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Online health portals – the route to a fitter workforce

Showing your employees that you value them is essential if you want to sustain or increase productivity. Of course, the most successful way of doing this is financially, with yearly pay reviews and a bonus scheme.

However, today’s employees are increasingly savvy and aware. More and more people are becoming well versed in employee benefits and as such, you may want to give your staff an added benefit, in addition to a financial reward, that’s a little bit different.

Motivating employees to stay healthy and think about their wellbeing can be one of the more challenging business problems for employers and HR directors. The healthier your workforce is, the fewer costs your company will incur as a result of illness and absence.

A solution to both these issues could be to provide your employees with a healthcare plan that comes with an online health portal.

Certain types of healthcare plans will cover the cost of your employees’ visits to everyday healthcare professionals. This means they can get the treatment they need for minor illnesses or problems, which can result in fewer short term absences.

Other types of healthcare plans can help employees if they suffer from a prolonged period of ill health, offering them support and getting them back to work as quickly as possible.

You can further encourage health and wellbeing throughout your business with the added incentive of an online health portal.

With such a portal employees can speak to a GP 24/7 over the phone or they can add a webcam for a face to face consultation*. It means they can avoid a lengthy wait and book an appointment at a time that suits them. It also encourages them to be proactive about their health, whatever concern they have. Furthermore, employees may be able to have prescriptions delivered to their home or work address following a consultation.

Many health portals can offer access to a wealth of health and wellbeing information. Employees can find advice on health conditions, treatments and dental health, as well as travel information such as vaccinations needed and illnesses to be aware of when travelling abroad. In addition, some portals will provide information on how employees can improve their health by making changes to their lifestyle.

It is important to remember that wellbeing shouldn’t just be about physical health. Worries about finances, legal issues and domestic situations can also be very damaging. That’s why an online health portal can also include an advice and counselling helpline, so employees can access support and guidance about a range of issues. If a counsellor decided face to face counselling could be beneficial, then some portals would give an employee the ability to book an appointment close to where they live or work.

Many of an online portal’s features can be used any time, from anywhere, on any device. Such convenient accessibility to healthcare and support services is an added benefit in itself. With an online health portal employees will no longer have to wait with a concern about a health or wellbeing issue they have. They can use the portal to try and find help or advice whenever they need to.

By providing this kind of service you will be empowering employees to take control of their health. It can also be used as a platform to promote good health among your workforce, while clearly illustrating that you care.

To encourage self interest in health throughout your workforce, managers will need to actively use the portal and give feedback on how it helps them. By creating an open line of communication around health and wellbeing, and how the portal helps, you’ll ensure that your employees stay engaged.

Offering an online health portal as an added benefit can pay dividends for your business. It can help you to reduce stress, sickness and absence, meaning you can keep your bottom line down and benefit from increased productivity.

One such online health portal is myWellbeing, which comes free with Simplyhealth’s Simply Cash Plan and Simply Employee Health. The Simply Cash Plan allows your employees to claim back money from their everyday healthcare appointments including dental, optical and complementary therapies. Simply Employee Health is a private medical insurance policy that can be tailored to suit your business needs. Both are excellent benefits to introduce and show your employees that you truly value them, while helping to encourage regular healthcare visits.

Simplyhealth is the UK’s biggest health cash plan provider, helping people access affordable healthcare for 140 years. 20,000 businesses choose Simplyhealth as their healthcare provider with corporate clients including major brands such as John Lewis Partnership, Tesco, Royal Mail and British Airways.

For more information about Simplyhealth’s plans and the added benefit of myWellbeing, please visit www.simplyhealth.co.uk/businesses

*Webcam service not available 24/7

Cover is provided by Simplyhealth, a trading name of Simplyhealth Access. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Terms and Conditions apply. Calls may be recorded.

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