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The Importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Your Workplace

The last year and a half have brought to light what many of us already knew: we need to be making a more concerted, concentrated, and permanent effort to incorporate not just diversity, but also inclusion and equity, into our workplace. Furthermore, this needs to be implemented across every stage and area within your organization. Recruitment, hiring, and professional development are all great examples of instances in which your company would benefit from DE&I.

workplace diversity

Remember, these three concepts, while typically grouped under one umbrella, still differ significantly.

Diversity

A diverse workplace is one that has a wide variety of ages, races, genders, sexual orientations, ethnicities, and more. Diversity is typically the first step a workplace takes.  However, it must be accompanied by both inclusivity and equitability to have a meaningful and lasting impact.

Inclusivity

An inclusive workplace takes this one step further by ensuring that the organization’s diverse workforce is regularly brought into the conversation. This means that decisions and strategies are developed with input from those with different backgrounds, perspectives, and opinions.

Equitability

Finally, an equitable workplace is one that fully understands that not everyone is placed on a level playing field and works to offer support and the necessary tools to give equal opportunities to those without access to them.

How to Implement DE&I in Your Workplace

To develop a workplace and culture that understands and incorporates DE&I, review your current workforce and its demographics so you can find and fill gaps, which is the first step in creating a more well-rounded workforce. Educate your employees on the meaning of each term and what they mean personally and broadly for your organization. Actively welcome the input of every team member. Search for ways to lift up and support those in need to create a more equitable workplace. Be transparent and open about your current workplace’s state regarding DEI. Create a thought out and actionable that can be implemented, complete with measurable goals, to ensure that you hold yourself and your organization accountable when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion in your workplace.

Cost-Free Ways to Support Working Parents

In 2019, it was reported that about 41 percent of workers between the ages of 20 and 54 have a child at home. Now, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, that number becomes even more important. It also reflects the number of workers who are juggling work, child care, remote learning, and more. Whether they’re remote, contracted, or essential employees, offering support to the working parents in your organization is incredibly important. The degrees of support you can offer working parents will vary from company to company. It depends on several different factors, including how many parents you employ, what your budget is, and more. However, there are still several options you can provide working parents that fit your budget—keep reading to learn more!

Assess Gaps in Support

To figure out where your organization can start offering better support to working parents, you need to first understand what kind of support you are—and aren’t—offering now. Look for gaps in your company culture, ongoing business processes, and benefits that make it more difficult for working parents to find success in their roles. Additionally, it’s important to understand what type of support your employees are actually looking for. From there, you can more accurately address the needs of your working parent employees.

Offer Flexibility

As a human resources professional, you know the difficulty of searching for, securing, and managing benefits that meet your diverse workforce’s needs. But that shouldn’t get in the way of offering support to the working parents at your organization. Start at the beginning by offering significant flexibility in the aspects of employees’ day-to-day routines.

Work closely with working parents to come up with a schedule that works for them. In addition, try to place less emphasis on the regular “9-5” working day. If your organization relies on strict hours or scheduled time tables, give employees the opportunity to edit their scheduling preferences based on their child-care needs. Above all, remember that an attitude of compassion and empathy is absolutely vital—working parents are juggling two full-time jobs as they care for their children and fulfill their professional obligations. They’ll appreciate your efforts to meet them where they are by providing flexible support.

Promote Vacation Usage

The pandemic seriously impacted the way employees took their vacation days in 2020. In fact, according to a recent survey, 92 percent of Americans said they canceled, postponed, or didn’t book a vacation due to the pandemic. As a result, many employees’ vacation days were left unused. We know that historically, taking breaks from work, whether it was for a mental health day, a vacation, or a stay-cation, was momentously helpful for an employees’ work-life balance and wellness.

While travel isn’t as much of an option these days, it’s still important to encourage and promote the usage of vacation time in your organization. Why? We know it provides a much-needed break. But in addition, it can give working parents the opportunity to spend time with their families and mentally recharge with some of their favorite self-care activities. How can you do this? Send out regular reminders for employees about how many vacation days they have remaining. Teach managers how to notice the signs of an employee, especially a working parent, who looks and feels stressed or burnt out. Take the lead yourself by using your own vacation time. Then, share with coworkers how you were able to relax and recharge during your break!

