Employees want more than just health care from their employers to keep them happy, healthy, and committed to their jobs.
When you’re laser-focused on growing your business, it's easy to lose sight of the workplace environment you've created to make that business possible in the first place. But keeping your team happy, engaged, and motivated is essential to your company's success.
Employee perks and benefits can have a profound effect on that sense of workplace environment. Seventy-two percent of surveyed employees said that an improvement in their benefits offerings would make them happier at work, according to the 2017 Aflac Happiness Report.
But what exactly are those increased benefits that keep employees happy and loyal to your business? Here are four key steps to creating a strong and desirable workplace:
1. Make wellness a priority
Ensuring that your employees are happy means taking a more holistic approach to their wellness and wellbeing. Offering wellness benefits to employees including health spending programs is one way to do this.
But that also means extending health benefits into other often overlooked aspects of their lives. For example, offering employees a way to save on their commute to and from work by setting aside tax-free funds in a Commuter Spending Account is a simple way to help your employees spend their money more wisely.
2. Embrace flexible schedules
Having the opportunity to decide when and where they work is a major perk that employees appreciate, and one that doesn't have to cost your company a penny. Aflac's latest Happiness Report found that more than one in every four employees say flexible scheduling — the ability to decide where and when they work — is a crucial part of their choice in working for a small business in particular.
Allowing employees to work from home or remotely for a certain number of days per week or giving them the ability to set their hours depending on what works best with their lifestyle is a simple way to show your team you care.
3. Create opportunities for growth and learning
Don't forget the importance of giving employees a way to expand their knowledge and develop their skills to move up in their careers.
For example, Aflac offers employees access to a Career Success Centre where they can get in-person counseling sessions, resume help and practice interviews. Providing mentorship opportunities is another crucial way to foster a sense of community and show your employees you're invested in their growth. The Aflac TEACH Mentorship Program, which is made up of 68 percent women and 45 percent ethnic minorities, offers resources and support to promote diversity and upward mobility in the workplace.
4. Find ways to engage in the community
Creating opportunities for employees to give back to their communities and contribute to a meaningful cause can go a long way in both building their satisfaction with their work and making a lasting social impact.
You can do this by creating incentives like time off for employees to engage in philanthropic causes like childhood cancer support or Habitat for Humanities. Fostering opportunities for your team to feel connected to their community will make their overall experience more meaningful both inside and outside the office.
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