By: Ber Leary on July 19th, 2022

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5 Ways to Wow Staff With Your Employee Benefits Strategy


The Great Resignation of 2021 was something of a wake-up call for many employers. Leaders began to appreciate that even the most settled team members could walk out in an instant—and replacements aren't easy to find in a viciously competitive recruitment market. 

While the Great Resignation might be behind us, there's still a lot to think about. How do you attract the best people? How do you engage those people and integrate them into your team? And how do you hang onto great employees? 

The answer to all of these questions is: optimize your Total Rewards package. And pay extra special attention to your employee benefits strategy. 

Download an example Total Rewards statement

5 ideas for your employee benefits strategy

Benefits specialists NFP recently prepared a detailed report on the current state of employee benefits. The report is full of data that can help you build a Total Rewards offering that helps you attract, engage and retain. Here are some of the most useful tips. 

1. Make the most of voluntary benefits

Voluntary benefits can sometimes feel like a cheat. After all, the employee is footing the cost of the benefit themselves, so you’re not really providing them with a tangible reward.

But this is not how employees see it. In fact, 70% of employees say that they are more likely to work for an employer that provides a relevant range of employee-paid benefits.

It makes sense from the employee’s point of view, as your company can negotiate an attractive group rate on things like life insurance, gym memberships, and dental. You may also have internal resources to offer valuable services like financial planning services or legal advice.

Employees save money when accessing these benefits through your Total Rewards scheme, which offers them tangible value. It’s a great way to expand your rewards offering without increasing expenditure.

2. Brag about job flexibility

Job flexibility has become a hot topic in the post-pandemic era. Employers are generally keen to get back to a traditional 9-to-5; employees want more flexible hours and remote work.

This is not a minor issue, especially when you’re trying to recruit talent. According to NFP’s report, positions that advertise flexibility receive 35% more engagement than other job ads. Tenured employees also want more flexibility in their Total Rewards—37% of employees say they would like more benefit choices.

If you want to stand out, then you need to talk about how you support flexible working. If you offer flexible hours or you allow people to work from home, then make sure you mention that in your vacancy listing.

It’s also a good idea to think about why employees want flexibility. Many people need a job that will allow them to work around childcare, or attend to a sick relative, or to work on their education. Once you understand these factors, you can think about innovative ways to support the work-life balance?

3. Offer the best mental health support

Perhaps the most surprising statistic in NFP’s report is this: 100% of employees will require access to mental well-being solutions to help cope with stress, burnout or other life challenges.

Partly, this is due to the turbulent events of recent years. The pandemic caused chaos for everyone, while social and political unrest has made people feel extremely insecure. Economic pressures are also adding to employee woes, leading to even more stress and burnout.

But there is another factor too, which is that people are more willing to discuss mental health with their employers. This is a positive step forward, as it means you can support employees before their situation becomes irretrievable.

Of course, it’s up to employers to provide mental health solutions and Employee Assistance Programs. There are many available options. The important thing is to choose what’s best for your people.

4. Be creative with employee support strategies

One of the biggest changes in benefits is the increase in virtual healthcare solutions. Around 54% of employers now offer access to virtual primary care, while 55% provide virtual mental health support.

Virtual services like these were invaluable during the pandemic when people couldn’t book a face-to-face appointment. These days, they still serve as flexible and cost-effective channels for employee support. This is important in a time when employees are asking for greater flexibility in all aspects of employment, including access to their benefits.

Employees also require support in areas such as prescription drug spending. Right now, speciality medications account for 2% of prescriptions but 51% of total costs. In other words, 2% of your team could be facing massive medical bills.

Employers can help this section of their team by working with providers and insurers to get the best prices. This kind of support shows that your company is a caring, considerate employer that values its people. Those virtues can play a big role in engagement and retention.

5. Use Total Rewards to foster a culture of inclusion

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are not just aspirational goals. They can make a huge difference to your bottom line, with productivity rising 56% when employees feel included. Inclusion can also lead to a 50% drop in staff turnover and 75% fewer sick days.

DEI depends on your culture and HR policies, but it also depends on your Total Rewards strategy. You can help people feel included by:

  • Offering benefits relevant to their personal circumstances
  • Ensuring that everyone has a chance to earn bonuses and incentives
  • Investing in training and professional development for everyone
  • Making sure that your salary structure does not display unconscious bias
  • Being flexible about work-life balance

If everyone feels valued in the company, you’ll see the retention and engagement benefits of your Total Rewards strategy. Plus, it will help your employer brand—making it easier to recruit in the future.

Get help with your employee benefit strategy

Getting the right balance in Total Rewards can mean the difference between success and failure. If you're struggling to find the right mix of benefits, consider talking to an expert HR consultant. 

Book a no-obligation consultation call with Helios HR today and let's talk about how we can help wow your employees. 

Download an example Total Rewards statement