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Wellbeing can differentiate your attraction and retention efforts

Health and Benefits|Inclusion and Diversity|Talent|Total Rewards|Wellbeing|Future of Work
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By Katie Hansen and Ingrid Woolfolk | October 21, 2021

Embracing a culture of wellbeing through leadership, branding and experience can differentiate your attraction and retention strategy.

The Great Resignation is amplifying the need for a robust wellbeing strategy that goes beyond programs and resources to culture, leadership, branding and the employee experience. As employers look to differentiate their talent value proposition to both retain and attract talent, a natural place to lean into is wellbeing.

Very few employers feel unaffected by the Great Resignation. Based on our Talent Attraction and Retention Survey, nearly three in four employers (73%) are having difficulty attracting employees — nearly three times the number (26%) that reported difficulty last year. Roughly the same percentage of employers (70%) expect the difficulty to persist in 2022. Retaining employees is just as challenging. Six in 10 respondents (61%) are having a hard time keeping workers and also expect the problem to linger into next year. As the workforce is in flux, employee engagement, satisfaction, productivity and overall wellbeing are impacted.

The following are three areas to amplify in your wellbeing strategy to positively influence employee retention and recruiting.

  • Exemplify a wellbeing culture
  • Create a strong wellbeing brand
  • Evolve your programs and resources
  1. 01

    Exemplify a wellbeing culture

    Organizational culture affects all aspects of business and influences varying stages of the employee experience. Culture at its truest form allows employees to share in values, belief systems and a common set of expectations that allows them to show up authentically. Therefore, the question becomes how do you improve wellbeing to positively impact culture?

    Over 70% of employers are planning on differentiating their wellbeing strategy and culture to compete for talent, according to our survey. Some aspects that we have seen work best at organizations leading in wellbeing culture include leadership alignment and support, connection to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and employee listening. When leaders are aligned on the placement of priority of wellbeing to the business, they can then provide the right visibility, sponsorship and experience. Consider creating leader or manager tool kits to provide training and tips around communication, upskill opportunities and compassion.

    Fostering connections also can help employees feel part of a larger, inclusive community. Consider social groups, employee resource groups and wellbeing networks to not only connect employees with common interests or goals but also to offer wellbeing or culture advocates within the broader employee community.

    Ultimately, a great way to get a pulse on the perception of culture is listening to employees through surveys and focus groups to understand what the real experience is. The goal is to have a culture that allows employees to work in safe and healthy environments to fuel their spirit, one that embraces their differences and supports them in their wellbeing journey, both personally and professionally. Those who experience a connected, diverse and inclusive culture are much less likely to look for opportunities outside of their organization.

  2. 02

    Create a strong wellbeing brand

    This is a great time to review the company’s external brand and how it is positioned to attract new talent. Do you have a strong and consistent wellbeing message that comes across on your website? When recruiting, evaluate the messages in written materials and those recruiters use to illustrate your organization’s commitment to wellbeing and how it differentiates itself in terms of wellbeing benefits and resources.

    Do your social media pages demonstrate your commitment to areas of wellbeing such as DEI, social responsibility and community involvement? One opportunity is to showcase the internal employee benefit and resource groups along with videos, photos or testimonials from employees on how working for the company has improved their wellbeing. Consider highlighting wellbeing initiatives that emphasize community connections such as family-forming benefits, diversity community groups and philanthropic team events. Today’s potential workforce places high value on personally relevant wellbeing initiatives as part of their Total Rewards package.

  3. 03

    Exemplify a wellbeing culture

    While most would believe pay is the key driver to the great resignation, we are finding that it’s not just one thing that’s sending people out the door. Many employees are citing a mixture of pay, benefits and work/life balance as the top reasons for the move.

    Offering a holistic and intentional package of benefits, programs and resources provides the right foundation to supporting a wellbeing culture and differentiated talent experience. The breadth of programs that support each employee’s life moments is an ever-changing arena that requires a constant refreshing of strategy.

    When evaluating the offering of programs and resources, it is essential to ensure they align with current and future people strategies. Examples may include family building benefits, emergency savings support, enhanced education benefits, mentoring programs, remote work flexibility and more robust performance management tools. These can be great ways to attract and retain diverse talent.

    Additionally, perks help foster a culture of wellbeing and support your flexible work strategy with program offerings in fitness, childcare, meditation and team building opportunities – no matter where employees are working.

Final thoughts

Most employees simply want an environment where they can grow and be rewarded and respected for the work they do. Employers have an opportunity to leverage wellbeing as the cultural foundation of this experience. Wellbeing messaging can be external-facing and connected to other business initiatives. It can also foster an inclusive and engaged community and help to support employees’ professional balance and aspirations.

Authors

Director, Health & Benefits

Senior Director, Employee Experience Architect

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