It's no secret that healthy employees are more productive, engaged, and loyal. When employees feel that their employer cares about their holistic health and wellness, their job performance and job satisfaction increase significantly: they are three times more likely to be engaged at work and 70% less likely to look for a different job.

On the flip side, unhealthy employees can be costly for organizations. U.S. employers lose an estimated $530 billion annually due to illness-related productivity losses, including employees taking more sick days and higher health care costs.

So how can employers improve employee health and well-being and in doing so, improve the business as a whole? Start by creating customized benefit plans to support women and families.

Women make up 47% of U.S. workers. Working parents make up one third of it, with 72% of mothers and 93% of fathers with children ages 18 in the workforce. Due to stress and burnout, 64% of these working parents want to leave their jobs, resulting in costly turnover and productivity loss.

Through comprehensive benefits and wellness programs, companies not only support their own employees' health but also improve health outcomes for their entire families, further reducing caregiving and health care costs.

By offering tailored family benefits that meet employees wherever they are in their health and wellness journeys, employers do more than simply promote employee health; they simultaneously improve the work environment with greater employee engagement, increased productivity, and fewer sick days.

Understanding the current landscape of women's and family health

In addition to pay inequity and underrepresentation, women continue to experience worse physical and mental health outcomes than their male peers. But family health and well-being is not just a women's issue. Sixty-two percent of parents say that parenting is harder than they expected, and most of them lack adequate support resources, with half of U.S. families reporting difficulty finding childcare. This lack of childcare costs the U.S. economy $122 billion each year.

Over 90% of global employers say that family benefits are extremely important to employees, but many employers struggle to know what benefits, programs, and services to provide, let alone how to make them cost-effective.

Companies can improve employee health and well-being by supporting employees at every stage of their family journey, leveraging technology for better accessibility, and creating a workplace culture that models and centers comprehensive well-being.

How to improve employee health through better benefits

Healthy women and families lead to more productive and better-educated societies. Beyond corporate responsibility and being the right thing to do, investing in employee health and well-being is advantageous in numerous ways, including its positive impacts on profitability. From family planning to menopause, here are some specific benefits organizations should offer to support their employees at any stage of their health and wellness journeys.

Fertility and family building

Improving employees' family health begins before they start a family with fertility support and family building resources. Almost half of the workforce looks at a company's fertility benefits specifically when considering a new job, and nearly three in four millennials would change jobs for better family and fertility benefits.

When you think of fertility benefits, you likely think of IVF and IUI coverage. While these procedures can be incredibly important, clinical benefits should also include egg and sperm preservation options, access to different specialists, and access to a vetted network of in-person clinics.

Beyond clinical health, fertility benefits should also include emotional and financial support. Supporting employees' health and well-being throughout their fertility journeys must include supporting their mental health as well. Especially for employees facing prolonged infertility or pregnancy loss, mental health specialists can provide crucial support. These mental health specialists can offer invaluable emotional support during the often challenging adoption and surrogacy processes, as well.

Since many fertility paths can be expensive, employers can also alleviate some of the financial strain by providing reimbursement for procedures not covered by insurance.

Another necessary pillar of fertility support is education. The vast majority of women have at least three misconceptions about fertility. It's important to provide inclusive education for employees at every step of their family building journeys to boost this health literacy. Since finding trusted resources can be challenging, providing access to virtual specialists can help employees receive culturally-humble care wherever they are located and however they identify.

Maternity and parenting

After their fertility journeys, most parents find that parenting is harder than they expected, and many people don't even know where to start looking for support. To support soon-to-be and new parents with pre- and postpartum health challenges, comprehensive family benefits should provide access to OB-GYNs, doulas, lactation consultants, midwives, mental health specialists, and sleep coaches.

At least one in five new mothers experience postpartum depression and anxiety. By providing access to mental health practitioners who specialize in working with new parents, employers address this reality head-on and help their employees navigate these big life transitions.

Additionally, companies that offer return-to-work resources like on-demand coaching and childcare support make parents’ transitions back into their jobs easier and bolster employee loyalty. Research shows the majority of women with fertility and family benefits are more likely to remain in their job.

Menopause and midlife health

Despite 20% of women in the workforce experiencing perimenopause or menopause at any given time, menopause remains shrouded in stigma, especially in the workplace. This stigma is especially costly: global productivity losses due to menopause can top $150 billion per year.

