MetLife’s 2019 Employee Benefits Trends Study revealed that six out of ten employees say that benefits were an important reason why they joined their company and 72% said having benefits customised to meet their needs would increase loyalty to the employer. It is likely that these percentages will have risen following the COVID-19 pandemic and that companies will be seeing employees making use of their wellbeing benefits more now than previously.
Review your strategy
Devoting time and money to building a loyal team can benefit companies in the long-term, and strategy is vital. While companies may be keen to invest in the recruitment and training of their staff, there’s often more that could be done in subsidising measures needed to keep them.
Clear communication of benefits is critical; MetLife’s study found that employees who are well informed about their benefits packages tend to value their employer more and show higher levels of engagement. Without regular reminders, the range of services presented to new employees as part of their induction is quickly forgotten.
Make sure your employees are aware of any changes to their benefits package and know how to access this support. This can be done digitally, via webinars or social media platforms, or through other virtual formats. In times of crisis, it is vital that companies let their people know which of their policies apply and whether there is any additional support on offer.
Offer holistic support
A strong benefits package should encompass the diverse needs of a workforce. The 2019 Employee Benefits Trends study shows that 76% of employees agree that employers have a responsibility for the health and well-being of their employees. As business leaders put plans in place to return to the office, it will be more important than ever to make the mental, physical and financial wellbeing of their people a priority.
As well as scheduled self-care activities, such as mindfulness sessions and exercise classes, companies can support the wellbeing of their employees by ensuring that they have someone to talk to 24 hours a day, with the added support of complementary face-to-face counselling sessions or a telephone support hotline. Opening up these services to family members offers an additional level of support.
Insurance and healthcare benefits are more relevant now than they have ever been to employee’s and their families. People want reassurance that they and their loved ones will receive support should the worst happen. Unfortunately, there will also be employees who experience bereavement. Companies should consider highlighting those services which offer both emotional support, such as help in understanding the grieving process, and legal guidance on associated issues.
Financial wellness programmes are a more recent addition to benefits schemes. Providing your workforce with income protection can significantly relieve anxiety. These programmes aim to increase employee’s sense of control over their finances, both now and for the future and can be tailored to best meet the requirements of the organisation.
MetLife’s study shows that in 2019, one of the top five drivers for happiness at work was a benefits package customised to the employee’s needs. The flexibility required by companies to navigate large-scale remote working during the pandemic may have accelerated the shift towards personalised benefit packages. Giving employees the ability to customise their benefits to suit their circumstances, for example the arrival of a new baby or moving house, will mean that companies are investing their time and money into providing more meaningful services.
Reaping the benefits
Employee benefits communicated well, and the life security they provide, are an important part of forming a supportive company culture. Organisations that take action to help employees avoid and alleviate stress are more likely to build a workforce that is engaged, energised and creative.
Employee engagement is the key to business success. Gallup’s report on the State of the Global Workplace shows that companies with highly engaged workforces boast 41% lower absenteeism, 17% higher productivity and 21% higher profitability.
Not only are satisfied employees more likely to stay loyal, but they will be more inclined to recommend the organisation. In unsettled times, any sense of security an organisation can provide will be duly recognised.