You may have met that one colleague who was always passionate and flexible at work. They stayed with you for years because they shared the company’s values and liked their coworkers. But one day, they decided to leave. Gradually, everyone said goodbye, and even tried to persuade them to stay.
You and your coworkers heavily relied on them, but they just found work elsewhere that offered better benefits. You know it was best for them to go after that new place. The only thing you can wish for now is that you should have spent more time with them.
This National Employee Benefits Day, take time to celebrate your team’s outstanding performance. Consider what your workplace could’ve done better for the numerous employees that left your company and what can be done to inspire your remaining colleagues in working together.
Meeting Employee Needs Through Fairness
Because certain jobs can become very unpleasant, there is constant news of a workforce going on strike. Businesses try to spur people’s passions and openly discuss recognition, but fail to provide what they truly deserve: salary increases, contract renewals, or competitive perks. Equal opportunities for all must be taken into account while addressing employee needs.
One of the biggest publishing houses in the industry, HarperCollins, with 76 percent white employees, was recently stormed by 250 union employees who went on a strike for 66 days. The union members and the publishing house have been negotiating with them for the renewal of their contracts and the publishing house’s increase in diversity initiatives since December 2021.1
This widely spread over Bookstagram and BookTok, causing readers, authors, and literary agents to boycott the materials published by Harper Collins. Eventually, Harper Collins and the union tentatively agreed to raise their minimum wages and provide a one-time payment of $1,500 to the employees involved.
While there’s still no conclusive decision on how the company will improve inclusivity, this incident should remind all employees that their voices can be heard even from beyond the office walls.
When Pay Alone Isn’t Enough
Surely you know by now that generous pay alone isn’t enough to keep workers completely satisfied. Of course, it’s always nice to be offered more than what you think you deserve, but there may come a time when it can feel lackluster.
According to a Forbes Advisor survey, 40 percent of employers determined that their employees leave for another company that offers better employment benefits.2 This is also one of the reasons why 62 percent of the surveyed businesses improved their benefits in succeeding years.
Responding employees also said that 20 percent of them would quit for a more flexible work-from-home arrangement elsewhere. Meanwhile, 22 percent stated they are willing to leave their current job for better advancement opportunities. These only prove that salary is not the most important factor for employees to stay.
Celebrate Your Powerhouse: An Upgrade to Your Company Benefits
You’ve been working in the same company for three years. Over the pandemic, the only changes you’ve noticed are your colleagues and managers who left for better jobs. You probably stayed because it’s comfortable and feels like routine. However, how long can you tolerate working in a stagnant environment?
Companies should maintain a healthy office culture by having a genuine appreciation for every worker, even when it’s not National Employee Benefits Day. Here are some benefits you should think about.
Improve Productivity Through the Science of Support System
A compassionate human connection through a sense of belonging and being trusted by leaders they look up to is one of the biggest factors people stay at their jobs. Compassion is responding to the needs of others that is beyond empathy and understanding. Being selfless in helping and giving is also linked to a longer life that can help improve one’s well-being and reduce the effects of stress.
Asking your peers how they are shows your appreciation and care. Offer help, when necessary, but not excessively. Kindness can even lower the risk of developing heart disease. So why not contribute to alleviating stress in the workplace?
Retain the Team by Having Employee Emergency Savings
Investing in an employee’s well-being should start now. Sid Pailla, CEO of Sunny Day Fund, said that people are now focused on saving for unexpected emergencies and the rising cost of living. According to Vanguard, 20 percent of the participants have already touched their retirement savings in 2021.3
With unpredictable bills and unexpected events, setting up an emergency savings account can now be possible through Secure Act 2.0. Part of the benefits of the act is allocating a budget from employee salaries and saving up to $2,500 a year for emergencies.4
Support Tuition Reimbursement or Education Assistance
Around 47 percent of US employers generously offered reimbursements for tuition fees back in 2019.5 While student loans being paid for can lighten the burden of many Americans, companies can still help their employees and managers pursue necessary skill upgrades by covering educational fees.
This can be accomplished by shouldering part of an existing loan or sending employees through training and courses outside of the office. Investing in the intellectual and skill development of the members of a company can also improve overall productivity and services. It can make reskilling a more ideal alternative instead of filling vacant positions.
Include DEI Efforts in Your Priority and Budget
Even without a proper budget, most companies still rely heavily on their employee resource groups (ERGs) to drive DEI efforts forward in 2023. Executive sponsors and ERG leaders are seeing varying levels of involvement and contribution regarding the said initiatives.
Although 100 percent of executive sponsors believe that company leadership is effective in encouraging the participation of employees in ERG activities, only 52 percent of ERG leaders agree. ERG leaders have also said that the resources they receive aren’t enough. These include money, support, and even recognition.6
The drive for inclusivity should start from the top management and spread across the entire organization. This can also be done best by placing people from minority groups in positions of authority.
Improve Benefits Program to Be More Suitable for the Work Force
One of the ways companies can show they truly care about their employees is by creating personalized benefit programs that cater to their unique needs. It doesn’t have to be a lavish or costly affair, but something that genuinely enhances their lives and makes them feel valued.
What if Employers Consider a Pet Insurance
Not everyone has children or is looking forward to having them. Many choose to adopt fur babies instead. This diversity of choice has opened up new benefits that companies can explore.
Veterinary visits can get ridiculously expensive, especially with the health conditions of animals that may be difficult to diagnose or treat. A standard pet insurance can at least help cover unexpected illnesses and accidents so that owners can provide even better care for their beloved pet with lesser worries.
Your Hard Work Is Worth Praising!
Whichever industry you may be in right now, may your workplace value your passions and offer a hand in pursuing them. Seek what you think is best for you. Chase your desires and believe that this will be granted especially for you. Thank you for doing your very best!
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1 Constance Grady. “What the hard-won HarperCollins union contract means for the future of books”. https://www.vox.com/culture/23594358/harpercollins-union-contract-strike . Published last February 10, 2023. Accessed last February 27, 2023.
2 Dana Miranda. “These Are The Best Employee Benefits In 2023”. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/business/best-employee-benefits/ . Updated last February 6, 2023. Accessed last February 27, 2023.
3 Les Williams. “Workplace Emergency Savings: The Must-Have Benefit for 2023”. https://riskandinsurance.com/workplace-emergency-savings-the-must-have-benefit-for-2023/ . Published last February 2, 2023. Accessed last February 28, 2023.
4 Alyssa Place. “How SECURE 2.0 pushes employers to support emergency savings”. https://www.benefitnews.com/advisers/news/secure-2-0-supports-emergency-savings-account-benefits . Published last January 30, 2023. Accessed last February 28, 2023.
5 Mike Kappel. “Tested Employee Benefits That Keep Our Retention—And Productivity—High”. https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikekappel/2023/02/22/tested-employee-benefits-that-keep-our-retention-and-productivity-high/?sh=7403c5412ec6 . Published last Feb 22, 2023. Accessed last February 28, 2023.
6 Selena Rezvani. “Want your employees to thrive? Ditch these workplace norms”. https://www.msnbc.com/know-your-value/business-culture/workplace-norms-we-need-retire-2023-n1302893 . Published last Feb. 22, 2023. Accessed last February 27, 2023.