A recent article by CIO
pointed out that while free lunch and snacks in the break room are easy enough to spot, and appreciate, there are plenty of overlooked benefits hiding in your onboarding handbook.
Dean Aloise, global HR consulting leader at Xerox HR Services
, a division of Xerox focused on HR consulting, told CIO
that businesses are looking for more “value” in their benefits beyond flashy perks that get people in the door.
Aloise says the only way to understand what most your employees want from their benefits package, is to ask them and then communicate those benefits regularly to the workforce.
The article states:
“The benefits your employees are interested in might not be flashy or even involve major changes to the company culture. In fact, most of them might be more traditional than you think. And in plenty of cases, your company probably already offer these types of benefits, but it's just a matter of educating your employees on the fact that they exist and how to take advantage of them.”
Below, the article shares four ways for organisations to do this:
Marriage and home-life benefits
A lot has changed in this country in the last few years -- we've seen a greater push for things like better paternal and maternity leave. And with the 2015 ruling that legalizes same-sex marriage, plenty of your employees are gaining access to benefits that didn't exist for them in the past. However, navigating these benefits and figuring out what your company offers can be a challenge and if it's something personal, a worker might not necessarily want to email a HR person for clarification. Aloise says the best way help people understand their benefits, especially ones around new laws or growing trends, is to “develop and implement strategic, multi-channel communication programs that deliver the information that employees and their families need.” This is also a great way to give partners and spouses access to benefits information.
Student loan assistance
College graduates entering the workforce are often saddled with debt with student load debt. And financial strain is a huge productivity killer. According to the 2016 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey from Willis Towers Watson
, a company specializing in risk management and insurance brokerage, employees under financial strain are not only more likely to express higher levels of stress, but also report overall poorer health. As Aloise says, the only way to know what your workers want, is to build an open line of communication and gain a better understanding of the general consensus.
Mental health benefits
Adam Ochstein, founder and CEO of StratEX
, which focuses on automating the HR ecosystem, says leadership needs to be speaking up and advocating for employees to seek help if they need it. “I tell my employees I see a therapist, and being transparent with them about that helps let employees know that there is nothing wrong with getting help,” Ochstein says. Employers need to build an environment that underscores how common it is for people to struggle with mental illness or emotional distress. Similarly, Aloise points out that emotional distress to the point that work productivity is impacted is experienced by most people at some point in his or her working life.
Employees who feel bored, restless or stagnant in their roles are not only more likely to kill time at work, call out sick or put in minimal effort, they're also more likely to accept a new opportunity if it comes up, according to a survey from Gallup
. Leadership programs are pivotal to overall employee retention, but you should make sure those avenues are open for your employees. If there isn't a structured program in place, they might not know who to turn to for leadership advice.
Providing your organisation’s talent with benefits can be great for retention, but how many of your employees know these benefits exist?