Encourage Family-Friendly Culture Events and Support Systems

For many working parents, it can feel uncomfortable to bring up their children during working hours. Combat this discomfort by creating an environment that allows working parents to feel comfortable and even encouraged to share about their life outside of work. Is your organization one that often holds company events (including remote ones, given the pandemic)? Brainstorm options that are family-friendly and fun for all ages to participate in. Take PerkSpot, for example. Our holiday celebrations included a magician who performed over Zoom, and parents were encouraged to invite their children to join. If your company relies on virtual communication tools, consider creating a channel or forum where working parents can discuss ideas for remote learning, funny stories, and ways to keep children engaged during working hours.

Offer Financial Aid on Child Care and Children’s Products

Even before the pandemic, a significant portion of working parents’ income went to child-care costs. In fact, the average American couple spends 25.6 percent of their net income on child care alone. These days, financial stress is at an all-time high. It’s important to consider what your organization can do via additional benefits that would provide support for working parents. Discover the cost-free PerkSpot solution—offer your employees exclusive discounts on more than 30,000 products and services. This includes child care from the nation’s top providers, children’s toys, food, clothes, and other important baby gear.

Both working parents and your organization as a whole will benefit from providing the type of aid we’ve listed above. Offering child-care support alone can decrease job turnover by more than 60 percent! Plus, it can inspire improved job satisfaction and loyalty, not to mention a more productive workforce. Give the working parents at your organization the help they need, both during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. If you’re interested in offering exclusive discounts to working parents and your entire workforce, get in touch!

HR Trends We’re Seeing in 2021

As expected, HR trends began popping up in late 2019 and early 2020. Yet, none of them could’ve accurately predicted the shift that would occur in our nation and around the world as the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Changes to company processes, culture, and HR were almost immediate, forcing employees and leadership to adapt right along with them. This year, we’re using lessons learned in the last year to predict what HR trends will look like in 2021.
hr trends

Home as the New Office

Among other things, 2020 was the year of proving a remote workforce, or other adapted versions of it, was possible. In 2021, expect this HR trend to not only continue, but flourish. Despite its challenges, remote working has provided more flexibility and ways to save time and money for employees. Plus, it makes the employer more attractive to potential job candidates. Though we can’t predict when things will return to “normal,” whatever that new normal may be, surveys from Gartner and PwC show that remote working and collaboration is here to stay, with over 80% of leaders reporting they’ll permit remote work to continue past the pandemic and 78% of CEOs surveyed saying the same for remote collaboration among employees.

Stronger Emphasis on the Value of HR

The coronavirus changed virtually everything about how employees worked—and lived. As a result, eyes turned to Human Resources departments for guidance on new benefits, work procedures, and more. Now that we have a handle on the situation, we expect HR leaders to step up more this year. Permanent changes to benefits, communication methods, and recruitment will all likely take place in the new year. We will look to HR to lead the charge on those changes.

Personalized Benefits

As many companies implemented new ways of working, employees were all experiencing severely different situations. Some dealt with lay offs or furloughs; others juggled working and providing childcare or remote learning support for children; others still experienced difficulties in managing their physical and mental wellness. As a result, we expect the trend of personalization to be applied to benefits that meet employees wherever they are. This concept of personalized benefits provides individual aid that helps each employee, no matter their situation. As an employee discount provider, we found the benefit that we provide uniquely offers this aid. With PerkSpot, employees save on remote work tools, childcare, mental and physical wellness products, plus discounts on everyday items that were crucial for those dealing with difficult financial situations.

Integrating Purpose Into Business

As many companies shifted to remote working, leaders grew concerned about productivity and engagement levels dipping. This concern grew from the lack of presence of coworkers and a strict work environment. In 2021, one way to combat these concerns is to emphasize and integrate purpose back into your business. A PwC survey found that 79% of leaders believe purpose is central to business success. As HR leaders, it’s up to you to emphasize the importance of purpose to managers and employees alike, reminding them that their work is crucial and matters to those it impacts, whomever they may be. Speak with leaders to ensure closer ties between company strategy and company values. Regularly communicate these ties to managers and employees.

Upskilling for Employees

Upskilling is a new concept that has the potential to take center stage in 2021. Plus, it can cover a number of different areas. In fact, a recent survey from TalentLMS found that 42% of companies increased their efforts to upskill employees after the coronavirus outbreak, and 42% of employees pursued training opportunities on their own. As companies expand to incorporate new technologies, rely on employees to roll with the non-stop punches, and ask the workforce to more independently focus on individual projects and responsibilities, upskilling can significantly help with these changes. We predict that 2021 will be a year that emphasizes the importance of upskilling employees within the workforce to expand skillsets, provide new opportunities, and fill higher roles within the organization.

