Employee engagement is top-of-mind in our HR industry. As the tight job market continues, retention is equally as important as recruitment. Employers are focusing on ways to better engage workers who might otherwise go elsewhere seeking what they perceive to be “greener grass.” Employee engagement is top-of-mind in our HR industry.
Alongside the traditional benefits like health insurance and 401(k)s and popular voluntary benefits such as student loan assistance, pet insurance and employee purchase programs, there are a newer breed of “perks” like gym memberships, standing desks, nap rooms and off-site team building activities. Often added to the standard benefits package, these are designed to make the working environment more inviting for employees and to help them perform their job better. Whether you call them benefits or perks, it’s been shown that employees who feel their companies care about their well-being are more engaged and dedicated to company success. In fact, Gallup found that organizations with highly-engaged employees outperform the competition by 147 percent in earnings per share.
That may be one reason why a G2 Crowd survey reported that companies would be increasing their spending on employee engagement by 45 percent in 2019. One area of strong growth is workplace wellness programs, which are an investment in the health and wellness of employees. The return on that investment for employers is employee productivity and creativity. The same can be said for financial wellness programs, which can help to combat the stress and decreased productivity that employees experience when they are struggling to manage their household budget.
As HR professionals consider their employee engagement strategies, it’s important to remember that one size does not fit all, nor is employee engagement just another buzzword du jour. Following are three simple ideas to consider adding to your strategy to truly make a difference in the lives of employees.
1. Make room for flexibility. Shifting work hours (such as starting the day earlier or later) and working from home one or two days a week are two of the most sought-after examples of flexibility, particularly among Millennials, the largest generation in the workforce.
2. Add benefits that satisfy employee lifestyle needs. Employees have various lifestyle needs as they enter different life stages. For example, nursing mothers appreciate on-site lactation services. Paid parental leave programs are popular for young families, and paid caregiver leave can be a lifesaver for those caring for aging parents.
3. Take a holistic approach to wellness.Employee wellness used to mean providing a gym membership and orchestrating an internal health fair. Now, companies are broadening their approach to address the many dimensions of wellness – physical, mental, emotional, social, occupational, financial, purposeful and environmental. These don’t have to be equally balanced, but happy, healthy employees are generally engaged employees, so look for ways to address the wellness needs that fit your particular organization and employees the best.
About the Author: Racquel Roberts is Chief People Officer at Purchasing Power, a voluntary benefit provider of an employee purchase program that enables workers to buy brand name products and services via a transparent, affordable and financially-responsible purchasing program.