To be an employer of choice in 2023, you need to provide benefits with a holistic perspective. Hear are the 4 building blocks of holistic benefits.
As a business owner, your goal is to recruit talent, retain employees, and create a loyal and engaged workforce. To be an employer of choice in 2023, you need to provide benefits with a holistic perspective. Employees need to feel that their employers care for them. According to the 2023 MetLife U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study, 42% of today’s employees don’t feel cared for by their employers.
What can you do to change that perception at your company?
Employee Care starts with fair compensation. Salary expectations have skyrocketed, and as employers, it is hard to keep up with the increasing wages. Yet, to be competitive, it is important to look at your core compensation – not just for new hires, but for all employees. Invest in a compensation analysis to see if you are in the correct range for your industry and geography.
Wages are the foundation of a robust employee care model, but the Four Building Blocks of Holistic Benefits are just as important for a solid employee offering:
- Physical Care
- Mental Care
- Financial Care
- Social Care
Fewer than half of workers (46%) rate pay as the most important factor in the employee experience. And roughly two-thirds of Generation Z and Millennials chose something other than wages as the most important driver of employment. The message is clear: Employers need to consider offering holistic benefits packages to be competitive in recruiting and retaining top talent.
" A diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce makes for a more productive, happier, and successful organization. "
Most employers already offer benefits with physical care in mind. I imagine you provide a safe workplace for your employees and have invested in safety through workers’ comp and even ergonomic chairs. You likely offer major medical insurance with rich benefits and probably pay for most of the premiums.
You may also offer dental care, vision care, and critical care or cancer policies. All of these are important, and in today’s market, they are essential to be an employer of choice.
But there is more to consider:
- Does your plan have telemedicine options?
- What are the reproductive services being offered?
- What is your family care policy?
- Is it an old fashion maternity policy, or do you embrace a full-fledged family and caregiving leave?
- How is your company helping women who come back to work after childbirth?
- Is your environment conducive for nursing mothers?
- Do you offer a wellness program and encourage a healthy lifestyle?
- Do you offer a gym membership or have a step challenge in the office?
I encourage you to think outside the box. Competitive physical care offerings require more than just sitting down with your insurance broker once a year. Be intentional, caring, and even creative as you focus on your employees and their family members’ physical health. A healthy team is happier and more productive.
We are in a mental health crisis in our country, and it is impacting our workplaces. Here’s what you can do as an employer to help care for your employees’ mental health:
- Review your benefits. Review your to ensure that it supports mental health. Mental health issues are among the top 5 claims on disability insurance.
- Consider online or virtual options. Check to see if you have an online or virtual mental health service option.
- Review your time off policy. Is your time off competitive for your industry? Is it flexible for individual needs?
- Consider sabbaticals or unlimited leave.
- Focus on families. Promote a culture that is supportive of families whether through childcare assistance or extra time off to attend a school event.
- Engage an EAP. Their services provide employees with counseling and provide valuable resources for supervisors.
- Provide training. Provide training to managers to help them identify concerns as well as promote sensitivity.
- Use non-stigmatizing language. Use non-stigmatizing language such as a “person with substance use disorder” instead of an “addict.”
- Provide flexibility. Provide flexibility if possible – remote work options, hybrid options, flextime, and short work weeks are examples of flexible work arrangements that employees crave.
- Encourage healthy connections between colleagues.
- Offer ways to de-stress. During stressful times, offer fun ways to de-stress such as company walks, get togethers, online chair yoga, or bring-your-pet-to-work day.
⚠️Important: Always work with your PEO or HR department if an employee is dealing with mental health issues as there may be additional compliance issues to consider.
Less than one-third of U.S. adults are financially healthy. According to the Financial Health Network study, 78% of employees with high financial stress say it distracts them at work, and 74% of employees say it’s important for an employer to offer financial wellness benefits.
MetLife’s 2023 study found that 55% of workers live paycheck to paycheck, and more than 90% are worried about inflation. And the perception between employers and employees is vast: 83% of employers say their employees are financially healthy. Yet only 55% of employees say they really are. We must take note of this gap and learn more about what our employees need.
