People are no longer just content to have a job. We care more than ever about the company’s real values—not the values an ad company came up with for them. We recently posted part one of the kindness benefit where we talked about how important time is to a person. Whether that be time off, time to stretch, or time to watch your five-year-old perform Macbeth. In part two, we will look at the other benefits that are now expected as part of the signing deal.
Benefit of Benefits: Health
Right after salary, most people want to know what kind of health insurance is offered. If we take on a full-time job, we expect to receive certain health benefits with little cost to us. Most employees understand that the cost of health insurance is not negotiable, as is the percentage the company covers. In a competitive
Having extra time to yourself also leads to significant health benefits. PGI found that 53% of people would spend their spare time exercising. Time, health, work, and insurance costs all fall into a hamster wheel. People have too much work, which leads to very little time for exercise and proper health maintenance, which leads to poor habits and health, which leads to pills and diseases, which leads to poor work performance, which leads to more work and more stress. Just a little extra time each day could lead to benefits that benefit both employees and the company alike.
Benefit of Benefits: Charity
Many companies realized that people didn’t just care about themselves and implemented charitable benefits in their offer packages. This came in the form of matching your charitable donations, offering volunteer days for the non-profit of your choice, having company volunteer days for the non-profit of their choice, sponsoring philanthropic events and donation drives, as well as a myriad of other initiatives that show they are trying to not just a money-driven monster, but a self-realizing company that understands people need to feel good about the values of their employer.
Benefit of Benefits: Culture
Companies can provide a better work/life balance by creating a more casual culture. There was a time when it was thought that if people wore incredibly uncomfortable “professional” clothes to work, they would work harder. These mid-century myths have long been tossed aside. People worked just as hard on “Casual Friday” as they did on “Oh Goodness, it’s Only Tuesday, Tuesday.” Of course, no one is suggesting showing up to a meeting in your pajamas, with unwashed hair, chewing gum, the company that takes less time to care about if an accounts payable clerk or graphic designer are wearing a suit wins in productivity.
Flexibility is key to employee happiness as well. The company that understands a good employee needs to have time to go to the doctor, get their car looked at, and go to the occasional school pageant, which is at 10 AM on a Wednesday for some reason. Working from home used to be a sought-after plus but has become the norm during COVID. What companies should have learned in 2020 is that people work just as hard from home, if not harder. It all comes back to people getting their work done. And what most companies see is that yes, when given the freedom to create a schedule that works for both parties, most people do. There is always an outlier, the person who takes too long at the doctor and seems to go every day, or the person that appears to need two weeks to complete an assignment that most people complete in a day. In those cases, the group should not be punished for the few. Take longer looks at those who are not functioning well under this system; in many cases, it is not the flexibility that causes the problem but instead shines a light on what the problem actually is.
Benefit of Benefits: Training
Think about it, did you ever have a mentor? If you did, that is great—but this is not the norm in most companies. Most people have a manager that also never had a mentor, and most managers are not adequately trained for the people aspect of their job. I can’t tell you how many hard, dedicated workers leave a company because of bad management. The management blames the worker, a random HR person takes it on blind faith, and the cycle continues.
I knew an HR Director that had recently taken on a new job. She told me the company had an Executive VP that had been with the company for thirteen years. In that thirteen years, no one had lasted longer than six months under that VP. Yet, until the HR person came on board, everyone blamed the workers and never took a magnifying glass to the EVP. If you are thinking, well, this is the exception, I think you’d be shocked to find out it is more the norm. The toxic work environment is real, and carefully examining turnover could lead to retaining quality personnel and ushering out toxicity. Often it is thought it is harder to replace
Professional development is also a “nice to have” for most people. I hope we have demonstrated that most employees want to succeed and be seen as an essential member of the team. While professional development is not always in the budget, there are often free workshops, seminars, conferences, and many other outside the box activities that can stimulate their mi
Benefit of Benefits: Money
Money, of course, is one of the biggest drivers to take a job. Employers know what they can offer for a position, but they must also look to see if that salary is in line with what that job pays regionally and nationally. They must also take a close look to ensure the position’s duties align with the advertised position. In other words, don’t post for a Coordinator knowing the job is really more of a Director level. Don’t know? Ask a colleague, or two, outside the company. If you are realistic, you are more likely to find the right candidate. Companies are moving towards not asking for a person’s last salary or salary history. This is also highly advised. We go back to, you know what you can pay, what they made at their previous company is irrelevant. Ask instead what their salary expectations are for this job when they apply.
Benefit of Benefits: Future
There are other benefits that we did not mention here that might be worth a thought, which are 401K, transportation reimbursement, daycare help, FSAs, and so on. What you decide for you company is up to you and your staff, just don't feel limited to what has always been offered as the norm.
As people become more aware of themselves and their needs, companies need to catch-up. While the American worker may feel pressured to be the best, they also realize that it is imperative to breathe. Work/life balance is not a phrase that will go out of fashion.
So, what is in it for your company? Rethinking your benefits strategy and ensuring that you meet modern developments will help secure and retain quality employees. In the long run, a dedicated and happy employee will benefit your company, so offering a few extra benefits is a fair trade.