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7 Effective ways to improve employee benefits

7 Effective ways to improve employee benefits

If you aim to enhance utilization and boost your company's reputation as a top employer in your industry, a top-notch benefits package is essential. Improving employee benefits can strengthen your position, attract leading talent, and serve as a tangible asset in bolstering your brand name.

When employees know they can count on stellar benefits, it can boost engagement and utilization — enhancing ROI and improving productivity and job satisfaction. Research shows that 1 in 10 workers would take a pay cut at a new company if they had a better benefits package, and 40% of employers say they think people would be willing to leave their jobs if they were offered a job with a company more focused on improving employee benefits. 

If you’re unwilling to grow, change, and advance your benefits offering to stay competitive, you might risk more than you realize. Read on to learn how to improve employee benefits.  

 1. Offer customization of benefits 

Like your company, your workforce is unique. Different employees will have various needs and preferences. Focusing on a diverse benefits package that allows customization shows how much you value employee well-being and morale. Creating packages that allow for autonomy and prioritization of needs can boost job satisfaction, reducing employee turnover.

Offer customization opportunities by:

  • Offering a flexible spending account (FSA)
  • Allow for health savings accounts (HSA)
  • Consider remote working flexibility (something that an astounding 98% of employees want available to them at least part of the time)
  • Offer tuition reimbursement programs
  • Provide on-site childcare or offer subsidies for local childcare services.
  • Include wellness initiatives that are based on personalized priorities and interests, like fitness memberships, mental health support, or nutrition counseling

 2. Add unique perks

Studies found that 4 out of 10 employees are likely to quit within a year if they don’t feel their employers are taking care of them. Offering unique perks and incorporating the latest employee benefits trends demonstrate that you care and are willing to go the extra mile to stand out against the competition. 

When thinking about how to improve employee benefits, think outside the box. While traditional options like health insurance, competitive pay, and retirement planning are essential, they don’t set you apart. Less conventional benefits can cater to and attract today’s top talent.

Unique perks might include:

  • Having a pet-friendly office — 91% of employees at pet-friendly companies report being “fully engaged” and say their work is “rewarding and exciting”
  • Offering pet insurance
  • Assisting with life events — like adoption aid, student loan assistance, etc.
  • Offering flexible work hours or a 4-day week — more than half of workers say they’d go to a new company for flexible work options
  • Matching 401(k) contributions
  • Establishing employee recognition initiatives

 3. Prioritize mental health & wellness

Being mindful of and prioritizing mental health in the workplace is no longer just a nice-to-have. Recent research suggests that 64% of employees have mental health needs, and for 91% of them, it affects their productivity. Worse, 75% feel their condition stayed the same or worsened in 2022. Health benefits are among the 3 most influential drivers that attract (and help you keep) great talent. 

Ensuring your employees have adequate access to mental healthcare is essential to creating a productive, engaged workforce. Poor mental health is intrinsically linked to decreased productivity, according to an overview of 38 studies. 

In short, focusing on employee wellness and mental health is an investment in your company’s overall success.

You can prioritize mental health and wellness in your company by partnering with Talkspace. Our online therapy platform provides a variety of benefits:

  • Access to licensed, experienced therapists and mental health professionals through chat, secure video appointment, and text
  • Convenient online appointments that eliminate time and travel concerns
  • Affordable care
  • Wide range of therapeutic modalities and treatment options
  • Analytics that drive future decisions so you can provide precisely what your workers need

 4. Improve benefits accessibility

Making benefits more accessible is an absolute must. Even if you have the best benefits package in town, if people can’t access them, it won’t even matter. You put a lot of time, energy, and probably money into your benefits offerings — make sure people can easily take advantage of them by promoting employee benefits and making your benefits program easy to understand.

Improve benefits accessibility by:

  • Offering virtual health options, like Talkspace, which makes mental healthcare convenient and accessible from the comfort of home or wherever employees are
  • Explaining the different employee benefits program options clearly and effectively during onboarding
  • Focusing on data privacy by using credible platforms and portals that prioritize confidentiality so people will confidently use the resources you offer
  • Using multiple channels to optimize communication — newsletters, emails, physical marketing collateral, and intranet sites
  • Utilizing technology like mobile apps so employees can log in and access their benefits 24/7

 5. Make data-informed improvements

Make sure you’re using any collected data and analytics to your advantage. Information about usage and engagement can shed light on areas you could improve. You may find that some employee perks are underused — or not used at all — which could mean you’re spending money on things your employees don’t value. Data analysis can also help you identify what’s working well so you can consider bolstering support or expansion of certain offerings to further improve benefits utilization.

