Every year, employers review their employee benefits packages to ensure benefits are relevant to employees’ needs, economical for the company, and supportive of employee growth and retention. In this process, most companies make sure their employee benefits, including their employee well-being programs, are aligned to existing best practices.
The flaw with this approach is it leaves your company exposed to losing employees by maintaining the status quo. If you really want to make sure your employees are satisfied with their well-being offerings, stop offering best practices and start offering next practices. By becoming the trend-setter in employee benefits and well-being, you can stay ahead of the competition with cutting-edge and unique benefits that employees truly care about.
So what are this year’s next practices?
Is your work design evolving with your employees?
According to a recent McKinsey report, more than 25% of those surveyed report they would consider switching employers if they are required to work on-site full-time. Meanwhile, nearly half of employees report feeling anxious due to lack of clear post-pandemic work arrangements.
First, you need to make sure your current worksite setup is what your employees want and need. At this point in the pandemic, you’ve likely heard from most of your employees whether or not they prefer to work on-site, remotely, or in a hybrid approach. If not, it’s time to send out a survey and hear from them. If you find most of them prefer working on-site, then you can create a plan that allows them to safely do so. If, it turns out, they prefer remote or hybrid work approaches, communicate your own efforts to evolve your work-site expectations. Even if you don’t have a solid plan, let your employees know you are developing one.
Employers looking to retain talent and reduce the anxiety associated with return-to-work uncertainty need to focus on listening to their employees concerns first and foremost, communicating the post-pandemic vision, and evolving their work policies around flexible hours, remote working and virtual collaboration.
Nearly six in 10 employers (59%) say that family-friendly benefits have been important to their talent strategy over the past three years, and that number is expected to grow to 77% in the next three years, according toan Emerging Trends in Healthcare Survey.
If your organization isn’t looking into family-focused benefits, you stand to lose your valuable employees. Family-focused benefits come in a variety of forms, including:
The pandemic showed many employees the importance of flexibility to take care of family. Between February 2020 and March 2021, nearly 1.1 million women left the workforce, with many reports of women facing childcare issues, daycare closures, remote schooling and the increased cost of childcare being prominent reasons. Employers who can offer better family-focused benefits are more likely to retain their talented workforce.
Inclusivity & DEIB
Inclusion and belonging play an important role in employee engagement and well-being. True diversity, equity, inclusivity and belonging in the workplace includes recognizing each employee’s unique background and experience and supporting them in their well-being journey.
Employers can take the steps to create a more inclusive environment that supports well-being by first assessing who is using existing health and well-being benefits and if there are gaps in your offerings. You may find certain benefits are only valuable to specific generations, or entire populations aren’t getting any value from existing benefits.
Next, create employee resource groups (ERG) or a less-formal diverse team to reconsider adding more inclusive benefits. Examples may include expanded leave policies, greater mental health services, floating holidays, expanded benefit plans and more.
These next practices exist in the context of larger, more pervasive trends transforming our lives. Alongside these larger trends, employers are impacted by microtrends that exists as the backdrop we see affecting the employee experience. Employers wishing to stay ahead of the competition need to take into consideration:
- Employee safety – both psychological and physical
- Hybrid life continuum
- Emotional Chamber Crisis
Regardless of which practices you engage, make sure you are going beyond the status quo. Become the trendsetter in your industry for well-being and employee benefits and you’ll likely see a massive improvement in recruiting and retention.