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Employee Benefits

Help Your Employees Get in Shape by Offering Fitness Memberships

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Help_Your_Employees_Get_in_Shape_by_Offering_Fitness_MembershipsThe new year is a time when many people make resolutions. January 1 often brings a lot of enthusiasm and optimism. It’s time for a fresh start.

Some of the most popular new year’s resolutions are about health. Some people may make resolutions about quitting a bad habit, such as smoking. Others focus on losing weight or working out more. For many people, they just want to engage in more healthful behaviours, such as going to the gym, exercising more, or eating better.

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You can help your employees stick to their new year’s resolutions by offering fitness memberships.


Why Do Employers Care?

One question you may have is why you should care about your employees’ decisions to get into shape or adopt healthier behaviours.

Many employers are now realizing there’s a correlation between health and employee productivity. When your employees feel good, they’re ready to contribute to your business in many positive ways. They may have great new ideas. They may be able to tackle that mountain of paperwork faster.

Another reason employers are concerned about their employees’ health and fitness is the ballooning cost of benefits. Over the years, healthcare benefits have increased in cost, which has led to many employers looking for ways to keep prices low. Sometimes, this means trimming benefits packages.

Some employers are now following the “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” paradigm. If you provide benefits and encourage your employees to adopt healthy behaviours, they may never develop conditions such as heart disease or diabetes. It’s much easier to offer a gym membership than to pay for the cost of medications.


How to Offer a Fitness Membership

Inquire with local gyms and fitness clubs about corporate programs or large group discounts. Much like insurance, many fitness clubs will offer discounts if you enrol a number of people. If your company is large enough, you may even qualify for a corporate membership rate.

If you’re going to work through a local gym or fitness club, be sure it’s one located near your offices. If you have multiple locations, you may consider working with a chain so your employees can enrol at the location most convenient for them.

Another way to handle fitness memberships is to talk to your insurance provider about covering the costs instead. If you use private health savings accounts, you may opt to reimburse your employees when they purchase a fitness membership at a facility of their choice. You can also limit the amount you’ll cover.


Offer Support

It’s one thing to sign up for a fitness membership and another thing entirely to make use of it. Your employees may have every intention of hitting the gym every day when they purchase the membership, but they may quickly fall off the bandwagon.

You as the employer can encourage employees to make good use of their investment in a fitness membership by providing time for them to go. Some companies in Turkey actually allow their employees to arrive to work late so long as they hit the gym first. You don't have to adopt such a drastic approach. Be more lenient with lunches or encourage employees to hit a morning or evening yoga class.

If you have the facilities, you can also choose to offer company-sponsored classes at convenient times for your employees. In short, if you make it easier for people to find the time to work out, they’ll be more likely to hit the gym.


What’s in It for You?

As already mentioned, healthy employees are more productive, more engaged employees, and they’re also less likely to need other health benefits. By offering a fitness membership and supporting your employees’ efforts to get in shape, you can contribute to a healthier future for both your employees and your business.


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Darwyne Lang

Darwyne Lang

Darwyne is the president and CEO of Apri Insurance Services Inc. Having worked in the industry for over 30 years, he lives the benefits business every day. He is a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU). He understand the needs, costs, misconceptions, and effects on brand and culture, and the importance of benefits for employees. No matter what he’s doing, whether for work or pleasure, Darwyne competes at a very high level. He loves to lead and innovate in everything he does.

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