What is Health Insurance? Why is It Important?

As an employer, if you’re shopping around for the best health insurance plan for your employees and wondering, “what exactly is insurance? And why is it important?” you are not alone. Insurance can be confusing—you may wonder how it works, the benefits of insurance, and how you can find the best plan and benefits for your employees.

Let’s dive in.

What is health insurance?

Simply put, health insurance is a safety net that helps your employees and their loved ones stay healthy with preventative care and medications, as well as help them recover after something like an illness or an accident. When your employees experience something covered by their insurance, and they file a claim, the insurance pays the provider based on the terms of the policy.

You want employees to feel protected and to be proactive about their health. Not doing so can lead to greater health risks long-term and cost them financial security. Insurance protects them from this risk. You hope your employees spend more time using their insurance for preventative care than catastrophic care, but if they have no insurance, either scenario will put them in a difficult financial situation.

How does insurance work?

Insurance is, essentially, a “rainy day fund” that is shared by your employees and managed by what is called an insurance carrier. The insurance carrier uses the money collected, called a premium, to help fulfill its promise to your employees when a claim is filed. Insurance also has a policy limit, the maximum amount the carrier will pay under the policy, and a deductible, the amount your employees must pay themselves, out of pocket, before the carrier pays a claim.

What are the benefits of insurance?

Having insurance allows your employees to manage life events that inevitably come up. Insurance helps keep your employees’ lives on track as much as possible after something happens. Insurance also:

  • Helps your employees live their lives with fewer worries. Employees know they’ll receive financial assistance after an accident and have support to recover, and it provides protection for when the worst happens.
  • Increases employee retention rates. When you offer health insurance to your current employees, it shows that you care about their wellbeing—and when you offer it to potential employees, you widen your pool of candidates.
  • Helps maintain your employees’ current standard of living. If they become disabled or have a critical illness, insurance can cover their day-to-day costs and other expenses while they focus on their health and recovery.
  • Helps give your employees peace of mind. A study shows that when needed health care, such as medications, increased in price by ten dollars, people stopped buying those medications. Life happens, and your employees cannot anticipate what might come up.

How do I choose an insurance advisor?

Consider the following when choosing an insurance agency and advisor to help secure coverage for your employees:

  • Type of coverage. What kind of insurance does the agency offer? Can they advise and educate on a spectrum of policies such as fully insured, level-funded, or self-funded? Do they offer additional insurance options such as life insurance or ancillary benefits? The more you know, the better position you’ll be in to make educated decisions for your business and your employees.
  • Education and resources. What resources does the agency offer to help you manage your insurance and benefits program? Do they proactively share information and materials? Do they make resources readily available?
  • Customer service. Do others recommend this agency? What do others say about them? Look them up online to see Google reviews, explore testimonials and case studies on their website, and review their LinkedIn profiles.

Taking the time to research a company before engaging in a sales conversation is common for buyers today. But be sure you are also making time in your process to spend quality time getting to know your future advisor.

Great insurance agencies and advisors will take the time to educate you about different options. Get a sense of how capable they are at informing and educating, so you can feel confident and informed about a potentially unfamiliar topic. Make your advisor selection based on building a relationship with someone who will work collaboratively to help you make the best decisions for your business.

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Make Your Company Irresistible

The pandemic changed the face and the culture of business. Along with this, hiring practices and office cultures were flipped on their ears. Employers must find ways to attract new hires and keep their current employees happy and fulfilled. While a good place to start, strategies such as adding more employee benefits and increasing pay are not enough.

To compete, workplaces need to be employers of choice, where everyone wants to work. And in a climate where there is a considerable transformation in business culture and structure, along with high employee turnover, the answer is clear.

Your company needs to be irresistible.

Give your business heart and soul

What is the big deal about being irresistible?

Research shows that being irresistible helps you outperform the competition in employee retention, better customer service, and long-term profitability. To be irresistible and to give your business heart and soul, surround your employees with the right mix of elements like the work itself, good leadership, opportunities for growth, a positive work environment, and trust.

Work that has value

Employees want to contribute to something larger than themselves. What employees value in work may vary, so it’s important to give them room to help contribute to and create space for differences in perspectives by:

  • Offering autonomy. When you give employees independence, or the freedom to “just be,” they can establish their work style within workplace boundaries and culture. Giving autonomy can spark new ways of thinking and working—and as a leader, you need to encourage and harness this individualism.
  • Putting people into empowered teams. This enables employees to interact directly with one another and form close relationships so they can develop trust, inclusivity, and mutual respect. This is good for a business’s bottom line and accommodates flexibility based on how the team prefers to work together and operate.