2020 was full of changes to the way we work, communicate, interact, and engage, and many of those changes came swiftly and without any warning. As we enter the new year, we hope we’ll have a much better idea of the changes coming and can more accurately begin shifting our HR strategies and plans to account for them.

How HR Has Adapted Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Like nearly everything in 2020, human resources has seen a dramatic transformation in its role and responsibilities since the pandemic began. As companies make necessary and important changes, HR plays an important role. Read on to learn more about how human resources changed for the foreseeable future due to the pandemic.

Adjusted Talent Acquisition

In the past, one of HR’s main responsibilities as an entire department was talent acquisition. Unsurprisingly, this has not changed much throughout the pandemic, though you may have seen an interruption or increase in hiring based on your company’s services. No matter how your company’s hiring process transformed, one thing can be certain: on top of the hard skills sought out for different positions, new soft skills became increasingly essential.

Qualities like adaptability, communication, and independence are more necessary than ever as companies encounter unexpected challenges that require employees to quickly pivot. These qualities are things candidates should have always possessed, but now, they may be considered just as important as possessing the technical skills a job requires—and that won’t end with the pandemic. Going forward, update your job postings to include and emphasize the necessity of these soft skills. This can actually create a broader pool of candidates who strongly demonstrate these qualities and can be trained or developed to acquire more technical skills.

Increased Flexibility

There is no doubt you’ve had firsthand experience in adapting to meet the pandemic’s challenges. Not shockingly, this increased flexibility will carry on long after the pandemic has ended. Furthermore, it should be applied to various aspects of human resources. More flexibility in terms of scheduling should be granted to employees dealing with childcare or other dependents. Those working remotely will need colleagues to understand situations arise that can decrease productivity.

What’s more, as HR professionals, you yourself will have to continue to practice the same kind of flexibility you did throughout the last eight months. As new rules and regulations were put in place by CDC and local governments, your own processes probably changed as well. Expect this to continue as additional or evolved guidelines are introduced and a vaccine is eventually developed, once again changing all of our interactions. As the HR field transforms, one thing that stays the same is how your role’s flexibility can support fellow employees navigate the new challenges they’re facing.

Updated Guidelines

As an HR professional, you’re likely well-versed in legislation that impacts your company. Expect this increase ten-fold and change your company’s own guidelines, therefore requiring significant updates on your end. For example, a partially or completely remote workforce could spell out different legal problems than those for a workforce that is entirely in-person, like overtime regulations, workplace safety guidelines (no matter where the “workplace” is), and more.

Proactively inspect your workplace handbook to uncover areas that should be built out to offer additional regulations for employees. But also remember that during these times, regular updates to your company handbook and guidelines may be necessary to stay on top of changing legislation.

Updated Benefits

As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges for employees. Issues like decreased mental health and employee burnout are on the rise. Plus, employees have new challenges like caring for loved ones or a lack of financial security. Employees will look to you to offer some kind of improved benefit that satisfies these needs, while still fitting a smaller-than-normal budget. (Reminder—PerkSpot is a cost-free discount provider!)

At PerkSpot, we believe an employer-sponsored discount program can be the answer to these issues. As an all-in-one employee discount provider, we’ve worked hard to partner with brands that offer products and services like online therapy, financial assistance, childcare, senior care, and more. If you currently offer your employees a perk like this, be sure to communicate it to your employees as often as possible, ensuring they’re aware of and using their benefit, which is especially valuable at a time like this. If you’re hoping to improve your benefits offering like this, look no further. PerkSpot is a solution that satisfies the needs of a diverse workforce and fits into your budget. Interested in partnering with PerkSpot? Click here to request a demo and learn more!

3 Reasons Company Culture Is So Important Amidst COVID-19

Company culture has transformed from a popular HR buzzword to an important element that companies give serious consideration to. As COVID-19 continues to impact how companies manage their employees and their business, culture is more important than ever. Check out a few reasons why keeping up with your company culture is so important right now!

woman at computer

1. Recruitment, Hiring, and Onboarding

During the early stages of the coronavirus, things like recruitment and hiring came to a halt for many companies as they worked to navigate the rough waters of the pandemic. However, it’s become increasingly apparent that we can no longer put important processes like hiring on hold. Instead, we must focus on transforming them, just as many companies have done with other facets of their work.

