2017's National Employee Benefits Day is fast approaching. This holiday, which was created and is promoted by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans was instituted mostly to increase awareness via communication of benefits to employees, however April 3rd is a perfect time to review your benefits options, increase benefit offerings and improve overall communication. Here are some ideas for your 2017 celebration.
1. Review Your Benefits
Have you talked with the recruiters at your company? Are they saying that they are losing candidates due to a lack of certain benefits? Which ones are consistently losing them them their top recruits? This time of year is a good time to review what you have to offer and note if it’s still competitive. Making little changes can go a long way for your recruitment and retention rates.
2. Run an Awareness Campaign
Okay, so maybe you have great benefits, but your employees have NO CLUE! What good are they? Not very. Consider taking the time between March and the beginning of April to come up with some internal promotional items like flyers, table tents for the break room and email blasts that make benefits easily accessible and understandable. You could even include a contest of some sort to make sure that people are engaging with the materials. The possibilities are endless!
3. Find Out What Others are Doing
The IFEBP makes it easy to celebrate their holiday. In particular they have sections that showcase articles about benefits communication here and samples of employee communication pieces that were created by their members here.
4. Research the Unconventional
The fact is, not all benefits work for all workplaces, but there are many unconventional benefits that employers are considering in today’s recruitment market to attract and retain talent. Here are a few you might not have considered.
A Defined Career Ladder – Technically, this isn’t a “benefit” but it does have benefits. When onboarding someone it’s great to be able to produce a documented strategy for an employee to get promoted. For instance, if you hire a person to work in a Perioperative department as a Certified Surgical Technician or a Central Sterile Reprocessing staff member, there is a possibility that they would be interested in moving into a more direct Operating Room role. Providing employees with clear steps (including educational requirements) to follow gives employees the feeling that they are being invested in and considered for long-term employment. As a point of reference The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) noted that, “When HR implements a comprehensive internal mobility strategy focused on employees' career growth and development, costly turnover decreases significantly.”
Different Desks – Depending on your industry standing, adjustable or treadmill desks may be potential benefits to offer employees. According to SHRM’s article, “a growing body of medical research shows that sitting all day at work—something millions of people do—can be bad for workers’ health.” According to Business Insider, The White House staff requested them and per the Wall Street Journal, Google and Facebook were starting to enjoy their benefits as early as 2011. These types of desks may or may not work within your company, but it is something to think about.
Vacation Packages – When Netflix instituted unlimited paid maternity and paternity leave back in 2015 and other companies like General Electric (GE), Grant Thorton, Grubhub, LinkedIn and Virgin Group added unlimited vacation policies it really changed the game for HR departments. What it did was the raise the question of the true meaning of work-life balance.
It’s important for employees to feel like they have adequate time to relax and refresh so that they can do their best work. While unlimited vacation may not be the right way to go for your company (for instance – your company might be small and unable to handle multiple people on leave simultaneously), a review of your allotted vacation and how people earn time off is something important to keep in mind.
Recognition Programs – Many companies, even small ones have some sort of recognition plan in place for long-term employees. However, many of those programs center around milestones that Millennials will never reach. According to Aon’s recent research, Millennials (who are quickly becoming the largest workforce group) don’t stay at companies long enough to be recognized. If your recognition programs are outdated, maybe it’s time to freshen them up and send out new communications about them.
5. Consider a Careers Microsite
We consistently promote creating custom microsites for recruitment, but they are also great tools for ongoing employee engagement. Developing a robust tool where current and potential employees can interact with their company and review benefits in detail is a wonderful idea. It will increase communication with existing employees and will serve as a piece of passive advertising material for candidates who are doing their research about your company.
You can add portals that only accessible to current employees while maintaining outward-facing pages for potential ones. Things to house on such a site include: vacation policies, retirement options, in-house and affiliated educational programs, and healthcare links. It’s a great place to show off your overall company culture. After all, working for a company that fosters such a culture is a benefit in and of itself!
Are you feeling lost? Not sure where to start? Why not take a moment to find out if your employees are satisfied with our free tool.