Time to offer workplace benefits fit for everyone

Growing demand for alternative benefits in the workplace is highlighted in Mercer’s (UK) What’s Working survey. Increasingly, traditional benefits are ranking lower as drivers of motivation and engagement levels in favour of alternative, lifestyle-based benefits as enablers of work-life balance.

In the UK, research on the top HR issues carried out by Mercer (2012) showed that 45% of employers consider managing the cost of employee benefit programmes as the biggest challenge faced, with a further 84% claiming that it was one of their top three priorities.

If you are considering alternative employee benefit programmes and increasing employee motivation and engagement levels ranks highly on your list of priorities in 2016,  this blog takes a look at some alternative benefits to consider:

Provide a provision for the younger, more financially challenged generations

Younger generations in particular are interested in alternative benefits. With  more financial burdens than ever before, including student loan debts and increasing living costs, benefits such as holiday savings options and student loan breaks have attractive appeal to Generation X and Y over more conventional benefits. Offering career breaks for other lifestyle choices than maternity, for example, offering sabbaticals for travel related expeditions, gives fair rights to those whose priorities include a desire to explore the globe but who don’t desire to have children.

Provide a provision for an aging workforce:

With an increasingly aged workforce brings higher occurrences of illness and a heightened requirement for healthcare, thus increasing expenditure and risk. Rethinking your benefit structures to reflect the requirements of an increasingly aging workforce is important. Providing provisions for older members of the workforce including cash healthcare schemes, in company health care check-ups/screenings by external providers and keeping an open line of communication with your older members of the workforce are all important.

Improve or create wellbeing programmes

Wellness of your staff influences and underpins performance and productivity. According to the Stress Management Society in the UK, stress affects one in five of the working population, and stress doesn’t differentiate based on salary and status, equally affects the latest recruit to the board of directors. It is now the single biggest cause of sickness in the and over 105 million days are lost to stress each year – costing UK employers £1.24 billion.

Take your employee’s and your own wellbeing seriously by developing wellness programmes and absence management programmes. The Stress Management Society offer workplace wellbeing solutions in the UK, including simple and creative ideas like drumming. The American Institute of Stress offer tips and advice on stress management.

Consider taking a truly holistic approach to your stress-management programmes. Breathing exercises, yoga, massage and drumming are just some of the options providing the opportunity to relax the mind and the body.

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