Company culture has always been an important part of recruitment and hiring. It’s a wonderful way for candidates to better understand the inner workings of the company they’re applying and interviewing at. This is why it should be at the forefront of all HR professionals’ minds while determining a new hiring process.

For example, how do you utilize social media to convey company culture? This is especially important given candidates often can’t meet with you or experience your workplace in person. Consider the interview process, especially for the companies and employees deemed essential. How do you show candidates what steps you’re taking to ensure employee health and safety? Upon hiring, do you have a carefully thought-out and prepared plan to onboard an employee who may have to work remotely for the foreseeable future? All of these are questions that will reflect your company culture. Therefore, you should be considering each one as you develop a new hiring plan amidst the coronavirus.

2. Communication

For many companies during the COVID-19 pandemic, communication has become vital. As a company with essential employees, communicating new health guidelines or changes in hours should be done in a timely manner. As a company whose employees have remained remote, online communication has become one of the only ways to transmit important messages and information.

No matter what your business is, you likely know the importance of communication. But what many don’t realize is how communication and company culture are connected. Remember, company culture isn’t just about weekly happy hours or interesting amenities at your workplace. It’s also about how you value your employees’ health and wellbeing, and how you transparently demonstrate that to them. To keep your company culture strong during the pandemic, reinforce your support of employees by keeping communication constant and educational, and offering a space for them to respond if needed. Work to quickly develop new guidelines based on the information you’re receiving. Then, communicate them to your employees in a way that is digestible and concise. Use different communication channels to send out messages with varying degrees of importance. This way, employees can quickly understand the gravity of a given situation.

For example, PerkSpot leverages a few different communication channels. We rely on Slack to communicate more casual notices, like a fun company-wide initiative or virtual event. We depend on email to send out important messages, like new in-office guidelines or rules for quarantining. Plus, we hold a regular cadence of company-wide meetings, creating a forum in which employees can get updates on other departments and ask questions about future plans or team developments. This effective and transparent system of communicating helps employees better fulfill their roles and responsibilities, thus creating a culture of connected and engaged employees!

3. Productivity and Engagement

Speaking of engagement, there’s no doubt of the connection between company culture and a productive and engaged workforce. A study by Queens School of Business and the Gallup Organization found disengaged workers showed 37% more absenteeism, 49% more accidents, and 60% more errors. Plus, that disengagement translated to 18% lower productivity!

A positive company culture, on the other hand, typically produces more engaged employees. This is because it promotes general employee wellness, support, and respect. If leaders or management put too much of an emphasis on working long hours or being overly productive, without mentioning the value of daily breaks or acknowledging employees’ hard work, a stressful and negative culture can quickly emerge. So, how can you promote a culture of employee wellness and support? Encourage employees to take breaks away from their work, especially if they’re remote. Offer resources that foster both physical and mental wellbeing and motivate leaders in your company to set an example by doing so as well. Recognize your employees going above and beyond to produce great results, which promotes a more engaged workforce and a culture of workplace appreciation.

For example, as an employee discount provider, PerkSpot employees receive all of the benefits that we offer our clients! That means PerkSpotters have access to discounted mental health apps, home workout products, and more. Plus, we add and highlight new discounts that are relevant to the wellbeing of employees regularly so employees are aware of them. These perks are a great way for leadership to demonstrate how they prioritize the health of their employees which, in turn, leads to a more productive and engaged workforce!

For many years, company culture has been a way for companies to highlight their values to current and potential employees. But amidst an unprecedented pandemic, company culture also offers the opportunity to help promote stronger engagement and more informative communication. Plus, it’s the perfect way to attract potential employees when so many other resources aren’t available. As we all work to navigate COVID-19 and its impacts, be sure you continue to prioritize and adapt your company culture!

7 Steps for Returning to Your Office After COVID-19

After months of getting accustomed to remote working, many companies are now beginning to consider how they will return to the office, while still keeping their workforce safe and healthy. We outlined 7 basic steps to take that can help you develop a plan for a post-COVID-19 workplace.

