Where employee benefits and workplace wellbeing meet – part 1

What do workplace wellbeing and employee 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 the employee’s experience, so an integrated wellbeing and employee benefits strategy can create genuinely happy people – and we know that that leads to happy business.

For example, one study shows that, as employers support all aspects of health, their workforce is 32% more focused, 53% more engaged and 64% more productive.1 Another demonstrates that 81% of employers use employee benefits as a tool to retain top talent.2

So how do you integrate wellbeing and employee benefits into a seamless whole? By putting employees at the centre. In part one of this blog, we share six tips on how to embed both wellbeing and employee benefits into your organisational culture, to create a positive employee experience. You’ll notice that there’s a strong crossover with HR too – because when the employee is at the centre, business disciplines work together to generate a great experience.

  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’ and ‘a fun approach’), 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.3 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 boss says one thing and the bigger boss 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. Employee benefits: are they easy to access and understand? Think about the ‘how’ as well as the ‘what’. 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.

Ian Rummels, our head of thinking and possibilities, and Debbie Kleiner-Gaines, head of creating opportunities, will be saying a lot more on this subject at Reward Live in Birmingham on 10 May 2017. Come and listen, and visit us on Stand 1.

We’re also offering a fantastic opportunity to win a year’s worth of online shopping or an individual online health and wellbeing screening for each of your employees. All you need to do is find us at Reward Live and complete our short survey to enter the prize draw!

Meanwhile, if you want to know any more about how employee benefits and wellbeing support one another, please feel free to contact us and we’ll be delighted to help.

1 Virgin Pulse: The Business of Healthy Employees: A Survey of Workplace Health Priorities, 2014

2 Employee Benefits: Benefits research, 2016

Office Genie: Workplace Happiness Report, 2017