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These Benefits Can Help Improve Worker Retention

by Alison Burgett, MBA, Gray, Gray & Gray, LLP 


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Start by finding out what your employees value

In the evolving landscape of the business world, fostering an environment that nurtures employee satisfaction and retention is quintessential for sustainable success. Benefits play a pivotal role in creating a workspace that values employee well-being, which in turn, contributes to higher retention rates. Businesses, especially small and medium enterprises, should explore affordable and innovative benefits that align with the needs and aspirations of their employees.

A good start is to ask employees – perhaps via a survey - to better understand what is important to them and would make them stay. Each generation and age group may have different things they are focused on. For example, if you are single and without much external responsibility you may be motivated and retained differently than someone with young children.

With that in mind, here are some of the ways you can support, recognize, and encourage employee loyalty and retention.

1. “The Magic Trifecta”: A recent survey by Perceptyx found that medical, maternity/family leave, and mental health care coverage are the “magic trifecta” of benefits for both male and female employees. Yet the survey uncovered that 53 percent of respondents did not have mental health coverage, 51 percent don’t have maternity/family leave, and 25 percent don’t have any medical benefits at all. Make sure you are doing your best to supply all three. Providing extended maternity/family leave beyond the statutory requirement is a tangible way to support employees during significant life changes and challenges. It fosters a supportive and inclusive workplace culture, and positions a company as an “employer of choice.”

2. Professional Development Opportunities: Investing in employees’ growth and development is a powerful retention strategy. Offering learning and development programs, workshops, or access to online courses and certifications can help employees enhance their skills, increase their value to the company, and feel more engaged and valued. This could include partnerships with educational institutions or subscriptions to online learning platforms like LinkedIn Learning or Coursera.

3. Health and Wellness Programs: Health is wealth, and employees value organizations that prioritize their well-being. Incorporating wellness programs like fitness reimbursements, mental health support, or ergonomic workplace assessments can contribute to the holistic well-being of employees. These programs can help in reducing stress, enhancing productivity, and fostering a sense of community and support within the organization.

4. Recognition and Rewards: Acknowledging and rewarding employees’ efforts and achievements creates a positive work environment. Establishing an employee award, peer recognition programs, or periodic performance bonuses are affordable ways to show appreciation. These initiatives help in bolstering morale, encouraging a culture of excellence, and strengthening employee-employer relationships. Keep in mind that, for all types of recognition, it is important to know what motivates each individual.

5. Mentorship: Mentorship programs benefit employees by providing guidance, advice, and support from experienced colleagues or external professionals. This benefit assists employees in navigating their career paths, resolving work-related issues, and enhancing their professional skills, thus contributing to higher job satisfaction and organizational commitment.

6. Financial Wellness Initiatives: Financial stress is a predominant concern among employees. Offering financial wellness programs like retirement planning workshops, investment advice, or debt management counseling can be valuable. Educating employees on managing finances effectively can alleviate stress and lead to improved focus and productivity at work. You should also review industry data and benchmarks to help ensure you are paying an appropriate wage for each position.

7. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs): EAPs provide confidential counseling and support services to employees dealing with personal or work-related challenges. They are instrumental in addressing issues like mental health, family problems, or substance abuse, ensuring that employees have access to the support they need, leading to enhanced well-being and workplace harmony.

8. Social Responsibility Initiatives: Employees, especially millennials and Gen Z, value working for companies that are socially responsible. Offering volunteer opportunities, sustainability initiatives, or charitable giving programs can align the company’s values with those of its employees, leading to increased pride and sense of purpose. Make sure employees know about the company’s mission and purpose, and the impact you hope the business will have on the communities it serves.

9. Creative Perks: Innovative and unique perks like pet-friendly offices, casual dress codes, or regular team-building events can create a fun and inclusive workplace environment. Such benefits can distinguish a company from its competitors, making it more attractive to current and prospective employees.


Implementation Strategies

While identifying and implementing benefits are crucial, equally important is ensuring that employees are aware of and can easily access these benefits. Regular communication through newsletters, intranet updates, and benefits orientations can keep employees informed.

Additionally, it is essential to regularly gather feedback on the effectiveness and relevance of the benefits offered. Employee surveys, focus groups and “town halls” can be instrumental in understanding employees’ needs and preferences, allowing companies to tailor their benefits packages accordingly.


Impacting the Bottom Line

Investing in affordable and innovative benefits is not merely a cost to the company but a strategic investment in its most valuable asset – its people. The ripple effects of such investments manifest in increased employee engagement, lower turnover rate, a stronger employer brand, and an improved bottom line.

In conclusion, the correlation between employee satisfaction and retention and the benefits provided by a company is undeniable. By embracing flexibility, promoting professional development, prioritizing well-being, acknowledging achievements, offering support, and introducing creative perks, businesses can create a harmonious and stimulating work environment that resonates with employees’ values and needs, ensuring sustained organizational success.

These multifaceted, innovative benefits collectively create an ecosystem where employees feel valued, supported, and motivated, enhancing their commitment and contribution to the organization’s goals and vision. By fostering such an inclusive and dynamic workspace, businesses can navigate the challenges of the modern corporate world more effectively, achieving lasting success and continued growth.

Alison Burgett is the Chief People Officer at Gray, Gray & Gray, LLP, a business consulting and accounting firm that serves the energy industry. She can be reached at (781) 407-0300 or aburgett@gggllp.com.

Business Management
May 2024
employee retention
Benefits

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