1. Create a Team

Getting started on a plan of attack? To understand the needs of your employees, you should enlist the help of those who know them best! Start a team that includes leadership, as well as employees from your human resources, technology, legal, and operations departments. Include employees from other departments as well. They can offer fresh insight into the general concerns and needs of employees planning to return to the office. This team will be instrumental in developing the guidelines and policies you put in place for your office’s return—but more on that in step 3!

2. Ensure a Safe and Clean Office to Return To

As we all know, hygiene is a top priority as we consider how to return to the office. Make sure there are no concerns about your office’s initial cleanliness. Bring in a professional team of cleaners who know the best way to rid your office of the germs left there and armed with the right tools to do so. If you have cleaners regularly come to your workplace, it might be prudent to increase the cadence of their cleaning, as well as which areas they’re focusing on. For example, regularly disinfect individual employees’ desks, as well as common areas employees congregate in for lunch, breaks, or meetings. To learn more about properly cleaning and disinfecting your workplace, check out these recommendations by the CDC.

3. Develop and Enforce Strict Hygiene Standards

So, your office is sparkling clean, and you’ve got a team brainstorming methods for helping employees return to the office. It’’s time to start thinking about what rules you want to create and enforce. This may vary from workplace to workplace. However, guidelines like washing hands properly, using hand sanitizer, taking employees’ temperatures daily and logging them, creating a flow for moving throughout the office, and adding distance between employees’ workstations are great places to start. Communicate with managers that they should practice these guidelines well, to act as an example for others. Be sure to communicate the rules your team creates often and in multiple places. A slack channel, intranet forum, or the like dedicated to returning to the office, signage on the walls of common areas and employee restrooms, and a company-wide email that compiles all of the new practices are the perfect way to kick off communications.

4. Update Your Handbook and Other Documented Policies

After your team finalizes and implements the rules adhering to your office’s new hygiene standards, be sure you document it properly by updating your handbook, as well as any other documentation where important policies are kept. This way, both HR and employees have a point of reference for the new guidelines. This makes it easier to uphold and follow them. When updating these, consider a response plan for employees who suspect they have or have come into contact with someone who has had COVID-19, as well as the possibility of changing your sick leave and your remote working policy, either temporarily or permanently, to account for those employees. Once you update, communicate it with employees and encourage them to read through the new policies carefully!

5. Seek Out Ways to Keep Up Employee Morale and Company Culture

Amidst all of your planning and preparations for returning to your office, it’s important you keep in mind employee morale and your company’s culture, two things that are vital to a satisfied workforce. You may not be able to carry on with your normal team outings or weekly happy hours. However, there are still ways to incorporate employee morale and culture into your return! For example, offer a service (or a discount for one!) that provides employees who struggled during quarantine mental health support. Encourage employees to stay social with their coworkers, albeit from a small distance. Continue to host virtual hangouts or happy hours if you were doing so during quarantine. Additionally, offering recognition for employees’ hard work is a known way to improve morale, and monetary recognition can be especially helpful for those employees who were financially impacted by the pandemic.

6. Continue Monitoring and Approving

You know what they say: “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” This holds true for your plans to return to the office as well! Understand that you’ll never be fully finished in refining the guidelines you put into place for your employees as they transition once again, this time from remote working to being back in their workplace. Create a forum or another type of space for employees to offer feedback. They can report on how they feel the return has gone so far and ideas for improvement and enhancement. Your employees are the ones most impacted by the rules you and your team have created, so it’s crucial that you listen to their responses and work to incorporate them into your new workplace practices.

7. Be Flexible!

This last step is less of a step and more of an attitude that you should always display throughout the course of the return to your workplace. Flexibility will be key in these next few months as you work with employees who may not feel comfortable returning to work this early, who may have conditions that prevent them from doing so, or ones who are excited to return but have responsibilities like childcare or older family members to address. Offer options like flexible hours or help with childcare, transportation, and other hindrances that keep employees from returning to work.

Returning to the workplace will be no easy task! However, by following these simple steps, you’ll ensure you’ve created a safe and healthy workplace to return to for employees.

How to Offer Child Care Benefits to Your Employees

In 2018, 71.5 percent of women with a child or children were either looking for work or currently employed. That number goes up to 93.9 percent for fathers with a child or children. Those numbers translate to an incredibly large amount of employees who are juggling the responsibilities of both work and parenting. One of those responsibilities? The high cost of child care. The average American couple spends 25.6 percent of their net income on child care. For a single-parent household, that number more than doubles.

childcare benefits

Still wondering whether you should give your employees with a child or children a hand with affordable child care? Here are four reasons why child-care benefits are imperative for your company to offer!

