Skip to the main content.
New call-to-action
New call-to-action

3 min read

Why your benefits package isn’t very beneficial

Reacting to current trends doesn’t always give long-term results

Guardian Life lists the top two benefits trends emerging from 2022 as developing flexible working arrangements, followed by improving the workforce’s mental and emotional health. As a result of the pandemic, 48% of organisations are now focusing on implementing mental health support. It’s a step in the right direction, but rather than acting as a reactionary measure, early intervention can minimise the level of help required down the line, treating the cause before its effects materialise.

Reacting to trends can produce short-term gains, but to provide longevity and resilience to your benefits strategy, you need to act rather than react. It shouldn’t take an increase in mental health problems to add the strategy to your benefits package, the benefit could have been in place to help minimise the increase in problems in the first place. Put simply, you should always fill the car with petrol before a long journey, otherwise you run the risk of being stranded with no fuel or filling station in sight. Preventing the problem before it arises, or at least minimising its effects by keeping a spare reserve of fuel in the boot, can see long-term benefits.

 

If you don’t tackle the root of the problem, your efforts aren’t going to be as effective as they could be

The effects of stress can be detrimental to our mental health. Claro Wellbeing’s report on the link between money and mental wellbeing shows a clear correlation between levels of financial confidence and mental wellbeing. Overall, average mental wellbeing scores drop by over 37% from those with high financial confidence to those with the lowest. The evidence suggests that the less confident you feel financially, the worse your mental wellbeing is likely to be.

Workplaces have the opportunity to tackle one of the main causes of stress in their employees, which if left unaddressed, can have harmful consequences for their mental health. Claro Wellbeing’s workplace report found that 43% of workers surveyed said that managing their money was their leading cause of financial stress. During a cost of living crisis, this is certain to heighten. Many companies are now taking mental wellbeing benefits seriously as a result, but strategies could have been implemented years ago, before the economic downturn.

By offering financial wellbeing benefits now, companies can reassure the 67% of staff who say financial stress affects their performance at work, and 69% who feel their employer should be doing more to support their personal finances. But could that percentage have been lower if the benefits existed 5-10 years ago?

Eight in 10 said a financial wellbeing programme would increase their job satisfaction. In turn, productivity will increase, as up to 3.5 days a year per employee are spent managing personal finances. The effects of improved financial literacy can also benefit the business, as newfound skills and confidence can be applied to everyday tasks, in addition to the mental wellbeing benefits of reduced stress.

 

What benefits one, may not benefit another

A well-rounded benefits package promotes success and growth in all aspects of life outside work. Whether that’s mental, physical or educational, it gives staff the chance to expand the mind or give it a break when desired. After all, a happy workforce is a productive one.

If your workplace benefits package isn’t well-rounded, it’s failing to offer much real-world value to your employees. For example, a ‘Pizza for lunch every Friday’ benefit may not appeal to everyone, especially if the food options aren’t flexible for allergies and intolerances, or dietary requirements. A better approach would be a ‘Pick your own free lunch’ Friday, so people can make their own decisions.

 

Fail to reassess? Reassess the failure

Developing a truly beneficial benefits package strategy is an ongoing process. Its success isn’t a one-off thing, it’s constantly evolving, just like the world around us. By neglecting to speak to staff, you are omitting valuable input. Surveys and informal meetings can garner essential information about what’s going wrong, and what’s going well. 

A benefits package is only as good as its beneficiaries, so let them have their say. 

1 min read

Professor Sir Cary Cooper on financial wellbeing in the workplace

Read More

How to poach-proof your team in 2023

Read More
Featured image for three pillars of employee wellbeing blog post

The 3 pillars of employee wellbeing

Employee wellbeing has three pillars: physical, mental and financial. 

Read More