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Improving Company Culture with the Right Employee Benefits

Quick look: Employee benefits serve as a powerful reflection of a company’s culture, showcasing its beliefs, priorities, and commitment to its workforce. When small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) design and offer holistic, personalized benefits, they clearly communicate how they value their staff’s well-being, growth, and overall satisfaction.

In today’s competitive job market, many small business leaders are focusing on how to improve company culture to measure up against larger organizations. Luckily, a critical component of a positive culture may lie right under their noses: their employee benefits package.

The modern workforce expects employers to provide more than just a paycheck—they want to work for organizations that care about them as individuals. Bespoke, well-rounded employee benefits are a crucial factor in the decision-making process for job seekers and can contribute to improved talent retention rates by making a significant impact on staff morale and job satisfaction.

As a result, companies that prioritize their workers’ well-being and invest in their development often experience increased productivity, loyalty, and overall business success. In other words, the right benefits act as a catalyst for a thriving culture.

The proven impact of a strong culture and the right benefits

Talented employees are in high demand and have become more selective while searching for jobs. Candidates seek companies that offer competitive salaries, comprehensive benefits packages, a positive work environment, and the opportunity for career growth. Employers, especially SMBs, must exude more effort to deliver attractive employee value propositions that meet those requests.

Providing a complete, tailored benefits package is one way to do that. These packages are critical to an organization’s total compensation offering and can positively impact talent acquisition and worker satisfaction, productivity, and retention.

The benefits a company offers speak volumes about its culture—providing plans that prioritize employee well-being, work-life balance, and personal growth demonstrates that the business values its workforce beyond their contributions to the bottom line. This, in turn, fosters a positive culture that emphasizes staff happiness and sets the tone for how they’re treated and supported. And that culture matters: mentioning culture in job advertisements increases engagement with the posting by 67%, and a toxic culture is the primary reason people quit their jobs. Moreover, many U.S. workers believe that benefits are as important, or more important, than salary.

8 employee benefits that can strengthen company culture

When choosing the benefits that can improve company culture, business leaders must first examine their workforce data. Today’s labor force is more diverse than ever, and their benefits must align with their specific priorities. A human resource information system (HRIS) can aid in this task. Here are eight employee benefits—some of which may be free or low-cost—that can positively influence company culture by addressing your staff’s holistic needs.

1. Family-forming benefits

Unfortunately, one in eight U.S. couples experience infertility. And when accounting for LGBTQ couples, those who want to adopt, and single parents, the obvious need for family-forming benefits appears.

These plans can complement the infertility diagnosis or treatment that health insurance providers may cover and include various services like:

  • Access to benefits experts, fertility clinicians, emotional counselors, and lawyers, as well as a dedicated care manager
  • Discounted rates at select fertility clinics and adoption and surrogacy agencies
  • Personalized care plans
  • Prescription ordering and at-home delivery
  • Support and educational resources for every stage of growing a family

2. Ongoing familial support

Helping employees start their families is just as important as supporting their loved ones at home, including children, partners or spouses, pets, aging parents, and more.

An estimated 53 million people in the U.S. are caregivers, and 61% also work paid positions. Some benefits organizations can consider offering to their staff in this bucket include:

  • Parental leave (maternity and paternity), including for the adoption of a child
  • Access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which allows workers to confidentially discuss relationship issues, family stress and anxiety, and more
  • Flexibility of schedule and hours
  • Pet insurance

3. Physical health and wellness programs

People increasingly care about their physical wellness; McKinsey reports that Americans spend $450 billion annually on wellness products and services, and that figure is estimated to grow over 5% each year.

Physical health is the foundation of overall well-being, and when employees are physically healthy, they are more energized, focused, and resilient. Employers who invest in the following benefits demonstrate that they value the health and happiness of their staff:

  • Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision insurance
  • Access to telehealth and healthcare concierge services
  • Healthy snack options in the breakroom

Additionally, these programs can help prevent chronic illnesses and reduce long-term healthcare costs. By investing in physical wellness benefits, employers create a culture that values their workers’ health, resulting in increased engagement, reduced absenteeism, and higher productivity levels.

4. Mental health and well-being services

More attention has been given to mental health benefits in recent years, and for good reason: Gallup reports that Americans’ mental health is at a new low, and more are seeking help. Businesses that develop programs to support employees through hard times demonstrate that they understand the challenges many people are facing. These benefits can include:

  • Mental health coverage for employees and their family members
  • Access to an EAP, which provides support for anxiety, depression, grief, and other emotional well-being issues
  • In the case of the loss of a loved one, a robust bereavement policy
  • In-office wellness spaces

5. Work-life balance

The American Psychological Association reports that three in five employees face negative impacts of work-related stress, including emotional exhaustion (32%) and physical fatigue (44%).

In an “on-the-go” society, business leaders can make a statement by supporting their staff’s work-life balance through various programs and policies, including:

  • Flexible and hybrid schedules, if possible
  • Competitive paid time off, including vacation, sick, and personal days, as well as school activity time off for working parents
  • Access to discounts on shopping, entertainment, etc.

6. Financial wellness plans

For many, the increase in the cost of groceries and utilities has their wallets stretched thin. Financial wellness-focused benefits can help employees save for their future more efficiently, continue their education, pay for medical bills, and more. These programs can include:

7. Continuous learning opportunities

An incredible 80% of job seekers consider a potential employer’s professional development and training opportunities when accepting a new job. A culture that emphasizes the importance of learning and innovation can attract and retain top talent, and this can be achieved by offering the following perks:

8. Community-oriented policies

Many of today’s top talent want to work at an organization that cares about more than just the bottom line. For example, 54% of millennials and 49% of Gen Z state that they choose the types of work they would do and the organizations they’d work for based on their values. SMBs can appeal to this audience and drive a community-focused culture by:

  • Offering paid time for community volunteering
  • Participating in fundraisers
  • Giving staff time off to vote

PEOs: the missing puzzle piece for cultivating culture

Company culture is largely organic, but the right employee benefits certainly contribute to its success.

While it can be difficult for smaller companies to offer the same caliber of benefits as larger businesses, a professional employer organization (PEO) can help.

PEOs like ExtensisHR offer access to Fortune 500-level benefits and benefits administration, management, and compliance services, allowing SMBs to reap the rewards of a well-oiled benefits strategy without investing much time or energy.

For example, ExtensisHR provides a variety of competitively priced plans designed for a multigeneration workforce, including:

Additionally, ExtensisHR’s SHRM-Certified HR Managers are dedicated to helping small business leaders craft inclusive policies that focus on work-life balance, learning and development, and giving back to the community. Collectively, these personalized benefits programs and comprehensive policies foster a strong company culture that drives business and employee success.

Looking for tips on how to improve your company culture? Contact the experts at ExtensisHR today to discover how we can help.

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