By Sue Winkler, Director of Client HR Services
Throughout the country, employers are expressing concern about the high number of voluntary employee resignations, and more recently, the gap in available workers to open jobs. Countless webinars and articles have been developed to help organizations cope with the challenges of a fluid workforce by providing insight into what employees want from their employers. One item that tops the list for employees is well-being benefits.
Well-Being Past and Present
Studies report that well-being benefits are in the top three criteria employees across generations are looking for from their employers. And for Millennials and Gen Z? It ranks number one. But what does “well-being benefits” really mean? Basically, initiatives that target the physical, mental, emotional and economic health of your workforce.
Well-being is not new on the HR frontier. Researchers have been studying employee well-being for decades. Years ago, wellness programs were put in place that offered flu shots, walking campaigns, lunch and learns, discounts for a local gym, and swapping out candy bars in the vending machine for healthier snacks. Those previous efforts did not go unrewarded. One study reported that employers positively impacted adult health more than any other entity.
While not new, well-being initiatives are one of the most important issues employers can evaluate today. Candidates and employees want something more substantial than past programs. The scope of well-being benefits is being redefined and expanded to meet the needs of today’s employees.
Determining the Needs of Employees
To be impactful, any well-being initiative needs to be driven from the top down. Nor should it be a one and done program. And it’s more than offering health and welfare benefits. Those are simply expected today. What candidates and employees are looking for is a culture shift.
Some of the more popular areas for change or improvement include mental health benefits, financial education and retirement planning, job satisfaction, training and development, inclusivity, career development, and performance feedback. Other critical areas are work-life balance, flexibility and compensation. There are many layers and levels involved in developing a well-being program to fit your organization’s culture, and it starts with listening to your employees.
Designing Your Well-Being Program
June is National Employee Wellness Month, and a great launching pad for your well-being initiative. Find out what is important to your employees and explore ways to align those ideas with your values and your culture. You may be surprised by what your employees are telling you. However, you may also find that you are already offering many of the benefits employees want. If so, find new ways to promote those initiatives and incorporate them into your overall program.
A well-being program that is supported by management and responsive to employee needs will show a significant return on investment. A Deloitte study reported that high-performing companies are eleven times more likely to have broad well-being programs. Additional research has shown that a healthier workforce improves productivity, lowers the impact of stress, positively impacts teamwork, creates more energy, and maybe most importantly today, is a significant factor in attracting and retaining skilled employees.
Like any new undertaking, it’s okay to start small. Determine what you can do and do it well. Well-being programs should be allowed to evolve and change as you continue to evaluate what will help your workforce thrive.
Attend Our Upcoming Webinar on Employee Well-Being
If you are interested in exploring this topic further, join us on June 22 for a webinar presented by Miller Cooper and Alliance Pension on Employee Well-being: What does it mean for your company?
And remember, Miller Cooper/Alliance Client HR Services is here to support the people side of your business. Contact Sue Winkler, Director of Client HR Services about your HR needs or setting up/ enhancing an employee well-being program in your organization.