An organization’s employees are perhaps its greatest asset. As such, it is essential for employers to recognize the potential impact of employee welfare on organizational performance. Employee welfare services are often offered in addition to traditional benefit programs. These services typically address all areas of a worker’s life, which might impact the ability to focus and perform on the job. The benefits of employee welfare services implemented by human resource management often far outweigh the costs.
Employee welfare services have the potential to significantly impact the organization’s bottom line. These services are an essential human resource management tool for improving employee health and wellness, which in turn improve job satisfaction and employee engagement. Employee welfare services provided by human resource management often lead to an overall increase in organizational productivity and performance. Additionally, employee welfare services designed to reduce employee stress both on and off the job lead to reduced health care costs. All of these factors may have a significant impact on the success of the organization.
Health and Safety
Employee welfare services often address health and safety issues on the job to ensure the workplace meets the requirements of the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other health and safety regulations. Such compliance-based employee welfare services are designed to mitigate risk and avoid litigation. Programs designed to provide workers with a safe and healthy workplace also reduce the cost of employer-funded workers' compensation and disability programs. Ergonomic assessments of individual work spaces are one example of a health and safety measure that may be provided at the request of human resource management.
Employee welfare services may be designed to improve health and safety on the job or they may extend into the worker’s personal life. Health and wellness programs are often designed to encourage workers to engage in healthy eating and exercise practices as well as taking advantage of preventative health measures to reduce long-term health care costs. Employee welfare services may also prevent issues ranging from excessive absenteeism to workplace violence.
Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) typically offer such welfare services as counseling referrals for workers who experience personal stressors, legal assistance for individual employees, and training for both managers and employees. Organizations also may choose to offer treatment assistance for workers who experience drug and alcohol abuse. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Working Partners for an Alcohol- and Drug-Free Workplace is one program human resource management may take advantage of to assist in providing such employee welfare services.