Good leadership

Leadership has a direct impact on the workplace culture. A seemingly weak leader or manager can be a barrier to good work. Being a strong leader takes self-awareness and practice, so to ensure you are an effective leader:

Growth opportunities

Employees want to grow and advance. One of the best ways to address this is to offer training and support through formal means, like courses and training programs, and informal means, such as check-ins and offering help when needed. You can also give employees the freedom to try new things in their role (or move to a completely different position, if appropriate), have them direct their own learning, and tie learning to cross-training and problem-solving.

Positive work environment

Employees do their best work when they feel free to be themselves. Offer a flexible and inclusive workplace if you want your employees to be engaged at work. Since employees have fast-paced and busy lives, offering the ability to flex and shape their schedules is a major way of making your workplace irresistible.

Give employees flexibility regarding what hours/days they work and how to approach their assignments. Also, give them recognition for their work, and make sure your workplace is humanistic (and helps employees fit their work into their lives) by making it fair, inclusive, and diverse—teams with inclusive cultures outperform others by 80%.

Trust

When you cultivate your leadership skills, it pays off in the form of trust. And this trust leads to your company’s success. How can you instill trust?

  • Communicate a sense of mission and purpose. When companies define success through the eyes of those they serve, your employees take this to heart and use this to further drive success.
  • Act with transparency. Don’t hide the truth about your company from your employees. For example, you must inform your employees if there are bad quarterly earnings or a security/data breach. It will pay off in the long run.
  • Focus on inspiration. Inspire them with your words and actions. Talk about the future, tell your company’s story, and share the vision and what it means. Ask your employees to share what the vision means to them as well. They will get on board and give you their best if they believe in your vision.

Be the place everyone wants to work

You don’t want to be the business that always scrambles to fill open positions—you want to be the business where everyone wants to work. So take the initiative and begin building up the different aspects of your business—ask yourself if you’re meeting expectations or letting employees down, and take action. The best, most successful companies treat themselves as constant works-in-progress, so there is never a time when you shouldn’t be thinking about how you might improve your employee’s experience. The more committed you are to it, the better off your company—and your employees—will be.

 

Content provided by Q4iNetwork and partners
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Balancing Generational Differences in the Workplace

The workplace is experiencing one of its biggest shifts as multiple generations come together in the workforce. Workplace formalities and dynamics are changing, and now we’re left asking ourselves how to best work together.

Understanding the similarities and differences in generational values and characteristics and the best practices for managing multi-generational teams encourages teamwork, shared respect, and positive communication in your organization.

Learn how Gen X and Baby Boomers, who hold the majority of leadership roles, can best lead and work with the workforce’s majority–Millennials.

Generational values and characteristics

Team members can tackle generational tension by building awareness around generational differences and recognizing their similarities and human needs. Learning the differences in values, characteristics, communication styles, and work styles can reveal the workplace views and expectations, leading to better communication and teamwork.

Baby Boomers

  • Characteristics: Competitive, disciplined, involved, and optimistic. They faced higher competition for jobs because of the rise in population, leading to a generation of determined workers who take pride in their careers. They fostered a youth culture that embraced reinvention, teamwork, and self-actualization.
  • Values: Personal growth, team involvement, strong work ethic, and making a difference. They are not afraid to question everything and care about equal rights and opportunities.
  • Communication and management styles: Team-oriented. Prefer face-to-face interactions, respect the chain of command, and expect leadership’s direction.

Gen X

  • Characteristics: Fiercely independent, flexible, pragmatic, resourceful, entrepreneurial, and transparent. They grew up without the intense supervision Millennials had and learned that “if you want something done right, you’d better do it yourself.”
  • Values: Personal growth, education, and a work-life balance. They are independent thinkers who see life as their full-time job and their job as their part-time gig.
  • Communication and management styles: Task-oriented, individually motivated, informal, independent, respond to direction and prefer email and direct communication.

Millennials

  • Characteristics: Natural networkers, friendly, and connected because they grew up with technology. They learned early on that “teamwork makes the dream work” and desire an environment where they can collaborate, problem solve and innovate with others. While they can be highly tolerant, optimistic, and adaptive to change, don’t be surprised by their impatience and competitiveness!
  • Values: Success, rewarding work, and close relationships. They value efficiency, speed, and timeliness and expect to move up the ladder quickly. They are environmentally conscious and eager to bring change to their organization.
  • Communication and management styles: Prefer leaders who coach rather than direct and enjoy continuous feedback. Their collaborative mindset helps them work well in teams, but they are easily annoyed by micromanagement. Similar to Gen Xers, they work hard for a work-life balance. They prefer online, text messaging, and social media communication.

