The HR industry focuses on attracting new talent, but what about current employees?
In the midst of panic about quiet quitting and a general shift in mood for employees in a world that has weathered a pandemic, an employee’s benefits and rewards have become a crucial piece of employee engagement and company success. Benify has identified five ways employers can drive increased employee engagement with an existing reward and compensation package, and identify how benefits management can be improved to support uptake.
1. Recognize diverse and changing needs
The modern workforce can most aptly be characterized by its diversity. The wake of the pandemic has led offices to more fully embrace remote work, meaning companies are gaining employees with new and uncharted profiles and needs. As the world becomes more global, your team may now be a distributed workforce that transcends borders and cultures. What countries and cultures prioritize in benefits and rewards and consider employee wellbeing is different. For example, Germany does not require travel compensation, but many employees who drive to work are rewarded with fuel reimbursement in the form of fuel cards. Recognizing the diversity in your workforce will allow you to finesse these needs, going beyond a one-size-fits-all approach when planning and reviewing your reward and compensation package.
2. Needs go way beyond salary
Salary is, of course, paramount in a compensation package. But more employees – especially those that may have been with your company for years – are shifting prioritization to include flexibility, freedom, and annual periods approved for remote work. A recent study of 2,000 employees in the UK found that 42% consider flexible working hours a top benefit. Whilst only 20% named health plan. These kinds of insights remind us that assumptions can be misaligned with employee needs, and the ability to articulate robust and varied benefits is key to ensuring morale through the entire employee lifecycle.
3. Consider how you engage with your employees
The benefits you offer employees are worthless if employees don’t know about them, or aren’t sure how to take advantage of them. If you’re offering a digital benefit discount on a gym membership or an annual subsidy for transport, you must make it as easy as possible for an employee to take advantage of it. A benefit that remains unused is a benefit that may as well not exist. So consider, what are your team’s communication streams? How do you announce new benefits and collect data about which benefits are being used? Are employees empowered to share feedback and suggestions about their reward and compensation package outside of an annual review? When employees sense a renewed engagement from an employer about their benefits and feedback, they will respond with similar engagement.
This also means communicating in ways that are most likely to receive a response. A recent study found that the ways employees prefer to receive communication about their rewards and benefits is as diverse as the employees themselves, with only 38% of employees preferring email and 25% more interested in a staff “welcome pack.” When you have a dedicated employee communication strategy that meets your employees where they are and encourages feedback, you are much more likely to receive it.
4. There’s no need for guessing games
The best people to tell you what benefits and rewards your employees really want are your employees. A trendy benefit is only worth the investment if your employees will use it. A reward and compensation package is in many ways a “living document,” shifting with the years as a workplace changes, scales, downsizes, or shifts focus.
When you can track what employees are taking advantage of, you can better construct a strategy that meets their current and future needs. When you analyze what people actually desire and value, you can offer dedicated employees rewards that will invite them to reinvest their time and energy in your company.
5. Rewards and recognition should be part of your culture, not an afterthought
Everyone enjoys being affirmed and celebrated. A word of thanks can go a long way to boosting morale and reminding employees that they are valued, which in turn supports employee engagement. When reward and recognition are built into your company strategy, that cycle of appreciation and reinvestment is continuous. This needs to be an active exchange – not a one off communication pinging an employee with an email about an generic benefit update that is only truly helpful to reference during an annual review. Your employees are worth more than that, and deserve to be recognized and rewarded with personalized benefits.
Simply this is what employees need and want
Overall, attractive salary and benefits remain the driving force behind why employees choose an employer. But you must also focus on what makes them stay. Ideally, an attractive reward and compensation package moves from being an enticing part of an offer to an essential part of employee engagement, maturing with the company alongside the employee. This will be most successful if you are aware of the diverse needs of your employees, have clear communication about those needs, and prioritize active use of the benefits your company provides.
Be an employer of choice by driving engagement with your benefits and rewards program so that there is clarity on what's offered for employees. A digital first solution allows you to reach unengaged employees and 'quiet quitters' by helping them to see the true value of their compensation package you offer. You are an employer who is actively investing in your employees to support their wellbeing. When employees know this, and can see their value, it leads to enhanced productivity and engagement.
Today the importance of clear communication around benefits can not be under estimated. Discover our whitepaper, where we share the key steps to clear and personalized communication with employees.