Benefits & Pensions
Four ways to create a more memorable well-being experience
By Chris Lee
One in three employers is discussing employee experience as a mandate at the C-suite level: report
By Chris Lee
Health and dental coverage. Competitive pay. Training programs.
Too many companies cite these routine benefits as examples of how they support their employees.
That needs to change.
Today’s top performers are looking for more from their employers. They want to be part of something they really believe in — something that satisfies their desire to self-actualize. And in 2021, they need to know that their employers have their backs.
This can be achieved by demonstrating the many ways they are being supported by their organization. This starts with a thoughtful approach to the employee experience, or EX. That is a term we are going to be hearing a lot more about.
In fact, according to Gallagher’s 2021 State of the Sector report, 33 per cent of employers are discussing employee experience as a clear mandate at the C-suite level.
The following four pointers can help every organization create a more impactful employee experience.
Create an identity
The power of ubiquitous packaging around the many programs that you offer is that it enables you to create a cohesive narrative around why you provide all of them.
By taking advantage of every touchpoint to remind employees of your well-being program, they will have a greater appreciation of your investment in them.
Instead of receiving various communications regarding EAPs, drug plans, pensions, compensation, vision care, etcetera, from different suppliers, employees will start to understand how they’re all connected if, for example, they are branded under the “Better You” program at “Company X”.
Speak their language
Say, for example, your company provides coverage for EAPs, paramedical practitioners, AD&D, reasonable and customary fees for dental procedures, and match contributions to target date funds with low MERs in an RRSP.
Just share that last sentence with your mother or your neighbour, then ask them how much of what you just said they actually understood.
We tend to get caught up in our own industry vernacular. It’s easy to forget that employees who are not in HR may not understand, let alone appreciate and value, these services.
If you are investing a lot in your employees, it’s time to start telling them in a clear and understandable way so that they learn to love how they’re supported.
Less is more. We all have time restraints, and so do our employees
Be respectful of this by trying to keep all employee communications engaging and concise. Your employees appreciate the effort, and are also likely to get more out of your communications.
Developing a multi-channel communications strategy can also help minimize the overwhelming sense of too much content. Instead of relying solely on email, integrate other methods of communication.
Gallagher’s State of the Sector report reveals that many employers have significantly increased other digital communications channels and internal collaboration tools over the previous year. If your company hasn’t already explored those options, it’s a good time to start.
Take the time to organize your offering
The way you organize your total rewards offering can have a big impact on how your employees perceive them.
What are the opportunities to humanize the well-being and support programs that you offer? Employees are concerned about their physical health, mental well-being, financial security and having a career that they’re excited about.
Every benefit and reward that you invest in for your employees should fit within one of these key areas of employee well-being. Then it will serve as a consistent reminder of how you’re supporting their well-being.
For many people, the lifestyle changes triggered by the pandemic have resulted in a significant shift in personal priorities. In this uncertain and often more isolated environment, employees need to be reminded that what they’re doing counts for something; and that their personal well-being is both important and critical to the company’s overall success.
Think of your employees as organizational consumers. If they don’t like what you’re offering, they are more likely to look elsewhere. That’s why a consumer-grade employee experience needs to be a crucial part of your employee value proposition.
EX presents a real opportunity for organizations to set the dial for post-pandemic success. If you get this right, your company will look good, your people will be happier and healthier, and your organization’s overall performance will improve.
After all, your employees are your business; you can’t expect them to deliver great CX (customer experience) if their EX doesn’t get them revved up enough to outperform the competition.
So, to drive greater employee engagement and build for a more successful future, shift the narrative from “health and dental, competitive pay and training” to “we will help you feel great, establish financial security, and build an awesome career.”
Chris Lee is vice-president of employee communication practice within Gallagher’s Employee Benefits Consulting Division in Canada.