There are many ways to help your employees’ financial health:
- Offer a 401(k) or other retirement plan. Provide matches to incentivize employees.
- Offer life insurance and disability coverage.
- Provide financial education. Look to local financial advisors or home mortgage companies for free training.
- Educate your team about the financial tools that EAPs can provide. Such as college planning and decisions surrounding eldercare.
- Offer an HSA with a HDHP. Offer a health saving account (HSA) in conjunction with a high-deductible health plan (HDHP).
- Offer health and dependent care flexible spending accounts.
- Consider tuition reimbursement or student loan assistance.
- Review flexible schedules. Working from home even one day a week, saves an employee commuting and parking expenses.
- Consider access to advance earned wages. If it makes sense in your workplace, consider access to earned wages in advance of payday.
- Offer additional coverage. Such as pre-paid legal, pet insurance, and home & auto insurance.
Every one of us has experienced financial stress at different times. We know how it feels. Be aware of the stressors in your staff’s world – be kind and help them through the process. Providing financial care to your team does not always mean simply increasing wages. It is also about providing them with the right financial tools for today and the future.
Employee care includes a social and supportive culture. It is more than having office pool tables or meeting for Friday happy hours. Employees are demanding to feel truly cared for now. Prospective and current employees want to feel that they belong. A diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce makes for a more productive, happier, and successful organization.
Employees want to see that you are “walking the walk,” not just “talking the talk” when it comes to DEI. Today’s employees are searching for purposeful work, both personal and organizational. Younger generations focus on their employers’ stance on social and political issues, while older generations put more value on personal meaning in their work.
Here are some ideas that can contribute to your employees’ social care and happiness:
- Celebrate employee accomplishments. Both inside and outside of work.
- Plan group volunteer activities. And consider offering volunteer paid time off – maybe a few days per year for an employee to volunteer at the non-profit of their choice.
- Provide religious accommodation paid holidays. So employees can observe their faith as they wish.
- Consider a PTO Sharing policy. So that allows employees to share their PTO hours instead of losing them at year-end. Ways to share include giving to a colleague who may need extra time off for an illness, donating the value of the time off to a favorite non-profit, or converting the value to pay off student debt.
- Offer professional development courses and coaching to all employees. Your goal should be to always develop your employees with both the tactical hard skills necessary for your industry as well as the emotional soft skills.
- Promote flexibility and a work-life balance. Focus not just on where someone works but when and how they work, as well as the type of work they do and who they work with. Add policies to protect non-working time, such as email embargo times which can be managed with technology.
- Train managers in how to communicate and lead different personalities. I recommend using assessment tools not only during the hiring process but throughout employment. Assessments provide wonderful insight to help manage and motivate individuals.
- Plan fun events. Virtually, in the office, or off-site. This promotes togetherness and a sense of fun. It can be as cheap as Zoom Bingo or a team dinner at a fine restaurant. Invite families to the ballpark or host a cookout.
- Provide fun personal perks as rewards. Consider a vacation stipend or gift certificates for experiences, whether online or in-person.
There are many cost-effective ways to show employees how much you care about them. Get creative – your efforts will go a long way. And remember to try different approaches, as each team member will react to different things.
The Foundation for Employee Engagement and Business Success
Employers today want a workforce that is loyal, productive, engaged, and satisfied with their job. Employees want success in their work, a sense of belonging, to feel valued, and to be happy. Both are possible. Go beyond traditional benefits and use the Four Building Blocks of Holistic Benefits to show your team how much you care.
How do your employee benefits stack up? Find out by watching our new 2023 Benefits Benchmark Report HERE. Gain valuable insights to help you make important decisions about your employee benefits. If you need help finding the right options for your small business, just give us a call at (800) 446-6567.About Propel HR. Propel HR is an IRS-certified PEO that has been a leading provider of human resources and payroll solutions for more than 25 years. Propel partners with small to mid-sized businesses to manage payroll, employee benefits, compliance and risks, and other HR functions in a way that maximizes efficiency and reduces costs. Visit our new website at www.propelhr.com.