To get the most out of benefits, you should:

  • Analyze usage rates for each benefit you offer
  • Determine where you’re receiving high satisfaction scores and consider enhancing those benefits
  • Identify underutilized benefits to determine if you should change them or eliminate them altogether

 6. Implement employee feedback

Employee feedback can be vital in shaping your benefits packages. It’s also critical for improving employee retention — companies that listen to their employees see a 14.9% reduction in turnover

You can’t just gather the feedback; you need to use the information you get to understand common trends and needs. Acknowledging and acting on employee feedback will foster trust, as people will feel heard and valued knowing that you care about what they want.

For example:

  • If multiple people request flexible work hours, you might want to introduce remote working or flextime policies
  • If mental health support tops the list, consider partnering with an online therapy platform to make mental health easily accessible, affordable, and convenient
  • If a desire for professional development opportunities comes up frequently, look into partnerships with e-learning platforms that give discounts or free courses so people can advance their careers

 7. Focus on communication

According to some research, as many as 85% of workers don’t understand the benefits coverage options and employee perks they have through their employer. Not only does this increase frustration amongst your workforce, it also reduces utilization, which means you’re not getting the return on your investment you should be. Promoting employee benefits helps to improve engagement and utilization.  

How to effectively communicate benefits:

  • Use understandable explanations with clear and direct language
  • Avoid the use of industry or technical jargon that may be confusing or overwhelming
  • Make sure all information is up-to-date and easy to find
  • Remind employees of their benefits often, especially if you offer unique or new opportunities
  • Post information about benefits in high-traffic areas
  • Create an internal benefits page on your company site or intranet

Enhance your benefits packages with Talkspace

As important as mental health is in today’s climate, it’s still often overlooked in employee benefits programs. If you’re trying to level up your company’s benefits offerings, consider partnering with Talkspace to guarantee your team has access to mental health professionals when, where, and how they need it.

Talkspace’s online therapy for employees is secure and accessible anywhere, at any time. The convenience of virtual options ensures employees can seek help without disrupting their work schedule. People feel supported and are more productive when they know they can access the care they need. 

Improving employee benefits is easier when you implement the tips here. Remember that when you invest in enhanced employee benefits, you’re investing in a thriving workplace culture that’s more productive, satisfied, and loyal. Get started today — reach out to Talkspace to learn how to improve your benefits with a comprehensive mental health program for your organization.


Sources: 

  1. Miranda, Dana. “Best Employee Benefits in 2023.” Forbes, February 6, 2023. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/business/best-employee-benefits/
  2. Haan, Kathy. “Remote Work Statistics and Trends in 2023.” Forbes, June 12, 2023. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/business/remote-work-statistics/.  
  3. “Why Do Workers Leave? Insight into Who Decides to Quit and Reasons Behind Why They Do.” Aflac, June 2012. https://www.aflac.com/us/en/docs/workforce/viewpoint_whyworkersleave.pdf.  
  4. Nationwide. “Pet Health Insurance One of Fastest-Growing Workplace Perks.” PR Newswire: press release distribution, targeting, monitoring and marketing, October 9, 2018. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/pet-health-insurance-one-of-fastest-growing-workplace-perks-300727536.html.
  5. Holliday, Marc. “Perks for Employees (and Why They Matter).” Oracle NetSuite, February 8, 2021. https://www.netsuite.com/portal/resource/articles/human-resources/employee-perks.shtml
  6. “Study Finds Although 64% of Employees Are Struggling with Their Mental Health, Only 19% Used Their Company’s Mental Health Benefits Last Year.” One Medical, March 21, 2023. https://www.onemedical.com/mediacenter/study-finds-although-64-of-employees-are-struggling-with-their-mental-health-only-19-used-their-companys-mental-health-benefits-last-year/
  7. Lin  Grensing-Pophal. “Open Enrollment for 2023 Reflects a Changing Benefits Landscape.” SHRM, August 12, 2022. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/benefits/pages/open-enrollment-for-2023-reflects-changing-benefits-landscape.aspx
  8. Oliveira, Claire de, Makeila Saka, Lauren Bone, and Rowena Jacobs. “The Role of Mental Health on Workplace Productivity: A Critical Review of the Literature.” Applied Health Economics and Health Policy 21, no. 2 (2022): 167–93. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40258-022-00761-w. 
  9. Pollock, Sara. “The Importance of Employee Feedback.” ClearCompany, June 22, 2021. https://blog.clearcompany.com/importance-employee-feedback
  10. “Employees Want Help Understanding Benefits Offered by Employers.” Ameritas, June 5, 2023. https://www.ameritas.com/insights/why-employees-are-confused-about-benefits-and-what-employers-can-do-2/

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