Creating a Culture of Belonging With Inclusive Employee Benefits
COVID-19 fundamentally changed the way we work and led many employees to reevaluate their priorities. The war for talent spurred by this “Great Reckoning”, along with an increased incidence of employee stress and burnout, has forced employers to take a closer look at their culture, benefits, and work environment and to rethink how they support the needs of their evolving workforce.
A workplace culture is defined by the shared values, beliefs, and attitudes of a company and its employees. Shared values make it more likely that employees feel invested in the company and give them a sense of belonging. Mission-driven workers are 54 percent more likely to stay for five years at a company and 30 percent more likely to grow into high performers.
A Culture of Belonging
In the workplace, a culture of belonging is a major factor in employee happiness and organizational performance. Harvard Business Review outlines the four elements that comprise belonging:
- Seen – employees should be seen, recognized, respected, and rewarded for their achievements.
- Connected – people within the organization should have positive, authentic social interactions with each other.
- Supported – people should be provided with what they need to do their work successfully and to live a full life.
- Proud – people should feel aligned with the organization’s vision, purpose, and values and should feel proud to be part of it.
The true work of diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives is about bringing together all employees and their various perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds to create an environment in which everyone feels welcome, safe and brave enough to bring their whole selves to work.
Fostering A Culture Of Belonging Through Employee Benefits
Employee benefits, especially holistic and personalized well-being benefits, demonstrate that the company values the unique needs and circumstances of all of its employees.
How can you foster a culture of belonging with employee benefits?
The 2021 BrightPlan Wellness Barometer Survey found that an employee's personal life can have a direct impact on their job performance. Stressors outside of work can impact absenteeism, focus, and overall satisfaction. Instead of asking employees to maintain a firm delineation between the two, organizations can benefit by acknowledging the correlation.
Employee benefits should reflect that employees sometimes need support in their personal lives. This may come in the form of flexible work arrangements, mental health resources, or financial wellness programs. Additionally, support for the entire family unit, and across diverse family structures, such as backup child care, fertility benefits, adoption assistance, eldercare, and extended parental leave can help employees feel like they belong and that the company cares about them in and outside of the workplace.
Organizations that are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion acknowledge that each employee has a unique background and experience. This needs to be factored into a well-being program for it to be truly inclusive and provide elements that everyone can access and benefit from. For this reason, some employers have implemented flexible benefits programs, which allow employees to tailor wellness benefits to what they need and prioritize. In these cases, employers provide employees with core benefits plus an additional menu of flexible benefits that employees can select from based on their specific needs.
The future of work demands a supportive company culture that prioritizes empathy and care – with an increased focus on the well-being of all employee populations.
Join Guest Speaker Jonathan Roberts, Analyst Future of Work at Forrester Research and Neha Mirchandani, CMO and Head of People at BrightPlan for a webinar on how to build a culture of inclusion and belonging. Register now.