What do wellbeing and benefits have in common? Simple – they both have a huge impact on employees.

Yet too often they are treated like separate business needs. Both play a crucial role in shaping Employee Experience, so an integrated wellbeing and employee benefits strategy can create genuinely happy people – and at PES, we know that that leads to a happy business.

For example, one study shows that 53 percent of employees feel wellbeing programmes have increased their engagement, while 64 percent say they have made them more productive. Another study demonstrates that 81 percent of employers use employee benefits as a tool to retain top talent.

So how do you integrate wellbeing and employee benefits into a seamless whole? By putting employees at the centre. In this article, we share 10 tips on how to embed both wellbeing and employee benefits into your organisational culture. You’ll notice that there’s a strong crossover with HR too, because when it comes to putting employees first, the link between business disciplines is narrower than you think.

  1. Examine your values: what do you stand for? Is ‘employee wellbeing’ included? The wording may be different (for example, at PES, our values include ‘doing the right thing’), but they should reflect how your people are treated.
  2. Leadership behaviours: do your senior people walk the talk? Employees will become disengaged by disingenuous leaders. Recent research has shown that the more senior you are in a company, the happier you are. Don’t assume your junior staff feel the same way! They are always going to be paid less, so think about what else you can do to improve their experience.
  3. Line managers: are they fair, supportive, and able to listen to their teams? Dame Carol Black, the former health and work tsar, says the greatest difference to workplace productivity comes from line managers being trained in how to listen to, understand, and give autonomy to their people.
  4. Communication: does the right hand know what the left is doing? If the line manager says one thing and the leader says another, people will be confused. Aim for consistency to avoid chaos.
  5. Job roles: do they play to people’s strengths, offer development opportunities, and reflect the business mission? Few things kill motivation more than a dull daily routine with no overall purpose to strive for.
  6. Your physical environment: is it safe, pleasant, and easy to get to? A long, traffic-fumed commute really adds to people’s stress levels. You can’t always help that, of course, but you can offer flexible start and finish times, and ensure that your office space has peaceful, appealing décor and restful breakout areas.
  7. Equipment and ergonomics: from comfortable desks and chairs to efficient, easy-to-use technology, do people have the tools they need to perform well? If inanimate objects frequently take the rap in your organisation, your kit may need updating.
  8. Flexibility: as above, can you allow people to set their own hours to accommodate the school run, look after a sick child, or avoid horrendous rush-hour bottlenecks?
  9. Pay and reward: can your employees look forward to salary increases? Money isn’t everything, but of course it’s an important part of your reward package so think about bonuses, incentives, commission and other forms of recognition.
  10. Just as importantly, do you offer employee benefits? Benefits are more than just reward. They form part of a wider strategy to improve the employee experience on every level. This means your choice of benefits is important – will they really meet the needs of your particular employee demographic? Is life assurance as important to 25-year-old as, say, discounted gym membership or online shopping? If your benefits are offered online via a tailored, innovative platform that reflects your employer brand, employees are likely to have a better experience than if they have to fill in endless forms.

Let go of what you imagine wellbeing to be, or what employee benefits are about. Take it back to basics: do you really want your employees to feel good about coming to work? If so, this will be embedded in your organisational culture in many ways.

Of course, you can only influence how your employees feel, you can’t control it. But you can acknowledge that they have a life outside work (through flexible working, empathic managers, lifestyle benefits, and so on), which will help them give more to the job.

For smaller businesses, making these changes may seem daunting – but a trusted partner can analyse needs and provide practical, workable solutions.

About PES

Delivering a great employee experience is a challenge for growing organisations. At PES, it’s what we do. Our online employee benefits platform, HR support and workplace wellbeing services bring out the best in your employees – enabling your business to thrive.

Call us on 01454 808658, email us at hello@wearepes.co.uk or visit www.wearepes.co.uk

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