress and depression at 147%. Ouch.

Clearly we’re biased, but we think that Vacation Wellness™ does a great job targeting stress and depression. Employees who vacation regularly are two to three times less likely to suffer from depression than their counterparts. A Duke Occupational Mental Health report cites the benefits of using physical distance, variance of activity, and reconnecting with family – all destination vacation staples – to reduce workplace stress and prevent burnout.

Benefits count. It’s best to make sure your benefit plan resonates with your staff, and among the most powerful ways to do that is to invest in a meaningful wellness offering.