Unfortunately, the menopause care gap extends far beyond the workplace. 80% of OB-GYN residents indicate they are barely comfortable discussing or treating menopause. Like with fertility and parental support, providing virtual access to specialized menopause providers—including OB-GYNs, mental health specialists, pelvic floor therapists, and nutritionists—can help reduce these gaps in care.

Additionally, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can help mitigate many menopause symptoms, and employers can provide access to specialty providers to prescribe HRT when necessary. However, comprehensive menopause benefits should extend beyond prescriptions to also include mental health support, nutrition guidance, and other holistic ways to mitigate symptoms. 

Employee mental health support

Beyond fertility, pre- and postpartum, and menopause support, companies should invest in employee mental health and well-being more broadly. About 15% of the eligible employee population have at least one mental illness, and depression and anxiety alone account for 12 billion sick days each year. These work absences cost the global economy nearly $1 trillion annually.

However, illness-related absenteeism does not account for presenteeism, or employees' poor performance and lower productivity due to illness or stress. With 68% of employees reporting moderate to unsustainable stress levels, this underperformance quickly becomes incredibly expensive.

On the flip side, the World Health Organization found that for every $1 spent on treating mental health, there is a return of $4 in improved employee well-being and productivity. In addition to providing access to mental health specialists, companies can support employee health by training managers to better support their struggling employees, offering holistic wellness programs, increasing flexible work options, listening to employee feedback, and prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Experience Maven through the eyes of our members

Journey alongside four Maven members as they navigate fertility, pregnancy, parenthood, and menopause.

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Experience Maven through the eyes of our members

Leveraging technology for better health management

Over 50% of counties in the U.S. are considered maternal care deserts, making virtual access to specialists especially crucial for many soon-to-be or new parents. On-demand digital health tools also significantly reduce unnecessary and expensive emergency room visits.

A growing body of research shows that telehealth has similar and often better clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction than in-person maternity care. For example, Harvard Medical School found telehealth services positively impacted the quality of care, especially for rural communities. For Black mothers specifically, meeting with a virtual doula reduced their odds of a C-Section by nearly 60%.

Telehealth services also offer more scheduling flexibility, allowing employees to meet with specialists outside of standard doctors office hours.

Creating a culture of health and well-being

There are many ways to prioritize employee health and wellness at the company level, including getting leadership buy-in and aligning these initiatives with the organization's mission or values. Additionally, it's important to communicate and evaluate programs regularly.

Leadership buy-in

To encourage benefits adoption and community engagement, organizations should model from the top down, starting with senior leadership. Leadership buy-in and role modeling a culture of health and wellness sets a strong precedent and allows workers to take their own well-being and work-life balance seriously. Additionally, seeing managers participate in wellness programs can encourage their employees to do the same.

Culture shift

Ideally, health and wellness are not only modeled by leadership but are also integrated into company culture. Incorporating holistic well-being and health literacy into the organization's mission ensures sustainability and reinforces value.


Many well-intentioned wellness programs fall short because employees don't know about them. In fact, nearly half of employees say that they don’t fully understand the benefits available to them. Building a strong and multi-channel communication platform is key, as is involving employees at every stage.


To determine a program's efficacy, make sure to evaluate it regularly and incorporate employee feedback. Evaluation methods include analyzing usage data, employee surveys, dedicated focus groups, and tracking health data. Companies can also create employee resource groups (ERGs) so employees can share information and build community.

Improving employee outcomes with Maven Clinic

Companies with outstanding wellness programs that receive the Koop Health Award outperform the S&P 500 Index year over year, showing again that employee health is good for business. When employers encourage health and well-being through robust family benefits, they also see higher retention rates and increased productivity.

Since creating a comprehensive family benefits program can be daunting, Maven can be a valuable partner for organizations and their employees' family needs. As the leading women's and family healthcare company, Maven provides a suite of benefits to support with fertility and family building support, maternity, parenting, and menopause. Our programs help improve the health of employees: 

  • 30% of Maven members avoid IUI/IVF treatment
  • Up to 28% lower NICU admission rate 
  • 33% report that they can better manage anxiety or depression 
  • 36% of Menopause members report reduced hot flashes after using Maven

To find out more about offering benefits with Maven, request a demo today.

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