Employee expectations are changing, with many looking to their workplaces to provide better benefits and wellness solutions. Employees want to feel valued, and in turn, they value employers who take the initiative to make sure their workers are healthy.
In recent years, workplaces have been offering on-site health services, including massages, counseling, eye-care check-ups, and more. Bringing benefits to employees makes their lives easier and gives them a greater chance of staying healthy. Organizations that prioritize comprehensive benefits not only make themselves more competitive in the job market, but also show that their brands are flexible, forward-thinking, and that they care about the wellness of their people. Which, as we all know, should always be a top priority.
Our Guest: Jordan Smith, CEO, Jet Dental
On the latest #WorkTrends podcast, I spoke with Jordan Smith, CEO of Jet Dental, an on-site provider of dental care for corporations nationwide. They offer pop-up clinics, which can be set up in the office. Jordan is a seasoned chief revenue officer with experience in the healthcare industry and growing call centers. Before joining Jet Dental, Jordan led a 400 person sales team with annual sales of $200 million.
Pre-pandemic, 45 percent of people with dental insurance were not going to the dentist annually, Jordan explains. This was due in part to it being difficult to get away from their busy work schedule. Now that people have more flexibility with hybrid work, I wanted to know: What’s the advantage of pop-up dental clinics for today’s employees?
“Since COVID, a lot of people have delayed preventive care. A study by Business Group on Health is predicting a 5.3 percent increase in health plan costs for large employers because of delayed care brought on by the pandemic,” Jordan says. “As a result, individuals are delaying care, waiting until maybe it’s too late.”
A big incentive for employers to offer in-office services like dental care is to prioritize employee health. Not just to make sure employees are well, but to help cut unnecessary costs. Insurance carrier Cigna did a study of a million of their members over a five-year period and found that those who got regular preventive care saw a 31 percent decrease in costs in that period. People who didn’t get that care saw a 43 percent increase in costs.
“The healthier your workforce, the less likely it is for you to see increases in premiums,” Jordan says. “A simple thing like regular dental care check-ups, twice a year, can prevent a host of maladies.”
Bringing Dental Care to Employees: Motivating the Unmotivated
So what does in-office dental care really look like? How do employers motivate employees to walk down the hall to pop-up clinics and prioritize their health?
“The vast majority of the folks we’re seeing aren’t going to the dentist just because it’s one other item on their task list. So by making it convenient, we get those people to go down the hallway to get a cavity filled. We motivate the unmotivated,” Jordan says. “Also, in our experience, there are people who are afraid of the dentist, and by offering them the in-office option, we see those people on a daily basis.”
As employees continue to demand better benefits packages in the competitive job market, employers are looking for new ways to make benefits a top priority. On-site benefits and services like dental care will likely become the new normal, Jordan says. Perhaps even expected by employees.
“A lot of us have gained more empathy for one another due to the pandemic. Because of that, I think employers are looking even further into how they can help employees have a better experience at work and find a better work-life balance,” Jordan says. “Going forward, we’re going to continue to see more onsite health vendors. We’re going to see not savings for 401ks, but for travel and matching travel expenses to help people go have great experiences. Those competitive offerings are going to continue to evolve and improve and not just for white-collar businesses, but blue-collar as well. We’re starting to see that and will continue to see it.”