Why You Should Offer Child Care Benefits

Improve Recruitment Efforts

Are you a human resources professional, a recruiter, or simply a manager trying to fill a role on your team? Then you probably know about the difficulty of finding great talent in today’s workforce. With unemployment at uncommonly low rates, the search for the right candidate is growing increasingly competitive. So, how can your company stay in the mix? Offer child-care benefits. A recent report by SHRM found that only 2 percent of American organizations help their employees pay for their child-care costs. Separate yourself from the competition that is hoping to recruit the high-talent candidates you have your eye on by providing them with a meaningful benefit like child care.

Support Your Female Employees

According to a report on motherhood in America, in 2017 there were 25.1 million mothers in today’s workplace. But after having a child, one in every three women chose not to return to work. That means a significant loss in your company’s gender diversity, especially as you look to more senior and executive roles. Yet, we’ve long understood the importance of having women in leadership: a Morgan Stanley report found that it can translate to increased productivity, greater innovation, better products, better decision-making, and higher employee retention and satisfaction. All of that simply means that your bottom line improves when you have gender diversity, especially in leadership. While the modern family dynamic, like two employed parents or a stay-at-home father, is growing in popularity, women are still more likely than their male counterparts to stop working so they can assist with child care. Support them by offering another route for child care that doesn’t lead to them leaving their careers if they don’t voluntarily choose to do so.

Prepare for Millennial Parents

The average age of motherhood is increasing and parents are choosing to delay having children. That means the percentage of Millennial parents, which sat at 48 percent in 2016, will likely increase exponentially in years to come. Even if your current workforce doesn’t consist of multiple parents, that doesn’t mean it won’t. It also doesn’t mean that parenthood isn’t top of mind for many of them. Millennials are aware of their futures and are ready to begin planning for parenthood if they aren’t already doing so. Show them you have an investment in their future, and you want to be an integral part of it! How can you do so? By providing a child-care benefit that they can use in the future.

So, how can you offer child-care benefits without breaking the bank?

According to two separate reports issued by the pro-business US Chamber of Commerce, research shows that when companies provide support for child care, employee absences decrease, job satisfaction increases, and job turnover declines by as much as 60 percent. Clearly, child-care benefits are not only beneficial to the employee, but the employer.

But we understand the difficulty in creating and implementing a child-care benefit program that parents want and your budget can afford. That’s why PerkSpot has added exclusive child-care discounts to the thousands of discounts already offered on our Discount Portal! We know that as new parents return to work and expecting parents begin to prepare, not just child care, but support by their workplace, are at the top of the list of things they look for in an employer. With discounts to top, nationwide child-care providers, you can give discounted tuition for your employees’ children, plus discounts on things like toys, clothes, and other important baby gear.

To learn more about how you can offer exclusive discounts on child care and other categories, click here.

Why Aren’t My Employees Using Their Benefits?

Odds are, if you’re an HR professional, you’ve asked yourself this question once or twice (or maybe several times) before. Unfortunately, you’re not alone. According to a 2017 report by Chestnut Global Partners, an international provider of Employee Assistance Programs, less than 7% of employees use their benefit programs to their fullest extent. Yet, a recent Glassdoor survey found that 80% of employees said they would prefer additional benefits over increased compensation. Obviously, benefits have an incredibly strong impact on employees – they just don’t know how to use them properly.

voluntary benefits

As an HR professional, you’ve likely spent hours crafting what you believe to be the perfect employee benefits suite. So, why don’t your employees use them all? We think we know the answer. Check out the 3 most common reasons why employees don’t use their benefits. More importantly, learn how you can solve the problem!

1. They don’t understand them.

Let’s face it, employee benefits can be difficult to comprehend. Perhaps it’s your employee’s first job, and they’re navigating the complex waters of employee benefits for the first time. Maybe your employee feels just downright confused, but doesn’t know where to go to clear things up. Whatever it is, it hurts employees who don’t understand how to utilize their employee benefits package best. So, how can you solve this problem?

