Promoting good health in the workplace and having a good healthcare policy can have many benefits for a company. It has been proven that companies who offer quality healthcare benefits experience a better staff retention. This is because keeping your staff healthy and happy is more than just helping them ward off colds and flu.
However, with the cost of private healthcare in South Africa always on the rise, companies who offer their staff healthcare benefits are really doing staff a favour. As iAfrica.com states,
“It can be difficult for young people earning their first salaries to afford medical cover. In fact, it can be difficult even for those who are a little older to include medical cover into their budget, but the longer one waits to join a medical scheme, the more expensive it becomes. Some workplaces may have the option to belong to the company’s medical scheme, while some young people are lucky enough to remain under their parents’ medical scheme until their mid-twenties, yet not everyone has these options. “
Quality healthcare within a corporate environment is often the responsibility of the human resources management team. However, oftentimes it’s better to have an individual who handles everything to do with the healthcare and wellness of the employees. In this way, the process is more streamlined. If you’re in HR and you’ve been chosen to handle the healthcare benefits of the company then you need to ensure you offer quality management of this vital part of the employee benefit system.
Here’s what’s considered quality management of healthcare in the workplace.
When management has a keen understanding of the definition of quality healthcare
Quality healthcare is not a throwaway term. It specifically means a healthcare offering that takes a holistic approach to wellness in the workplace. This means tackling not only medical aid benefits that ensure employees have access to medical care when and as necessary but also looking into environmental, occupational and psychological aspects of workplace health. Many companies who offer healthcare benefits look to include wellness aspects in their work environments. These might include creating an environment that supports the needs of the individual employees. For instance, standing work stations as well as seated ones, designated outdoor areas that are comfortable to spend time in, expansive windows that allow for a lot of natural light and so on. Corporate quality healthcare encompasses all aspects of health and wellness.
When management is able to substantiate how the healthcare program, policies and procedures are working for the employees
If you’re handling the healthcare management programme, you need to be able to report on the positive effects it’s had on the company and its staff. Demonstrating that there’s a reduction in absenteeism and an increase in productivity is a good place to start. Healthy employees who are assured that if they get sick they can access healthcare are less stressed. There’s nothing quite as expensive as medical bills and public healthcare in South Africa is less than optimum. So working for a company that helps with this part of life is a win for any employee. If the healthcare programme is robust, the company might even attract new staff members because of it. Nowadays, the average job seeker is far more interested in security and workplace satisfaction than anything else. Everyone is well aware of the downfalls of burn out and they're more likely to stay in a company that helps them feel happy and comfortable.
When management engages with the staff to find ways of bettering the implemented healthcare plans
HR managers are there for the staff, or at least they’re meant to be. This means that they’re on the staff’s “side” so to speak. Every company should have quality management overseeing their healthcare policies. This means an HR employee should be creating and implementing policies and procedures that offer the employees the very best healthcare programme that meets their collective needs. The only way to find out what employees want and need is by asking them.
In smaller companies this might be one-on-one engagement taking place during the employee’s review, or in larger companies a survey could be conducted to ascertain the majority of the staff’s needs. By actively engaging with staff members all areas of resistance and negativity will emerge and strategies to change perceptions and beliefs can be actioned.
Of course, finding the right healthcare program for the company can be difficult. Many things come into play such as affordable coverage for every single staff member and constant communication with everyone so that they’re always aware of what they’re covered for and what their benefits are. This is no small small feat and yet, getting quality healthcare management right can result in happier and more content staff.