Google ‘best places to work’ and notice what you get. The top results do NOT yield lists of hyper-competitive firms that lead the charge in innovation. List after list, what’s prioritized in addition to salary is…can you guess? Benefits and well-being.
Fortune, which has been surveying workplaces for three decades, reports that particularly in times of economic distress (like today), it’s critical for companies to foster a workplace culture built on trust.
“Employees tell us whether leaders are accessible, communicate honestly and clearly, and if their actions match their words. They tell us whether they feel respected as individuals, if they receive training benefits, appreciation, support for their well-being and opportunities to contribute.”
Fortune’s analysis is based on a large quantitative study, surveying companies that employ a total of 7.5 million people in the U.S. and receiving 1.3 million survey responses from them.
Pivot has conducted qualitative research on successful workplaces, specifically through the stress reduction and resilience program Flex. The board-certified health coaches who provide one-on-one counseling note that today, employees expect the office to be a place where they can be supported to take on professional and personal challenges.
It makes sense, right? No one leaves their life at the door when they step into (virtual) work.
What do benefits communicate to employees?
There are many reasons why employee benefits are important. For example, employee benefits show your commitment to each employee’s overall wellness. Benefits also communicate the following: We value you, and we have a direct and vested interest in your success. There’s no clearer way to convey this than through your benefits.
In a 2021 Harvard Business Review essay, the CEO of Care.com Tim Allen reflected on how the pandemic has accelerated this long overdue shift:
One thing became very clear, very quickly — the undeniable interconnectedness of work and life. We all felt it acutely. Aspects of society and business that were long overdue for a change were now laid bare. We have a broken care infrastructure. Support for mental health is insufficient. And so many of us are entangled in demanding and inflexible workplace cultures that create burnout. Just to name a few.
Will employee benefits help with talent acquisition and retention?
Employee benefits help companies attract and retain top talent—a critical advantage during times of turnover and workforce shortages. How? In many industries, benefits help companies differentiate themselves from competitors. Candidates may be more likely to choose your company over another when there is a tempting benefits package.
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) highlights paid leave, financial wellness, career development, educational assistance, and mental health and wellness as key trends in the benefits arena. SHRM posits: “You don't have to be a Fortune 500 company to implement many of these benefits; however, it may take some financial investment to remain competitive in a tight labor market….Ultimately, asking your employees what it is they want, rather than guessing or implementing something just because a competitor is doing it, will be most effective. But don't ask if you aren't ready and willing to implement the suggestions.”
How do employee benefits enable personal and professional success?
Comprehensive benefits help employees become the best versions of themselves both in the workplace and in their own personal lives. This is especially true for benefits that target chronic stress—something most of us face at one or more points in our lives. A resilience solution empowers employees to face challenges with curiosity and confidence—not back away from them out of fear.
It is important to find solutions based on evidence. Pivot designed Flex as a mobile app and set of tools built on several proven tenets to address everyday stress. In addition to the board-certified health coaches mentioned previously, the platform offers connection to a supportive community of fellow users, and challenges, tools, and resources, such as the Flex Assessment, to help users track progress, develop strategies and become more resilient to the daily stressors we all face. Pivot Flex also supports employers and health insurers with insights into measurable data and outcomes they can tie into their strategic goals.
Employee benefits promote holistic health
Benefits help employees take care of themselves. If you give employees the right health and wellness tools, you enable them to care for themselves holistically. This includes taking care of their physical health as well as their mental health.
For example, providing a resilience solution for stress management prevents scenarios where employees come to work physically but are mentally checked out due to illness, injury, or exhaustion—a phenomenon called presenteeism. Presenteeism can be hard to spot, but it definitely pays off to notice and address it. Why? By some estimates the total cost of presenteeism in the United States is more than $150 billion per year.
Likewise, providing tools for stress management minimizes the likelihood that employees will ‘quiet quit.’ Quiet quitting occurs when employees refuse to go beyond the bare minimum responsibilities of their job. This can occur when employees feel your company doesn’t provide anything other than the bare minimum benefits.
Employee benefits enhance productivity
When employees feel good—both mentally and physically—they’re able to work harder and more effectively. Knowing their employer has their best interests in mind inspires them to give back to their teams and go the extra mile to do whatever it takes to get the work done. The employer-employee relationship becomes one of reciprocity and symbiosis. The result? Organizational resilience. And that’s key to organizational success.
According to a McKinsey study during the pandemic, there was a relationship between companies’ organizational health and their financial performance during the COVID-19 pandemic: “those businesses exhibiting healthy, resilient behaviors—such as knowledge sharing, performance reviews, and bottom-up innovation—were less likely than “unhealthy” organizations to go bankrupt over the following two years.”
Employee benefits boost morale
Employees with better benefits feel more valued because they know their employer cares about their personal needs. The result? Greater loyalty and higher job satisfaction, both of which equate to less turnover and more operational continuity for your company.
Can employee benefits improve a company's reputation?
Employee benefits can most certainly improve your company’s reputation both online and offline. One way to do that is by guaranteeing your benefits reflect how much your company cares. A comprehensive benefits package communicates respect for and gratitude toward your workforce. That workforce, in turn, can spread the good word through employee review sites, professional online networks, and personal contacts.
In contrast, when companies treat their employees with a lack of respect or care, they may quickly find themselves losing top talent and missing out on valuable revenue. Many consumers won’t support businesses that treat their employees poorly because they feel that treatment doesn’t align with their personal values.
What can you do to model your company after the world’s best?
The answer is simple. Take a look at your benefits package. Does it promote holistic health? This means looking beyond comprehensive healthcare coverage to include additional tools that help people manage their mental health as well. Stress management, for example, is important for everyone. Elevate your benefits to tackle stress, burnout, and anxiety. Learn how Pivot Flex can help.