How employee benefits can improve your team's engagement

A quick summary:

  • The recent evolution of employee benefits
  • Building a stronger sense of belonging
  • Improving workplace culture
  • Caring for employee health and happiness
  • Using Heka for employee benefits

In the last six months, we’ve seen the workplace burdened by the Great Resignation. Employees are leaving in their thousands, looking for better employee benefits, higher job satisfaction and less toxic work environments. 

Experts thought the Great Resignation had been and gone, but talent continues to depart for better opportunities left, right and centre. In this post, we’re looking at the role of employee benefits – making sense of just how influential they are to your employee engagement strategy. 

As most HR professionals know, employee engagement doesn’t just impact happiness in the workplace, it is critical to many facets of a successful business and workforce. However, being the experts that we are here at Heka in employee benefits, we’re focusing solely on this area. 

The recent evolution of employee benefits

To kick things off, let’s talk about the world of employee benefits. In today’s workplace, it almost seems that incentives and perks have been turned on their head. What was high in demand pre-covid seems somewhat irrelevant and futile to employees in these post-pandemic times. 

Yes, employee needs change all the time, but considering remote work was just a distant desire for most workers, it’s now the reality for around 30% of the UK workforce – or those working at least one day a week, remotely. As for the current demand? Well, one survey found that 1 in 5 UK employees want to work remote on a full-time basis. 

To put it simply employee needs have evolved at breakneck speed. It’s leaders that have listened to these requests who stand the chance of stable employee engagement and retention. 

In a world plagued by burnout and uncertainty, employers have also had to step up their mental health support. And although many did, many also didn’t. In one survey of employees aged 25 and above in November 2021, 89% planned to switch jobs due to feeling burnout and unsupported by employers.

Ultimately, more needs to be done by employers now and in the future to support mental health and work-life balance.

What’s more, as millennials and Gen Z individuals enter the workplace, generational needs also influence employee benefits. With a higher priority for healthier living and fitness, employers must find incentives that support this. Not only is this becoming a growing trend in today’s workplace, but this is especially true of the near future.

How your company’s benefits can be an employee engagement superpower

So, let’s turn our attention to employee benefits, and what leaders need to know about their close relationships with your employee engagement strategy…

A stronger sense of belonging

As we know, a stronger sense of belonging in any environment is incredible. It makes us feel like a part of something special, and we feel more connected to everyone involved. This is true for professional environments, and should be the atmosphere leaders should strive for.

That said, how can your employee benefits create a stronger sense of belonging for your team? There are a ton of great ideas you can incorporate in your employee benefits package that brings the team together. 

Take Heka for example, each fortnight on a Wednesday, the team engage in virtual games. This not only encourages communication and collaboration but creates a better sense of belonging. Teams who work remotely, as we do here at Heka, will understand the stresses that come with working alone all day, every day. 

It’s not just social Wednesdays that can help – consider events and gatherings which your team can do regularly, affordably and together. Some teams have Monday fitness sessions before work, others have board games after work on a Friday. The list is endless, and it requires some creativity from leaders. 

The Muse does a great job of delivering you 22 ideas for your team, including puzzles, scavenger hunts, “show and tell” and more.

Enhance your company’s culture

Closely linked to creating a sense of belonging, your employee benefits can boost culture. And with better workplace culture comes higher engagement. Culture is something your team has to experience a day in, day out. It has to be welcoming, supportive and enjoyable. 

It is one of the characteristics of a business that leaders get wrong all too often. And in 2022, toxic workplace culture will see employees depart for better companies in the blink of an eye. 

Luckily, you can contribute to a better workplace culture through a set of robust employee benefits. When deciding on new incentives, or ones to do away with, consider how it impacts the day-to-day experience of the work environment for staff. Does it achieve your values, mission and vision for a great workplace?

Here at Heka, we don’t just believe in workplace wellbeing, we also live it. We have a range of incentives and initiatives to support our own employees. Whether it’s early finishes on Friday, Wellbeing Wednesdays or Heka allowances, we know the kind of actions that help us achieve our vision. 

Start viewing your employee benefits as a means to create an amazing workplace. They have more influence than you may realise. The right benefits can ensure people are healthier, happier and more engaged with their job. 

Shows your concern for employee health and happiness

If employee benefits do one thing, they demonstrate just how much you care about employee health and happiness. The truth is we all want to be heard in all conversations and situations in life. In the workplace, we want our thoughts, feelings and ideas to be listened to. 

When it comes to offering quality employee benefits, the right set of incentives can go a long way. For many businesses, employee benefits don’t have an immediate impact on the lives of team members. And that is the golden ticket to successful incentives and perks in today’s workplace. They must support the lives of employees now, not in the future, or in a certain circumstance. 

Examine your employee benefits with three things in mind… 

  1. Do they impact the immediate lives of my team?
  2. Do they support healthier lifestyles?
  3. Do they make my team happier?

Yes, these questions may be vague, but as long as your employee benefits are ticking these boxes, you are well on your way to meaningful perks that support better engagement. 

Your benefits are relevant to the world we live in 

Lastly, your employee benefits must be relevant to the world we live in. If 2022 has proven anything, it's just how unpredictable, uncertain and confusing life can be. This has caused people tremendous stress, anxiety and depression in recent months. Your employee benefits need to be proactive to employee needs.

With the rising cost of living, it’s crucial you take full advantage of your employee benefits – done properly, they can be a great alternative to pay rises. Employee benefits should be leveraged to adapt to the times we’re living in. 

According to PeopleManagement, 26% of UK employees worry about money on an ongoing basis. Financial worries are one of the biggest burdens on employees at the moment, and these concerns can take over workplace output. Employees who are struggling financially are likely to find themselves underperforming, unsatisfied and ultimately disengaged from the workplace.

These concerns will only boil up until employees eventually look for higher-paying jobs. Both financial education and tuition reimbursements are amazing employee benefits to offer your team in 2022 – people want to understand their finances better, and this is your opportunity to support that.

1000+ employee benefits, 1 platform

How can Heka help improve your employee engagement strategy? Well, as we’ve learnt, employee benefits are a very powerful tool for boosting employee engagement and retention. Through Heka, users are booking and buying from thousands of wellbeing experiences, products and more. 

From treetop climbing to life coaching, and fitness classes to virtual GPs, there’s something for your entire team. To find out more, book a demo with our wellbeing experts, who are happy to help.