Benefits truly work to increase employee engagement

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September 29, 2016
The chances of your employee leaving for a new job opportunity increase as the national economy heats up. With a Texas economy posting year-over-year job gains across most industries and the Central Texas regional economy booming even larger, the competition to retain talent locally is fiercer than ever.  Over half of  U.S. workers (52%) polled are open to leaving their current employers and 44 percent of them are actively seeking new work, according to Aon Hewitt’s Workforce Mindset study.  Employers in construction, trades, utilities, customer service, hospitalities, retail and the service sectors will tell you they experience the highest turnover rates; a fact confirmed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Workers are bolstered by competing job offers, wage dissatisfaction and jobs that don’t encourage individual success.

Aside from recruiting expenses and staff’s time, frequent voluntary turnover has a negative cost to employee morale and productivity.  Research from consultant, Korn Ferry Hay Group, shows an engaged workforce can boost bottom line revenues up to 2.5 times higher along with improving overall retention rates across business sectors. 
A direct correlation exists between employees’ job satisfaction and their level of engagement at work.  Employees cite multiple items that give meaning to their daily work:  Higher Pay; Above Average Benefits; Alignment with Individual Values; Fun Place to Work; Flexible Work Schedules and Safe Work Sites/Office Design.  Employees consistently rank benefits as one of the most important differences in their overall job satisfaction according to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management.  By focusing on benefit strategy, employers have the opportunity to compete for talent, increase loyalty and boost productivity without increasing the budget:
  1. Communication:Get it right the first time.The purpose of using benefits for employee engagement is lost when communications (hard copy, digital, social media, etc.) confuse or misinform workers.  Employee communications need to be simple, truthful, relevant and credible.  Without effective communication, employees’ satisfaction levels are only 3.6% higher for above-average benefit packages over below-average packages.  Satisfaction rates double with good communications.
  2. Rethink employee benefit options.  Are the current benefits offered meaningful to employees?  Employees may value an extra week of paid time off versus more company paid life insurance. Develop a multi-year benefit strategy that’s tailored to employees’ needs.
  3. Consider voluntary benefit choices.  Voluntary benefits can satisfy diverse needs in the workplace and help employers concerned with rising labor costs and administrative expense by cost-shifting voluntary benefit expenses to employees. Pet insurance or cancer coverage may not be right for you, but they may be viable to your employees.
  4. Wellness at Work makes a difference to employees.  Company-supported wellness activities, especially group or personalized challenges, shows employer commitment, fosters rapport among coworkers, encourages healthy habits and adds the fun factor employees want at work.
Benefits influence employees’ job satisfaction only when they fully understand the benefits value. Organizations have the opportunity to become an employer of choice through a targeted, employee-focused plan design and strategy.
Kim Rash, Account Executive
(210) 222-2161