What effects do employee benefits have on my company’s culture?
In the past, employee benefits packages used to be a fairly standardised affair. Employees were offered a base salary, a few weeks of paid holiday, a pension plan and perhaps a bonus at the end of each year. Times have changed significantly in the last decade, and now the benefits you provide not only reflect the type of business you are running, but they also play an important role in the effective maintenance of your employer brand.
Marketplaces are competitive, and businesses which haven’t altered their approach to employee benefits will struggle to recruit and retain the high-quality talent they need to survive and thrive in such a fast-paced environment. As such, many businesses have decided to refine their approach to benefits packages, letting the culture of the company inform those decisions.
Your employee benefits package can influence your company culture in a myriad of ways, each of which will benefit your organisation.
Start-ups and young companies have forged reputations for breaking the rules and disrupting the status quo. As such, employee expectations as to what they can expect from their benefits package have changed significantly.
Technology company Slack is a prime example of effectively simplifying the approach to work. With a focus on promoting a healthy work-life balance, Slack’s benefits include weekly catered breakfasts and lunches, personal and professional development stipends, social events and games nights. Slack’s offerings allow them to attract like-minded talent who will fit seamlessly into the team and contribute to the overall productivity of the workforce.
Establish your business as one that goes above and beyond
Businesses need a reliable team, and investing in an excellent benefits package will communicate that you are a business which will always go above and beyond to reward your staff appropriately. The best benefits packages are created with the workforce in mind, with decision-makers questioning whether their chosen benefits:
- Align with the vision, mission and purpose of the company
- Are things that staff will value and feel comfortable using
- Genuinely contribute to helping employees feel respected, valued and supported
Integrate benefits into company processes
Fully integrating your benefits packages into business processes will ensure that they become an integral part of your company culture.
In the context of recruitment and HR, your benefits packages should be shared with potential candidates at the outset and throughout the hiring process rather than merely mentioned when you extend an offer of employment. Since your benefits should reflect the values and ethos of your brand, they will be something that you will want to shout about from the rooftops. It will benefit your bottom line in the long run.
In onboarding new hires, care and attention should be given to ensuring they are fully aware of the benefits available to them and how to access them. Reminders can be provided for existing staff during annual reviews and in internal communications. Here you have the opportunity to reinforce the message that the benefits you offer are directly linked with the culture of your company, which can engender loyalty and ensure that your workforce feels genuinely valued.
Showcase effective and compassionate top-down management
The example set by senior management teams is an integral element in establishing a positive company culture. When the right benefits are put in place, management teams will find it simple to communicate how they can positively affect the lives of the entire workforce. Employee benefits are particularly effective when they truly reflect the mission and values of the company.
If management teams are seen to be actively taking advantage of the benefits on offer, the integration of benefits with your company culture will be further reinforced.
Making significant changes to your benefits package isn’t necessarily something that can be achieved overnight. This is precisely why it is so important to remember that small changes can also have a tangible impact on the morale of your workforce. Although a comparatively small gesture, permitting your employees to take an additional day of paid leave on their birthday, for example, will demonstrate that establishing a positive work-life balance is important to you and your senior team.
Not only will your benefits package promote the health and well-being of your workforce, but it will also play a significant role in the shaping and maintenance of your employer brand and company culture. If your benefits offering and your culture don’t work in harmony to support the wider objectives of your business, you will struggle to attract and retain the talent you need. If you find that there is a sense of disconnect here, you will find it valuable to talk to your staff and take the time to understand their needs and expectations better.