More alike than you think

All the generations are similar in certain ways. How can they not be when people pass down history, values, skills, and knowledge to their children and mentees? The similarities help teams share a common ground and foster empathy:

  • The values that matter most: Family, integrity, honesty, and trustworthiness.
  • Desire to be respected and important: Employees want to be heard, seen, and recognized for their contributions. They want to know they are not easily replaced and make a meaningful impact.
  • Trustworthy leaders: People want to trust and connect with their leaders. Without it, relationships falter, productivity is lost, and communication stops.
  • Loyalty: If someone works hard for the company, they expect the leaders to invest back in them. It’s a two-way street!
  • Desire to learn: People are willing to acquire new skills to do a good job and further their development.
  • Feedback: It’s important to know how they are doing comparatively – are they meeting or exceeding expectations?

Best practices for leading Millennials

Recognizing what makes each generation unique is the first step to cultivating a team that can work together in diversity. The second step is to create a work environment where everyone can thrive. Here are common practices and tips for effectively managing the Millennial generation:

Create opportunities for collaboration: Millennials crave a collaborative work environment and constantly reinvent what collaboration looks like with new technologies. As a manager, create opportunities for Millennials to work collaboratively. From the beginning of a project, be clear about when and how often you intend for everyone to collaborate.

Impactful feedback: Millennials gravitate more towards informal, frequent check-ins, and their morale and performance take a hit when they don’t receive quick, transparent feedback.

Motivating Millennials: Money doesn’t motivate this generation in the same way as others. They are driven by their close relationships and team interactions, and are known to blur the line between work and personal life. Helping them find their squad or “work family” is a point of retention for this generation. Also, understand their unique curiosity. If a Millennial asks you why something is done a certain way, they don’t intend to be disrespectful. They genuinely want to understand. Answering their questions motivates them to continue learning and understanding the organization.

Here are some additional suggestions to help you manage a Millennial:

  • Independent Gen Xers often get annoyed by Millennials’ constant need for feedback and recognition. Defuse the conflict by setting clear parameters about when, where, and how often they can and should check in for feedback.
  • Focus on your common values, such as transparency and efficiency, and use your different qualities to balance each other.
  • Millennials take feedback differently, and “no-nonsense,” direct communication styles are often misconstrued as a lack of support. When giving feedback, try to inspire Millennials and soften the blunt messaging.

Embrace the differences

Leaders must lead and develop their teams to achieve the company’s vision and aspirations. A great way to do this is by learning to lead and manage people from different generations based on their values, work styles, and characteristics. Once you recognize how different generations function, you can lead a diverse company that works great together and knows how to get the job done.

 

Content provided by Q4iNetwork and partners

Photo by rawpixel

Grow Your Company by Helping Employees Grow Their Careers

Employee turnover is a scary thing for business owners. According to Gallup, it can cost an organization between one-half to twice the amount of an employee’s annual salary to replace them. So, it makes sense that employers are naturally reluctant to discuss an employee’s career aspirations since it might mean they’ll eventually want to leave for a new job. However, this is a mistake.

It’s common knowledge that employee engagement directly affects retention rates. And while employers can do a lot to keep employees engaged, like showing them appreciation, giving them autonomy, and offering flexible schedules, a big piece is missing.

Nine out of ten times, if you ask an employee whether they’d be working for you if they were a billionaire, they’d say no. It’s not because they don’t like their job or even because they’re not fulfilled, but because people have jobs to create stability in their lives, grow their wealth, support their families, and pursue their interests. And none of this is a bad thing—in fact, it’s about as natural as it gets. While finding satisfaction, fulfillment, and value in a job is equally important, it’s only half the story.

The value in facing the whole truth

If business owners and leaders embrace the fact their employees have aspirations that could eventually lead them away from their organization, they open the door to building mutually beneficial, long-lasting relationships.

By uncovering your employees’ aspirations, you create an opening for them to explore themselves and for you to discover their strengths and desires. You gain insight into what lights them up and gets them excited, and align their role to fit with their personal goals. Consider how engaged and energized each of your employees would be if they felt they were actively moving towards their dreams while working within your company.

When you participate in your employees’ personal goals, you can create an open dialog with them that builds trust, loyalty, and stability.

  • You can identify when opportunities come along that would spark the interest of specific employees.
  • You can provide learning and development opportunities that align with the individual goals of team members.
  • You can maintain a better handle on if employees have their needs met within their roles and make informed adjustments to their annual plans.
  • You can build relationships with employees that last beyond their time with your company and provide value long after they’ve moved on.

Creating value for everyone

Engaging employees personally, empowers them to reach their fullest potential while demonstrating that your company is committed to their overall success. This can lead to employees coming full circle, leaving for a time, and returning to your company later in their careers. It will positively impact your employer brand, and create employees who feel excited, empowered, and supported by their organization—all while positioning your company as an employer of choice.

