Supporting life outside of the office
Now, more than ever, employee benefits are scrutinised and need to work harder to supplements the care of our staff. Gone are the days of simple token gestures; we need to consider a holistic view of healthcare and financial support. Ultimately, employee benefits usually consist of healthcare, dental, insurance, enhanced pensions, and additional holiday provisions. But what else can you include to ensure that you really are taking good care of your most valuable assets, holistically? Let’s look.
Employee wellbeing continues to rise up the corporate agenda. There’s an encouraging fall in the proportion who report their organisation is ‘much more reactive than proactive’ (27%, down from 41% last year) on health and wellbeing, but a smaller increase in the proportion that have a formal wellbeing strategy (50%, up from 44% in 2020).
CIPD, Health and Wellbeing at Work 2021
#1 Mental health
Mind reports that 1 in 4 of us will experience poor mental health each year in England, and 1 in 6 report a common mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression, in any given week. So, it makes sense that employee benefits and healthcare have provisions to help treat these conditions, much in the same way that we’ve come to expect physical health to be taken care of.
A compassionate mental health strategy is many faceted. Your programme could include:
- Clarity on mental health days
- Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP)
- Making sure your private healthcare covers mental health conditions
- Mental health training to help employees develop healthy coping mechanisms for difficult and stressful situations, as well as how to recognise signs of deterioration in others – and how to flag
#2 Financial wellbeing
Financial wellbeing remains a more neglected area. While nearly a quarter (23%) report their organisation has increased their focus on financial wellbeing in response to the pandemic, there are only small improvements in activity to promote financial wellbeing other than signposting people to external sources of advice.
CIPD, Health and Wellbeing at Work 2021
By investing in financial wellness, employers are equipping their employees to feel more comfortable, confident, and less stressed when thinking about their money, both day-to-day and in the future.
Money and Pensions Service reported that just one in three (36%) felt worried when thinking about their financial situation.
We’ve talked before about what to include in a financial wellness programme. It is never too late to implement in your employee benefits offering. A mix of access to debt advisors, financial planners, and lifestyle benefits such as discounts, help provide a holistic solution to making money go further.
#3 Flexible and hybrid working
Allowing flexible and hybrid working is not just a nice to have, but for some, it’s a lifeline. Whether you have employees with children or who are carers for disabled or elderly family members, having the option to change up hours or location should be accessible for all where their role allows for it.
We’ve talked about how these are both game changers for staff retention and talent acquisition, and we stand by that. And even for simple things like working from home when staff have appointments closer to home than the office or are waiting for the boiler to be fixed but given a vague time slot. Why? Because life happens, and no one should go without having basic needs met.
#4 Recognition: boosts morale
Last but not least, make sure leadership teams take the time to recognise a job well done. A rewards and recognition scheme is great for boosting the morale, employee engagement, and therefore productivity and performance. Let’s face it, who doesn’t like to be acknowledged when something goes well. Whether that’s showing initiative, meeting targets, or going above and beyond, it is a good way to show gratitude.
Shout about it!
Our built-in communication tools make raising awareness of your services, such as financial wellbeing benefits a doddle. And our survey tool makes it even easier than ever to find out if your offering is relevant or to learn about any shortcomings.
Implement a regular newsletter and survey into you or your teams’ priorities and your staff will thank you for it. You may not know it but you could be helping to solve a major concern in someone’s private life that they are not yet ready to talk about.