Last week, I wrote an article that featured 4 tips employers should implement to increase accountability within their organization as part of a series of articles highlighting the ABCs of employee engagement.
Today, I am focusing on the second critical component for successful employee engagement – benefits.
The difference between a mediocre or phenomenal benefits package can be a make or break factor when it comes time for a strong candidate to accept a job offer from you or another organization.
Have you ever tried to build a house without a solid foundation? Neither have I (and not only because I would definitely drive a nail through my thumb if I attempted to operate a power tool.)
Therefore, it is important to build a benefits package that meets the following criteria:
- Supports an employee’s basic, personal and professional needs.
- Remains competitive, current and aligns with an organization’s mission.
- Covers both the individual employee and their family members.
- Engages, motivates and offers employees a sense of commitment to the organization.
3 foundational benefits that establish a comprehensive benefits program:
- Health and well-being (medical/dental/vision insurance, life insurance, fitness center memberships, flexible spending plans, personal trainers, etc.)
- Financial and professional empowerment (equity, profit sharing, 401K, retirement, educational assistance, training courses, guest speaker, seminars, etc.)
- Work-life balance (vacation, personal days, maternity leave, sick days, flexible work arrangements, etc.).
If implemented correctly, the utilization of these benefits will enable employees to experience less stress concerning the day-to-day rigors of life or paramount life events – giving them the opportunity to be more focused and engaged at work.
As you can see, a full-scale benefits program can become very complex, very quickly. Rather than simply throwing an array of options at employees, I encourage business leaders and HR professionals to make it a priority to learn about the benefits that are most important to their team and present them in a clear way.
This can be done through the utilization of data, feedback surveys, focus groups or simply one-on-one conversations around the water cooler. Understanding what benefits or rewards have the most meaningful impact, and constantly reevaluating what providers offer, is essential in keeping a benefits program current and engaging.
Lastly, a critical supplement to any benefits plan is an effective reward or recognition program. Offering monetary (gift cards, travel, movie tickets, dinner certificates, etc.) or experiential (learning & development opportunities, dinner with the CEO, certificates, plaques etc.) rewards, layered on top of the foundational benefits, can begin to uncover and support the deeper motivations of the workforce.
In fact, a recent survey conducted by TicketsatWork revealed that employees enrolled in a recognition program are 40 percent more engaged than those who are not. Employees of all ages, but particularly millennials, are seeking jobs that offer them experiences that are in line with their hobbies, interests, passions and that allow them to create that ideal ratio of work-life balance. Companies who do this tend to have happier, more engaged employees who are vested in the company and its mission.
What type of benefits or recognition program does your company offer? Let us know using the hashtag #FunAtWork.
Check in next week to read more about the final component of successful employee engagement – CULTURE.