The best way to build solid and long-lasting relationships is through trust, openness, and mutual support. By embracing employees’ personal goals and providing them with opportunities to pursue them, you will create a team that’s as dedicated as you.

 

Content provided by Q4iNetwork and partners

Photo by gladkov

Tips and Tools for Hybrid Work

Many people have settled into the new remote work routine and have created a balance between work and personal life—especially during the pandemic. Now that 46% of US companies continue to allow remote work, companies that offer remote work options are more attractive to talent.

One type of remote work is hybrid work, and it has become more popular, as 83 percent of US employees want to work for companies with this kind of model.

With these stats in mind, employers need to consider whether a traditional 9 to 5 onsite work schedule is the best option. If you’re considering a hybrid work option, start by learning the different types, benefits, and tips/tools to apply.

Different types of hybrid workplaces

Many people enjoy social interactions and office shenanigans, and others may feel more productive in a non-office environment. Luckily, there are three types of hybrid work schedules to meet these needs:

  • Employees have total freedom to choose when they come into the office or work from home.
  • Employers decide what days employees can work from home or in the office. Google, for example, has employees spend three days in the office and two days wherever they work best.
  • Departments or teams decide which days to be in the office.

When deciding which type of schedule to choose, consider the factors that make an option less effective, such as employees’ location, company size, technology, tasks and projects, and team size.

The benefits of hybrid work

The best part about the hybrid work model is that it benefits both the employees and the company. Imagine the increased talent you can access when there are fewer dependencies on geographical area. You’ll also find that the benefits your team experiences benefit your company! These benefits include:

Increased productivity and efficiency

A hybrid work model offers your team flexibility and autonomy, which boosts productivity. Think about employees who need peace and quiet to focus or those who thrive in the office. When you allow them to choose their preferred work setting, you give them a choice to work where they’re most productive.

This choice also increases efficiency by eliminating factors like commuting time and can provide people with extra time to spend on self-development and learning. Both are essential in strengthening their skills that can further influence productivity.

Improved employee satisfaction

Flexibility and autonomy increase productivity and are also the key to employee satisfaction. You’ll see employee satisfaction skyrocket if you provide freedom and decision-making on where, how, and when people work!

Improved work-life fit

Work-life fit is a vital aspect of any healthy work environment. Allowing the flexibility to work at home or in the office (or both) enables each team member to fit their work and life together in a preferable way.

Consider this – work leaks into life. But does life leak into work? Allowing people an option to work from home will enable them to balance their work and personal life. If it’s a beautiful day out and someone wants to walk their pup, they can because they have the freedom to finish their work later. You’ll be surprised to see how little things like this can reduce stress and prevent burnout.

Mastering hybrid work

If you want to reap the benefits, you need to strategically plan and sustain a successful hybrid work model. Success is dependent on enabling employees to do their best, which includes providing them with leadership, guidance, and an appropriate toolset. To create an effective hybrid work model:

Encourage meaningful connections

Remote work of any kind can reduce human interaction, so it’s essential to create opportunities where relationships can flourish. Consider requiring team members to put check-ins on the calendar so they can continuously get to know each other better. After all, connected teams thrive!

Also, encourage people to make the most out of each trip to the office. Suggest that they ask others out for lunch or other small activities that allow people to connect face-to-face. 

Emphasize accountability

Trust is a must! Preach the importance of accountability, and you’ll find people fostering independence while staying conscious of deadlines. Still, it’s a challenge to track performance and impact, so employees need to remain accountable for managing, completing, and reporting their work. Consider:

  • Requiring check-in calls with employees to discuss their work
  • Using a software tool to track performance
  • Setting KPIs or goals for employees to reach

Provide the right tools

Whether at home or in the office, a digital and physical workplace is critical for any hybrid work model. Use tools to ensure your team is effectively performing, communicating, and collaborating, including:

  1. Project management software – You can use project management software to bring order and accountability to your hybrid team. A tool such as Asana can help your team people track projects, assign tasks, and collaborate from anywhere.
  2. Scheduling and calendar tools – Scheduling tools, such as the Zoom integration, allow people to sync and schedule meetings across calendars. Have your team share their calendars with each other to make scheduling easier.
  3. Collaboration and communication tools – Invest in tools like Slack or Zoom to enable people to work efficiently and collaboratively no matter where they are.
  4. Cloud-based software – Cloud solutions let your team access and save documents on any computer. Tools like Dropbox or Google Drive let people share files, maintain, update, and change documents—and document changes sync across all devices.
  5. Physical tools – No matter where people work, they need a physical workplace to help them perform their best. Provide a stipend to your employees so they can purchase items like cameras, microphones, or standing desks.

