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Debbie McNamara

Let’s talk about a benefits myth – employee benefits are reserved for those occasions when you are sick or injured. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. All too commonly, we see employers and employees using their benefits plan reactively instead of in a proactive nature. However, when used proactively, a benefits plan can aid in increasing employee productivity, morale and attendance.

Using Paramedical Coverage Proactively

Paramedical services, encompass services like chiropractic, massage, naturopathic services and more. These types of services can play an important part in an employee’s overall mental health and wellness. For instance, you may experience low back or neck pain if you sit all day. Visiting your chiropractor for regular ‘tune-up’ can help to keep your joints in proper alignment, prevent injuries and ease pain.

When looking to combat fatigue, an employee might find it useful to incorporate monthly massages into self-care routine to promote relaxation. Massage therapy can also aid in preventing injury. All-in-all those are just a few examples of how proactively using paramedical services can contribute to overall employee health, productivity and a reduction in absenteeism.

Prioritize Maintaining Mental Health

Providing your staff with an employee assistance program (EAP) to prioritize their mental health and wellbeing is a great example of how a benefits plan can increase productivity and morale. The stresses of everyday life, complicated family dynamics, financial concerns, a spouse’s substance dependency and more can all have a detrimental impact on your mental health and affect your productivity at work.

An EAP helps you deal with those head on.  A common misconception is that this service only provides counselling sessions, however, in most cases it can also be used to for guidance on legal and financial issues, nutrition counselling and more. Utilizing any or all of these tools can add up to an overall more holistic and positive mental health.

Most importantly, if you require more extensive services such as seeing a psychiatrist or psychologist regularly, a portion of those services can be claimed under your paramedicals (if available within your plan).

Promoting Health And Wellness

When physical and mental health is a priority within your workplace, that has a ripple effect that can positively impact your organization. It’s no secret that happy and healthy employees are more productive and take fewer sick days. Above we talked about mental health, but physical health is just as important in the picture of overall employee health.

A wellness spending account is a perfect option to compliment your health and dental plan. With this type of account, employees are eligible to claim expenses such as gym members, fitness and sports equipment and more. Promoting physical activity can help your employees combat fatigue, sleep better, find reprieve from aches and pains and combat additional side effects from a sedentary lifestyle. These positive outcomes from promoting physical wellness will come back to you full circle with happier, healthier and more productive employees.

Debbie McNamara

Debbie is the perfect fit for business owners and employers, providing a great resource to those looking to retain and engage employees. Employee Benefits Consultant is her official title, but what she really offers is a business administration education, an LLQP certification, 20 years of professional experience in upper management, and an understanding of the needs and challenges facing both employers and employees. Off the clock, Debbie takes great pride in giving back to her community as an active member on a number of volunteer boards. With whatever extra time is left over, she can be found fulfilling a lifetime commitment to health and fitness by participating in individual sports such as running and CrossFit, as well as a variety of team sports including softball, indoor soccer, and volleyball.
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