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Employee benefit plans and your company culture

Sep 8, 2017 9:51:53 AM
Corporate culture



Are you struggling to build a workplace culture that drives employee engagement?  If so, you aren't alone.  Small and large companies all over Canada chase the elusive idea of building a great culture.  

When a company has a strong, purposeful culture, we recognize it and applaud it.  "Wow" we say, "that's a company that would be great to work for.  Their employees are so happy and engaged."  When a company's culture is lacking, it is reflected in high turnover, high absenteeism and a high percentage of disengaged employees.  

What could a great culture do for my organization?

A great culture drives engagement and productivity by allowing your employees to tap into their higher purpose.  They feel empowered to make decisions because they understand and believe in the ultimate goal of your organization while at the same time their intrinsic needs of autonomy, mastery and purpose are being met.  There is no question that an engaged work force is more productive and contributes better to your bottom line.  

The cultural conundrum

If you are trying to build a culture that drives engagement but achieving limited success, it might be because you have  policies, practices and benefits that are counter intuitive to what you are trying to create.  This is a frustrating challenge because the spend on benefits and other programs is significant while the employee appreciation and engagement is not. 

Common employer challenges and complaints that are often echoed are that "employees don't appreciate how much is spent on their benefits plan."  This statement reflects how the benefits plan is not tapping into your employee's values and subsequently not supporting your company's goals around engagement. 

What do you want to accomplish with your employee benefit plan?

Autonomy, mastery and purpose are intrinsic values you want to tap into with your employees if you are looking to increase engagement.  If you want a cultural identity of independent problem solvers with high emotional investment in your company goals, providing employees with a basic group benefit plan that gives them no choice is counter intuitive.  You told them your company was "forward thinking" and encouraged creativity but when they get their benefits package, the opposite message comes through loud and clear. 

There is a reason why some of the largest and most successful companies in Canada go out of their way and spend more money per person on employee benefits plans that allow for more flexibility and engagement.  They recognize the cost of disengagement far outweighs the increased cost of providing a flexible benefits program that supports cultural objectives and attract and retain talent by tapping into their employee's intrinsic values.

No more excuses

There are more options than ever before for flexible health insurance for small business.  There is also more choice around increasing flexibility on traditional plans with healthcare spending accounts (HCSA) and optional benefits. The group benefits industry as a whole has been working hard to provide features like mobile apps, websites and plan member technology services to support a culture of engagement.

So, what does your benefit plan say about the type of employer you are?  And what do you want it to say? 

Find out which style of benefits plan is right for you with our 2-step decision tool



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