Be transparent

Employees must consider which setting is most appropriate for productivity while being transparent, so others know how to contact them. For example, employees can set their status in Slack or add their hybrid schedule to their calendar.

Change is inevitable

Hybrid workplaces are here to stay. Take this opportunity to get ahead of the game and evaluate how to plan for this change. You can take your organization to a new level of productivity, empower employees to balance their work and personal lives, and attract new talent while sustaining employee satisfaction.

Change is constant – we all know this! The real question is will you avoid change, or are you willing to adapt to the future of work?

 

Content provided by Q4iNetwork and partners

Photo by andreypopov

Three Employee Benefits to Help Your Employees Achieve Their Dreams

When employees feel supported by their organization, they’re much likelier to want to stick around. They’ll also feel more comfortable being themselves at work, which will help your company’s culture and sense of belonging. People who feel like they belong will work harder to protect and uplift their community than those who feel uncomfortable and unseen.

One great way to build trust and reliance that leads to long-lasting employee/employer relationships is enabling employees to pursue their personal goals outside of work. Employee benefits can play a vital role in helping you achieve this. Here are three benefits to consider that will make a lasting positive impact on the lives of your employees.  

Family planning benefits

Choosing to start a family is one of the biggest decisions a person can make during their life. Starting a family is expensive and scary—to build a healthy family, you need time and money. And without support from your job, it can be stressful to maintain a career. Making it easier for your employees to start a family can reduce stress, give peace of mind, and create stability. Offering these benefits to all your employees, regardless of relationship status or sexual orientation, is a great way to improve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) within your company.

Whether it’s paid parental leave, adoption aid, or fertility treatments, benefits that make it easier for your employees to start a family send a clear message: You care about the personal goals of your employees and want to make it easier for them to get what they want out of life.

Student loan support

Last year, a study found that the likelihood of high school students going to a four-year college plummeted by almost 20%, from 71% – 53%. People are worried about the cost and want to avoid debt. Since 1980, the cost of going to college has risen by 169%, yet the average pay for workers between the ages of 22 and 27 has only increased by 19%. It’s harder than ever for people to justify going to college, considering the debt they can expect to accrue.

Student loan or tuition support can make or break someone’s dream to go back to school. This benefit will not only empower your employees to educate themselves without the burden of debt, but also education will make a lasting impact on the rest of their lives, opening doors that would otherwise be shut.

Community engagement

 

When people volunteer and engage with their community, it can have positive effects on their health and mental wellbeing. It also gives them a sense of purpose that can be hard to get otherwise.

Consider offering benefits such as paid time off for community engagement. This will make it easier for your employees to set aside volunteer time. Finding the time to volunteer at their local voting office, old folks’ home, animal shelter, or community garden can be difficult with only two days off a week.

Offering paid time off specifically set aside for community engagement will give your employees that extra room to go do something they’re passionate about, whether it’s protesting, cleaning up their local nature reserve, or helping out a neighbor in need.

Their happiness is your success

 

The more fulfilled your employees feel, the happier they’ll be, and the stronger their relationship with your company will become. Creating an organization that empowers people to build their dreams isn’t just a fantastic way to leave a positive legacy in the world— it’s how powerful businesses are made. Talk to your benefits advisor to learn about other employee benefits that will help your employees achieve their goals.

 

Content provided by Q4iNetwork and partners

Photo by pandorapictures

Just the Facts: Employee Healthcare Literacy

As mentioned in the previous week’s blog—only 4 to 14% of adults in the United States have a basic understanding of health insurance.

What does this mean? It means out of the current US population of 329.5 million, only 13.2 to 46.1 million people have the knowledge to understand their health insurance fully!

Instead of leaving your employees out in the cold and leaving their decisions about health insurance and healthcare to chance, help your employees understand why healthcare literacy is so important, so it can empower them to make good decisions.

The first step? Understanding what healthcare literacy is.

What is healthcare literacy?

It is how people interpret or act on health information and services. For example, receiving medication from a doctor and knowing how to read the label to decipher how much medicine to take or understanding and interpreting a medical invoice is considered a form of healthcare literacy.

There are two different types:

  • Personal healthcare literacy, or how well someone can find and understand health information/services needed.
  • Organizational healthcare literacy, or how well businesses/organizations help their employees find health information/services required.

Both types are about using health information and services to make the best health decisions possible.

What can affect healthcare literacy?

Many factors can affect someone’s healthcare literacy. For instance, if someone does not understand medical terms, they may not be able to understand or interpret a doctor’s diagnosis. Other factors that could potentially affect healthcare literacy are lacking an understanding of the healthcare system and how it works and other personal factors such as age, income, education, culture, language abilities, reading skills, writing skills, and math skills.

What happens if someone has poor healthcare literacy?