Improve the way you educate your employees about their benefits. If this solution sounds simple, that’s because it is! We recommend creating a short, anonymous survey and encouraging your employees to be completely honest when they fill it out. Emphasize the fact that their responses will be used to create a better plan for explaining their benefits. Then, do just that. Figure out where the gaps are in knowledge about your current benefits offerings, and then work to fill those gaps with better and more useful information about the different options available and how they would apply to each employee.

2. They don’t know they exist.

When it comes to employee benefits, chances are your employees know about your run-of-the-mill offerings like medical insurance. However, a new trend is creating a suite of voluntary benefits to attract new employees and keep current ones. Unfortunately, many companies haven’t perfected their communication strategy for these benefits. This causes a problem for companies, as voluntary benefits are one of the best ways to recruit, hire and retain employees. But obviously, employees need to know about their voluntary benefits for them to be meaningful. So, how can you solve this problem?

Expand the way you communicate your benefits. Take a look at how you currently communicate the employee benefits you offer. And don’t just limit yourself to one or two communication strategies. Not only should you be utilizing popular methods like physical flyers, emails, and your company’s intranet, but try some outside of the box ideas as well! Hold a quarterly workshop to walk employees through your benefit suite, and offer a small incentive like lunch or a fun raffle for attendance to the workshop. Give ample warning open enrollment is beginning and work on creating answers to questions you frequently get. It will take some experimentation in the beginning, but when you finally find the right amount of communication that works for your employees, their active utilization of benefits will be well worth it!

3. They think they’re only for high-cost items.

Another common misconception about employee benefits is they are only useful for expensive or high-cost items, like health, dental or vision insurance. Even voluntary benefits like a perks and discounts program are commonly thought of to only have deals for costly items, but it’s actually quite the opposite! Most voluntary benefits have offerings that range from more expensive items to deals on your day-to-day products that any employee can afford – and more importantly, will want! So, how can you solve this problem?

Provide your employees with concrete evidence that their benefits work. When you present solid proof like savings numbers or anecdotes from fellow coworkers about how they’ve saved, it makes it much easier for employees to understand that their benefits, including voluntary, are extremely useful and valuable for them. For example, with PerkSpot, you will regularly receive helpful data about how much your employees are saving through their Employee Discount Program, plus which categories and discounts they’re loving!

We know employee benefit programs have an incredibly positive effect on employees. They offer assistance and security for employees, which, in turn, promotes feelings of happiness. As most managers and HR professionals alike know, a happy employee is a productive, engaged, and attentive employee. If you’re struggling to see full participation in your employee benefits package, it’s likely that your employees don’t understand it, don’t know what it fully entails, or they have misconceptions about it. Solve that problem with one of these easy solutions! If you’re interested in learning about new ways to communicate and educate your employees about their Employee Discount Program, click here!

How Employee Discount Programs Support Generational Diversity in the Workplace

Diversity in the workplace is no longer a hot topic. Rather, it’s an important and permanent topic that should continue to be talked about and built upon. As a new generation enters the workplace, there’s a facet of diversity that we want to discuss: generational diversity. More importantly, how can you improve it in your workplace? We think we know one solution – a perks and discount program.

generational diversity in the workplace

We know what you’re thinking. What’s the connection between a workplace and a voluntary benefit like perks and discounts? More than you think! In today’s day and age, there can be up to four generations of employees working closely together in different departments or on different projects, and this is a great thing for the company. Not only does this mean you’re getting the benefit of different perspectives, opinions, and beliefs, but studies say the revenue of a business can increase by 19% when that business enjoys diversity. But that’s not as easy as it sounds. More often than not, employees want to go where they feel comfortable. Eventually, they end up working with people who look, think, and sound like them, creating a disparity in diversity for your workplace.

So what can you do to fix this? Obviously, a perks and discounts program is not a cover-all solution to a large problem like a lack of generational diversity in your workplace. However, it is a fantastic place to start. Here are three important reasons why:

1. Perks and Discounts Programs Offer Discounts for All Financial Situations

There’s no getting around the fact that different generations have different needs. Those differences, while great for creating a sense of generational diversity and inclusion in the workplace, can also make it difficult to find a solution that appeases all employees. The beauty of a perks and discounts program is that it manages to do just that! By providing an array of discounts in a variety of categories, every employee is able to find a discount they find valuable and useful to them individually.

