This month marks the Work & Family Month and it is high time for organisations to review their work-life programmes and benefits. Employees in this regions are drained by long hours in the office, exhausted by local traffic and worried about increasing cost of living and school fees. This stress results in lower engagement and productivity while at work. Willis Towers Watson found 38% of the workforce in the Middle East detached or disengaged!
Companies can regress these developments and support their employees by providing work-life friendly benefits. Latest research by World at Work suggests 7 areas for an effective work-life portfolio:
- Caring for dependents (e.g. child-care discount programmes at recognised nurseries and long-term disability and care insurance)
- Health and wellness (e.g. employee assistance programmes (EAP), call a nurse programme, onsite seminars on stress reduction, resilience and healthy eating and sponsored from couch potato to 5k programmes)
- Workplace flexibility (e.g. flexitime, flexible workplace location and compressed work week)
- Financial support for economic security (e.g. advanced housing allowances, onsite seminars on financials 101, personal financial planning services and retirement planning)
- Paid and unpaid time off (e.g. comp days for long distance travel, sabbatical and extended maternity leave)
- Community involvement (e.g. company sponsored volunteer programme and corporate social responsibility)
- Eliciting management buy-in and transforming organisational culture (e.g. diversity and inclusion initiatives, employee interest groups and work/process redesign).
Providing effective work-life benefits has proven to be increase employee engagement and productivity, better attraction and retention rates and improved branding for the organisation. Which organisation can afford to miss these?
Companies should consider the following steps when implementing new or enhance their existing work-life portfolio:
- Understand your employees and demographics. Use HR data, employee surveys and focus groups to gain insights into what your employees value.
- Consider which possible benefits address which needs. Keep in mind that these needs and possible benefits may differ by employee group.
- Evaluate what you are currently offering and identify any opportunities for new or enhanced benefits. Employee feedback can help you identify which benefits employees value and appreciate.
- Review how the proposed benefits fit with your entire EVP, rewards and talent strategies and ensure they don’t contradict each other.
- Decide which benefits you want to offer. Prioritise if needed.
- Determine how you’ll measure the benefits effectiveness.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate the new and/or enhanced benefits to your staff.
Are you ready to offer competitive work-life benefits fit for your company and culture? But are unsure where to start with all your other priorities? Contact us and find out how we can create and implement a holistic benefits strategy meeting your unique requirements.