A person with poor healthcare literacy will often delay or avoid care, will not understand the costs associated with out-of-network care, will not ask their employer questions about their health insurance plan, and will be less likely to use preventive services and care, such as getting a flu shot.

Why is employee healthcare literacy important?

At some point, your employees will need to use their health insurance to access and understand health information and services like prescription services.

Their level of healthcare literacy affects:

  • The ability to navigate their health insurance plan and the healthcare system to find needed doctors and services.
  • Knowing when to share personal information with healthcare providers.
  • Practicing self-care and at-home procedures, as well as using preventative health services.
  • Understanding concepts such as cost-benefit ratios (weighing the risks and benefits of receiving medical treatment).

Having strong healthcare literacy lets your employees find the information and services they need, effectively communicate with their healthcare providers about needs/preferences, and understand their health condition and choices they have about treatments and doctors so they can decide what services and options are the best for them.

How can you, as an employer, help improve healthcare literacy?

A good step on the path to improving literacy is to ask your employees about their understanding of health insurance terms and concepts. You can use their answers and thoughts to specifically address areas where knowledge might be lacking.

Also, be sure to lean on and use your broker or advisor as a resource. Look at what they offer in terms of support to members in understanding their benefits and being healthcare literate. This can include resources, online portals, and mobile apps.

Understanding is one of many steps

Understanding healthcare literacy and what it is will help your employees understand what it is as well. Increasing healthcare literacy in your organization will, in turn, create well-informed and knowledgeable employees who feel confident and take charge of their healthcare decisions. And, as they say, knowledge is power.

 

Content provided by Q4iNetwork and partners

Photo by dolgachov

Time to Turnover a New Employee Retention Strategy

It’s no secret that employee turnover is expensive and time-consuming. The Work Institute’s Retention Report found that the estimated cost of turnover ranges from 33% to up to 200% (!) of the departing employee’s salary. The price only snowballs once you consider that, on average, companies lose 18% of their workforce to turnover each year.

There’s good news— the Retention Report also found that 75% of employee turnover is preventable. By understanding the impact of turnover and applying employee retention strategies, companies can prevent turnover and retain the talent necessary for promoting organizational growth.

The turnover impact

Although most people get hyper-focused on the costs, the consequences outside of costs matter most. The most substantial impact of turnover is damage to your team and company. Specifically, a company may experience:

  • Lost productivity: Colleagues pick up the leaving team member’s workload. This creates lost productivity as employees stretch themselves thin across multiple roles.
  • Depleted employee morale: When a team member departs, it can take a toll on the team. The departure may lead to frustration, resentment, and burnout. Team members may start questioning whether they, too, should be looking for a new opportunity.
  • Diminished employer brand: Companies with high turnover are quickly branded as a “revolving door.” This reputation seems unattractive to particular job seekers, and any open roles can draw in individuals not interested in a long-term position.
  • More turnover: When morale is down, and workload is high, employees become overworked, unengaged, and susceptible to burnout – leading to more turnover. 

Employee retention strategies

Most people quit their jobs due to a lack of career advancement opportunities, recognition, and compensation. Be proactive and avoid possible turnover by applying these employee retention strategies to achieve satisfied, loyal, and committed employees.

Provide opportunities to grow and develop

Helping employees achieve their professional goals shows that the company is invested in their future and gives employees a sense of purpose. On top of that, research shows that most millennials and Gen-Z workers will choose a job with lower pay if they see development opportunities. You can encourage growth and development through these activities:

  • Have quarterly one-on-one meetings to discuss an employee’s Professional Development Plan, performance, and strengths. Identify additional support or training needs. These meetings also benefit the manager because it helps them better understand what development opportunities are most beneficial.
  • Take a collaborative approach to organizational goal setting and invite your employees to participate.
  • Prioritize skill development by working with individuals to identify actual and desired skills. Think about which skills will push them to become more proficient in their jobs and find opportunities for these skills. For example, if someone needs to enhance their writing skills, encourage them to take a business writing class.
  • Encourage continuous learning by having employees attend industry events, conferences, and educational webinars.

Foster a healthy work environment

Your employees’ physical and mental well-being should be one of your top priorities. You can encourage people to set boundaries to respect their work-life balance, such as turning off notifications when the workday is over or having them use their vacation time.

Another method is offering hybrid workplaces. Currently, 74% of the US workforce are willing to quit a job to work remotely. Hybrid and remote work situations are a win-win for everyone. Employees save time and money commuting, have an improved work-life balance, and have fewer distractions. Also, employers reduce absenteeism and overhead costs and experience no geographical constraints when hiring. This means a bigger pool of talent!

Practice a feedback culture

Employees need constructive and positive feedback to improve, and they expect it. Consider giving feedback frequently and often to motivate employees.