2. Perks and Discounts Programs Help Support Financial Security

Yes, each generation is different. However, virtually every member of the four generations that make up your workforce has at least one thing in common, and that is a desire to be more financially secure. Whether it’s dealing with expensive student loans, a mortgage on a new house, or an ailing family member, most employees have at least one area in their life that causes financial stress in their lives. Fortunately, a perks and discounts program can offer some help here as well. Saving through exclusive perks and discounts relieves some of the financial pressure your employees, no matter their generation, are experiencing every day. This can help with a number of things; their productivity, stress levels, and sense of financial security, to name a few!

3. Perks and Discounts Programs Attract and Retain Talent of All Ages

Generational diversity is one thing that should always be on your mind when it comes to both hiring new employees and retaining your current employees. Let your perks and discounts program be your best friend when it comes to these areas of your business. A recent Glassdoor survey found that 79% of employees prefer new or additional benefits to a pay raise. Broken down even further, the survey found 89% of employees aged 18-34, 84% of employees aged 35-44, 70% of employees aged 45-54, and 66% of employees aged 55-64 said they would prefer those perks and benefits to a pay raise. Factoring those preferences in, a perks and discounts program seems like the perfect addition to your benefits offering to both attract and retain new and existing employees of all ages.

We know how important diversity is to a company. It can improve your company’s productivity, efficiency, and overall success. But achieving it can seem like an impossible goal. Start on the right foot by implementing a perks and discounts program that supports a movement of generational diversity in your workplace. Click here to learn more about PerkSpot’s Perks and Discounts program and get started today!

HR and Marketing: A Match Made in Heaven

At first glance, the human resources and marketing departments of a company seem like opposites. Marketing works primarily with customers of a company, while HR is more preoccupied with the company’s employees. Yet, they have more similarities than meets the eye.

hr and marketing

Both departments are entrenched in the brand of a company, and how to convey it appropriately for others to consume. For marketing, it’s customers, and for human resources, it’s fellow employees. It makes sense for the two departments to come together and work together for a collective goal. Check out these three situations when HR should consider collaborating with their marketing department!

1. Recruitment and Hiring

Human resources has long owned the recruiting and interviewing process of any company, and that shouldn’t be changing anytime soon. However, a shakeup in your hiring might not be a bad idea for your company. Recruitment marketing is a rising trend in HR, which can mainly be attributed to the growing importance of social media, a more competitive job market, and the entry of the millennial generation in the workforce, according to a recent survey by HR.com. So how can you utilize your company’s marketing department to the best of your ability? Depending on the size and scope of your company and recruitment, options like employee referrals and brand advocates, a personalized career page, and targeted ads are all ways you can improve the quality of your hiring. Keep in mind, no two companies are the same, meaning their recruitment and interviewing process won’t be either. Some companies might not have the bandwidth or the budget to support all of these initiatives, so open up a conversation with your marketing department to come up with ways you can individualize your recruitment process so it fits your company well.

2. Onboarding

Once you’ve found that perfect new hire, it’s time to onboard them! But if you’re relying on the same onboarding process you’ve had in place for years, it might feel stale. Once again, this is a fantastic opportunity for your marketing department to help breathe life into your onboarding process. A study by Jobvite found that almost 30% of employees leave their new job within the first 90 days of employment. The main reason? Their day-to-day role wasn’t what they expected it to be. Make sure you fix this problem with your new onboarding process. Explain in clear detail not only what you expect of your new hires, but how they can succeed in their role and how you can assist them in doing so. While HR is the expert on the information that needs to be conveyed during onboarding, look to your marketing department to offer insight on the best way to convey that information, making it an effective and informative onboarding process for each new hire.

3. Company Culture

We know how important company culture is.  A company’s culture speaks to the values it upholds, the environment employees get to work in, and the goals they work toward. This is perhaps the best instance in which marketing and HR can work together. Not only do both departments have a holistic view of the company that other departments might not possess, but they’re also stakeholders in the two most important elements of company culture – the brand and the people. Marketing has a deep understanding of a company’s brand, and HR works closely with employees. Combined, it’s a match made in company culture heaven. Using HR’s know-how and marketing’s creativity, brainstorm to design unique strategies for implementing a company culture you know your employees will appreciate and enjoy. This can range from something simple like a company outing to a more extensive learning and development program tailored for your employees.

Sometimes, the best ideas come from where you least expect them. If your hiring, onboarding, or company culture could use some TLC, it’s time to join forces with your marketing department! What unexpected ideas have you come up with when working with a different department? Let us know!