The many Simpsons fans among us will remember with great poignancy the episode in which Homer becomes a bigwig in the Nuclear power plant’s union. Just like almost every other episode of the classic show, there are a multitude of brilliant moments that can be carried forward into every day life, creating great annoyance among our friends as we quote the cartoon characters ad nauseam. But there is a particular moment that holds sway over those of us with oral issues – the instant in which Homer, confused as he usually is, tries to remember why he shouldn’t make a deal with the devil, or in this case, his boss. With thoughts of his daughter’s urgent need for orthodontal work lying just beyond his reach, the words ‘dental plan!’ repeat over and over in his mind.
As usual, animated shows have insightfully pointed a spotlight on an area of our lives that requires serious attention. There is little doubt that a healthy smile is an important part of general health, contributing as it does to both our physiological and psychological wellbeing – experts have noted a correlation between instances of what might seem like the fairly innocuous gum disease with occurrences of far more life threatening heart attacks – and yet businesses across America are coming short in their employee care by neglecting to look after this important aspect of employee health.
Needing to find ways to cut back on costs, corporate America is increasingly slicing dental plans from its list of priorities. And while there is little doubt that companies need to remain as lean as they can during tough times, employees are, without question, one of the most valuable resources that any business possesses. Study after study has proven that a happy worker is a productive worker, and an employee without something as apparently insignificant as a dental plan is not being treated with the respect that would optimize his or her output. This is particularly true of workers with young children or teenagers, who are particularly likely to require dental intervention.
The simple truth is that employers must find other ways to reduce costs – taking any action that ultimately results in lowered staff morale is not the answer. While a dental plan might not seem a powerful tool in a company’s arsenal against failure, the employees that avail of such a plan most certainly are. Providing employees with a good dental plan is undoubtedly a significant step towards corporate success.
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