But remember that feedback is an exchange—employees want their voice to be heard. Start by having an open-door policy and genuinely listening to concerns. Most importantly, take action on their feedback because it will dramatically improve retention, as 90% of employees say they are more likely to stay at a company that takes and acts on feedback.

When you foster a feedback culture, you show your employees you take concerns seriously. This will also make employees feel more comfortable when giving feedback because you earned their trust.

Give recognition and rewards

Employees who feel appreciated work harder and stay longer at companies, but over 80% of employees say they don’t feel recognized or rewarded.

Employers can significantly impact their employees’ retention, engagement, and loyalty by showing recognition and gratitude for their contributions and successes. Here are a few methods to consider:

  • Create a formal employee recognition program and rewards system
  • Leverage your communication platforms to allow employees to thank their peers and give shout outs
  • Write an employee recognition letter
  • Give positive feedback during meetings
  • Take your team out for dinner to show your appreciation
  • Provide gift cards or physical rewards

Hire strategically

People can develop skills and expertise, but hiring someone who mirrors company values will help you retain loyal and engaged employees who feel more comfortable contributing to the organization.

When hiring, first consider asking questions related to your company values and explain how the role correlates with those values. This will also help them better understand what is expected of them and whether they are the right cultural fit.

Offer appropriate compensation

Compensation is essential to any retention strategy. No matter how valued, content, and supported an employee may feel, they are likely to look for alternative career opportunities if they feel their current company is not adequately compensating for their work.

Start by reassessing compensation. Are you providing transparency around their pay? Are you within industry compensation standards? Do you offer well-rounded benefits?

If you think this could be a pain point for your employees, consider offering a competitive salary, raises, bonuses, awards, and better benefits. For example, you can provide health insurance, leave benefits, retirement planning, and wellness benefits.

The benefits of employee retention

With employee retention, you’ll save time and money recruiting, onboarding, and training new hires because you’ll have more long-term employees who have had the time to develop their abilities, knowledge, and expertise. They can accomplish tasks within a shorter time and are more committed to the organization’s success. The longer an employee stays, the more value they add to the organization.

More importantly, you’ll have happy employees that can exude that feeling to their clients and peers. Happiness is linked to high engagement, which leads to a better client experience, and highly engaged employees are 1.8 times more likely to say they’ll be working at their current organization a year from now.

A great team can make the difference between success and failure. Take the first step in retaining your top talent because they are the key to organizational growth and sustainability.

 

Content provided by Q4iNetwork and partners

Photo by ilixe48

Go From “Great Candidate” to “Job Offer”

Moving from a great candidate to a great offer is not always easy. You need to make your coveted candidate an ideal offer. One that’s going to make them as excited to say those three little words as you are to hear them.

“Yes, I accept!”

Gone are the days of expecting an immediate yes. Employers, hiring managers, and human resource teams realize that making an offer is a nuanced process that needs to take both parties into account. Job seekers have more leverage than ever, and employers will have to adjust their expectations and procedures accordingly.

Get over the speed bumps

Because quality candidates are likely to have several leads, they may not be willing to wait too long for an interview or offer. Moving high-priority candidates through the process quickly can be the difference between being successful and being ghosted.

If your current search procedure involves multiple interviews, hiring committee meetings, and approval processes, now is the time to evaluate the necessity of each component. Get rid of any extraneous requirements, then find ways to streamline the critical pieces so your progress doesn’t get stalled, and your candidates don’t get frustrated.

You may also need to adjust your strategy and timelines regarding the acceptance of an offer. Today’s job seekers may need more time to fully evaluate their options and commit to a decision. This might sound like a double standard, but it’s important to remember that hiring isn’t just about what’s right for the hiring manager or the organization. For your candidate, it’s all about making sure you’re the best fit for them. If the answer is no, it’s in everyone’s best interest to have that person move on. If the answer is yes, the extra day or two will be well worth the wait.

Be flexible and honest

Hiring contracts have always been negotiable, but whether job seekers decide to do so depends largely on the market. When job demand is high and positions are few, candidates are much more willing to accept an offer as is. Likewise, employers should expect negotiations and counteroffers when jobs are readily available, and applicants are few and far between.

Once again, it’s time to look at your processes. Are you offering fair compensation, generous paid time off, and attractive employee benefits? If so, are you including these things in your job postings? Your future employees aren’t just making major career decisions. They’re major financial decisions as well. And to do that, they’ve got to have adequate salary information. Don’t let people get through the process only to find out they can’t accept the job. It’s a waste of their time and yours.

Be honest about what you’re offering. If, for whatever reason, you don’t have any wiggle room in your offers, be upfront about that from the start. If you neglect to make that clear to your candidates during the search and interview process, you could quickly get burned when it comes time to hire.

