What Do Your Benefits Say About Your Company's Culture?

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Posted by: CMR March 27, 2023 No Comments

When a list of benefits stands alone on a job posting, it can sound like standard issue workplace jargon. That’s why more employers are advertising their company culture as a way to set themselves apart. By intertwining the two, companies can create a more compelling presentation and entice talent. 

According to a survey of 2,000 workers by SHRM, 88% gave consideration to benefits over pay. Likewise, Team Stage found that 88% of job seekers say that a healthy culture is vital for company success. Though benefits and culture are typically thought of as two different concepts, they are just different sides of the same coin, says Alex Frommeyer, CEO of healthcare company Beam Benefits. Incorporating culture into any benefits conversation helps an organization demonstrate a desirable theme: this company cares about its people. 

“We typically think about benefits as a very tactical thing — health insurance, 401(k), they’re very tangible. But employers are increasingly articulating the merits of their culture as a way to attract and retain talent,” Frommeyer says. “They can dribble the physical products and programs they offer in front of their employees all day long, but it will never matter unless they can connect them back to their values.”

Employee benefits are tools to attract, retain, and motivate employees. Until it is time to use them, however, they can go unrecognized and underappreciated. A conversation that leads with company values before benefit offerings flips an employee’s mindset from what is offered to why it is offered — strengthening a benefit’s relevance and worth. Frommeyer cites the example of parental leave, which can fall under the umbrella of short-term disability. 

“Here you are as an employer, building a product that’s just left in a silo,” he says. “If you’re really trying to achieve something different, which is a way to make the value of work-life balance come alive for your employees, you’re going to do all the tactical stuff with that disability product and parental leave policy, but the conversation is totally different. You’re starting the conversation with, ‘Because we care so much about work-life balance, here are the things we’re doing to support you as an employee on our team.'”

Flexibility in the workplace, a main priority for today’s employees, is another company value that allows benefit offerings to shine. It is not just about having coverage, Frommeyer says, but the flexibility to actually take advantage of available programs. 

“Having dental insurance is one thing, but if you can never schedule cleanings for the kids, you theoretically have coverage — but you don’t,” he says. “Flexibility, centering around well-being for the whole family, shows up in a bunch of different places.”

Aligning benefits with company culture is also a way to avoid an overwhelming amount of offerings that go unused and become a costly waste for employers. Infinite choice is not better than some choice, Frommeyer points out, and benefits should be chosen based on the values a company holds dear. 

“There are established employee benefits, and then there are emerging employee benefits. A great modern benefits program is likely going to contain elements of both,” he says. “By offering choice and diversity, you can have what feels like a thoughtfully constructed package, and any employer can balance culture goals and their financial goals at the same time.”

Companies that are successful in creating an employee-centric culture make it a main focus among leadership, and also rely on consistent communication. Cultural rountables are held monthly at Beam, during which a group of employees from different departments is brought together to discuss, among other things, where culture is showing up positively in the business and whether there are any blind spots. If benefits are part of company culture, says Frommeyer, they are naturally going to come up in this kind of conversation. Leadership then leverages these discussions to solicit how benefits are meeting employee expectations, and where they are responsive to the culture of the company. It’s an opportunity, he says, to not just ask for more, but to celebrate what the company is doing well. 

“The companies that are really sharp on these topics are having a constant conversation, making sure the cultural leadership topics and the HR topics stay synchronized,” Frommeyer says. “More employers are seeing the opportunity to meld these subjects together.”

Article Published By BenefitNews.com – https://www.benefitnews.com/news/what-do-your-benefits-say-about-your-companys-culture

Written By: Lee Hafner Editor, Employee Benefit News

Author: CMR

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