We review five cost-effective employee benefits that can drive tremendous ROI to your business.
The business world has experienced a lot of shifts in recent years, as many different areas of society have had to grapple with new issues posed by the pandemic. One significant change is in how employees have altered their approach to their careers, as the Great Resignation has upended the labour market, forcing employers to change how they approach employees.
There are a few different issues that employees have come to value more and that employers must look to provide for. For example, healthcare, working conditions, and work-life balance are all increasingly important issues that employees are looking for their employers to address. A fundamental way your business can look to do this is with comprehensive employee benefits packages.
Benefits packages are how businesses look to serve their employees' interests beyond their base pay. Healthcare, dental and vision plans are perhaps the most common example of employee benefits, but they have expanded far beyond these simple measures in recent years. Now, benefits packages can be as competitive as employee salaries, so businesses should look to operate accordingly.
To help your business decide on what the right benefits to provide are, we are going to cover five different employee benefits and why they are worthwhile not only for your employees but for your business as well. Your employees are the backbone of your business, and an investment in them is an investment in your organisation.
Healthcare is one of the standard benefits that businesses have offered employees, but as the options for healthcare services have expanded, so should the benefits that employers offer employees. One of the biggest recent advances in healthcare is digital healthcare, providing access to healthcare professionals and services through remote or digital means.
This means providing services like remote doctor visits and filling prescriptions through services. This can also mean contributing to healthcare initiatives like preventative care, going beyond just checkups and annual exams, and providing for things like gym memberships, nutrition, and other general wellness benefits.
So, while your company may already offer some form of healthcare benefits, look to other ways that you can provide for employees. Things like healthcare apps, addressing not only physical concerns but mental ones as well, are great incentives for employees and worthwhile investments. You may not even consider many options, so opening a discussion with your employees about what they value for their health is a great way to kickstart this conversation.
The advantage for businesses should be clear here as well. Healthy employees won’t miss time for sick days, and you will experience heightened productivity with general wellness.
An essential part of expanded healthcare options is how you provide for mental health. Now, mental health care is often just as important as physical healthcare, with employees' mental health concerns causing rising costs to employers.
Health insurance that covers mental health providers is one obvious way to accommodate mental health services for your employees, but a new method has also surfaced that many employees have come to value. Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP) offer assistance with various areas of employees’ personal lives, including addiction, marital problems, general stress, and other issues. Problems at home can often extend into the workplace, disrupting productivity and causing pain for employees and the business.
This is an increasingly popular mental health initiative, as many mental problems are not the result of lifelong trauma or medical concerns but personal issues that can be solved with time and care. Providing this time and care for your employees through an EAP is perhaps the most valuable mental health assistance you can give them.
With initiatives like EAPs, you have another avenue to provide for the mental health of your employees and ensure that their lives outside of the business are accounted for as well. Your business can not function without employees, so ensuring that your employees work well is imperative for business success.
One of the recent major trends in work has been how employees complete their work and precisely where they complete it. Traditionally, commuting to an office space in order to complete your responsibilities was overwhelmingly how work was conducted. But with the restrictions put in place during the Covid-19 pandemic, workplaces were forced to alter how employees connected to their job responsibilities, which meant a drastic increase in remote work.
This may have been trending before the pandemic, but remote work experienced exponential growth due to this phenomenon. Now, as restrictions lessen in many areas across the globe, employers are opening their office space back up for workers, but workers' feelings have changed on how they interact with their place of business.
With so many people becoming accustomed to remote work, new employees are being swayed by businesses offering this as a possibility. The benefits may be clear for employees – increased comfort, lessened commuting costs, and boosted morale – but businesses benefit as well. With employees feeling more comfortable in their space, their work efforts can also increase without many of the struggles that may sometimes be experienced with in-person work.
Speaking of the changing attitudes of the labour market, employees are also starting to place more and more importance on work-life balance, especially on how much time they can get to focus on personal endeavours outside of the office. Providing for this work-life balance is incredibly important for businesses to consider. Many may think that the more time off and lenient you get with workers, the less productive they will be for your business, but it is often the opposite.
Burnout is a real issue affecting many workers across many industries. Employees are expected to work ceaselessly, with productivity and output being their only focus for weeks and months. As a result, they can quickly become overwhelmed and fatigued. A way to improve workers' morale while considering productivity is through generous pay.
When employees are allowed time to pursue their interests, take time away from their work responsibilities, and take some time to relax, they are allowed to avoid burnout, and this increased energy and morale can help keep their productivity raised as well. But, of course, what off-time will look like can differ for employees, so your business should be flexible in what benefits you offer.
Some employees will value holidays, which will generally be days or weeks of time off throughout the year, with payment expected for what they would have worked during. But some employees will value a sabbatical, a period of a year or more where they explore their passions, with the promise that their position will be there when they return.
There are many options for how to provide for employee work-life balance, but any initiative can go a long way for employee morale and business productivity.
When hiring for your business, the odds are that you look for a combination of education and work experience to decide if potential employees are right for you. Depending on your industry and the level you are hiring for, this can be more relevant for certain businesses. For instance, some employees may look to work in an entry capacity while pursuing education in other disciplines or deciding their career aspirations.
For these employees especially, professional education and/or training can be an unmatched benefit that can allow them to further their own goals and increase productivity for your business. For example, let’s consider an entry-level employee interested in your industry but doesn’t have the credentials to advance and is currently using your business as a stop-gap. In this case, providing benefits that would allow them to seek further education or training in their field might make them more eager to advance within your company, ensuring loyal and knowledgeable employees who recognise that you provided for their development.
It can be challenging to onboard new employees to your operations and infrastructure, let alone find them in the first place. By promoting from within, you can save this hassle, and a great way to support this initiative is through professional development benefits.
The purpose of employee benefits is well reflected in the name. They are meant to further provide for employees outside their income. This is especially important for services like healthcare that would be more difficult to acquire as an individual.
But for all the advantages a benefits package gives employees, they are also increasingly valuable to employers. This is because the money and time invested into employees can directly correlate with their productivity and the time they dedicate to your organisation.
The most important part of benefits is how they allow you to recognise your employees and prove to them that their presence is valuable to your business. Employees who feel welcomed and respected in their workplace are eager to return and contribute to its success. With the current labour market, and the feelings of workers in general shifting towards more personal fulfilment over company contributions, it is important that you can make your employees feel like their time spent with your business is worth it.