Let’s take a meeting

Candidates who negotiate during the offer phase aren’t doing it to be difficult or to offend you. It’s all part of the decision-making process. Being flexible on some of these things could give you a huge hiring advantage.

Keep in mind that negotiating with a potential new hire can easily create a happy, engaged, loyal employee. And in many cases, it’s not just about cash. Every applicant comes from a unique situation and has a fantastic set of personal and professional goals. Here are some common issues your future employees may be wrestling with:

  • Student loans
  • Stagnant salary
  • Long commutes
  • Inflexible schedules
  • Affordable childcare
  • Lack of paid time off
  • Toxic boss or culture
  • Non-existent career paths
  • Limited professional development
  • Health, vision, and dental coverage

If you can make life easier in any of these areas, it just might tip the scales in your favor.

Find the right fit

To make the negotiation process go smoothly, you’ll want to consider a few key things before going in:

  • What is the total salary range for the position, and where do new hires fall within it?
  • What maximum dollar amount can you realistically offer without offending your current staff members?
  • Are there additional ways to compensate employees that don’t involve increasing wages?
  • Do you have other qualified candidates in line for the position?

Never assume you know what your candidate wants from an offer. It could be an unrealistic expectation, but it could also be a simple and reasonable request.

If your hiring process is transparent and designed to filter for cultural fit, it will likely weed out any unrealistic expectation candidates— and you’ll be left with a talent pool that’s worth investing in.

 

Content provided by Q4iNetwork and partners

Photo by kadettmann

6 Employee Benefits to Consider for 2022

Employee priorities have changed because of the pandemic, which has led employers to examine their employee benefits offerings for 2022. Key concerns brought up by employees include physical wellbeing, peace of mind, and financial health—huge issues challenging employers to consider benefits they might have ignored in the past.

Here are six employee benefits trends to consider for 2022.

Paid Time Off (PTO)

The balance of work and personal life is an essential consideration for employees in today’s workplace. SHRM states that US workers rank Paid Time Off (PTO) as the second most important benefit after healthcare. Also, according to Project: Time Off, employees who work for companies that encourage PTO are happier with their jobs. If PTO is something you want to consider for your employees, decide what works best for them and your organization.

Flexible work hours and location

When a whopping 40% of workers would consider quitting if their jobs offered no flexible hours or the opportunity to work from home at least a few days a week, it shows how vital remote work has become. Remote work benefits, such as time saved commuting, more personal time, better sleep, and better overall health can be attractive options to employees. Employers who want to attract and retain the best talent might offer flexible hours and remote work locations as an employee benefit.

Financial wellness

Financial stress skyrocketed during the pandemic, as 32% of people said the pandemic still affects their finances. Stressed employees are more distracted and less productive, making it a lose/lose situation for both employees and employers.

However, 80% of people who feel employers are committed to helping strengthen their financial resiliency are more likely to stay with their company. If, as an employer, you want to show your company is people-centered, a financial wellness benefit is something to think about.

Family planning

Currently, 10% of employers with 50 employees or less offer family planning and fertility benefits, and more than 30% of employers with 500 or more employees provide these benefits. Considering millennials are the largest generation in the US workforce today, and many are at the age where family planning plays an important role in their lives, offering family-focused benefits could be a smart move for employers. Employers who create strategic benefits plans that meet the current needs of their workforce will have an easier time attracting and retaining talent.

Student loan repayment

The number of people in the United who currently have an outstanding student loan debt is 44.7 million. A student loan repayment benefit aims to reduce the burden this debt has on employees and could attract millennial employees, as 28.9 million people in this age group are indebted borrowers.

Such a benefit would help with loyalty and retention, as 4 in 5 young people would commit to employers for 5 years if the employer helped pay their student loans. 

Mental health and wellbeing

During the pandemic, mental health issues such as anxiety and depression rose when the United States first went into lockdown. This is not an issue to ignore, both for the sake of employees’ mental health and an employer’s bottom line—depression, for instance, costs employers about $17 million to $44 million in lost productivity. With this in mind, think about expanding your employee health and wellness benefits to go beyond offering employee assistance programs (EAPs). An EAP is a type of employee benefits program that helps employees with personal and/or work-related problems that may impact their job performance and overall physical/mental wellbeing. For example, Joey Price, CEO of JumpstartHR, explained how companies are investing in mindfulness apps “to help employees balance the tension of work from home and life from home.”

Let your employees be the driver of your decisions

Now, more than ever, benefits that help with overall wellbeing and wellness are key trends to consider in 2022. But the best way to know what benefits your employees want? Ask them.

 

Content provided by Q4iNetwork and partners

Photo by imagehitevo