July 12 2022

Wellbeing benefits for recruitment and retention: 8 tips

It’s a job seekers’ market and candidates can afford to be picky. But forward-thinking recruiters are using wellbeing benefits to keep ahead of the competition. Here, we outline eight tips you can implement to leverage wellbeing benefits for recruitment and retention purposes.

What are wellbeing benefits?

Before we look at how to use wellbeing benefits for recruitment and retention, you may be asking yourself, “What are wellbeing benefits?”.

Wellbeing benefits for recruitment and retention should focus on three areas: physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, and financial wellbeing.

Why should companies provide physical wellbeing benefits?

Healthcare is still the most-valued employee benefit. But to attract top talent, think beyond the regular gym membership and standard healthcare plan.

It’s also worthwhile considering the growing trend for personalised benefits. It’s no longer one size fits all. To really stand out from your competitors, opt for a healthcare provider that offers personalised individual plans.

Why should companies provide mental wellbeing benefits?

In 2020/2021, stress accounted for 50% of all work-related ill-health according to the Health and Safety Executive’s report on work-related stress, depression and anxiety. Another very-real risk is employee burnout – and this condition is on the rise.

Offering employer-led solutions that target stress reduction can create more harmonious workplaces. As a result, such organisations can experience reduced absenteeism and improved productivity. This is because reducing stress at work can decrease the risk of employee burnout.

Wellbeing benefits could include meditation apps, and in-house wellbeing events, seminars or webinars for your remote teams. In addition, don’t forget to encourage and reward self-care and taking regular breaks from work.

Why should companies provide financial wellbeing benefits?

The current cost-of-living crisis, rise in inflation, and stagnating wages means that taking care of financial health is crucial for employees. 94% of employees are worried about money and 77% of employees say their money worries affect their work.

For this reason, financial wellness is now a must-have benefit. Top companies are now broadening their benefits packages to include financial wellbeing benefits such as on-demand pay.

But holistic workplace wellbeing isn’t entirely down to HR teams – everyone across the business has a part to play.

Drive business growth by joining the wellbeing revolution

A workplace is only as resilient as its workers. Wellbeing benefits are an essential part of building that resilience. Below we list five ways wellbeing benefits can benefit your business:

1. Improve productivity and performance

Wellbeing benefits create happier, healthier employees, which leads to increased productivity and performance. It’s no accident that the companies with the best wellness programs perform better than those without them.

2. Reduce absenteeism

Absenteeism costs employers in the UK an average of £554 per employee (per year). Organisations like Thames Water have seen a reduction in illness-related absence by a massive 76% as a result of its commitment to wellbeing.

3. Lower staff turnover and increase retention rates

Employees are more likely to stay at a company that genuinely cares for their wellbeing. With burnout rates at an all-time high, wellbeing at work is a key factor in retention rates. Data published by PWC shows that wellness programs result in an 18% reduction in staff turnover.

4. Reduce presenteeism

When employees show up sick, they don’t work to their usual standard. This costs UK businesses £15.1 million a year in underperformance, accidents and mistakes.

5. Create a positive company culture and employer brand

Having a holistic strategy, which includes wellbeing benefits, is the hallmark of any forward-thinking company. Quality talent cares about working with ethical companies who put the health and happiness of their stakeholders first.

Feature holistic wellness in your strategy to recruit and retain top talent 

Using wellbeing benefits for recruitment and retention is essential in a tight market. But to reap the best rewards, employers must know how to plan, communicate, and deliver those benefits to employees.

Here are eight actionable ways to promote your wellbeing benefits with the specific aim of helping you recruit and retain employees.

1. Set specific goals for your strategy to leverage benefits for recruitment and retention

Do you have defined goals for your wellbeing strategy? Maybe you want to increase engagement to aid retention, or attract 15% more applications for your advertised jobs? Or do you want to instil a more robust culture of employee wellbeing?

Knowing your goals helps you tailor your wellbeing benefits package and how to best communicate it to meet those goals. For example, if reducing absenteeism is one of your main goals, then your promotion strategy will focus on current employees.

In order to reach goals, you need data. Employee feedback is essential. See the next tip below.

2. Get feedback from employees about your wellbeing benefits

Make sure your wellbeing strategy is delivering tangible results by encouraging feedback from employees. By encouraging feedback, employees can see that their employer cares about their wellbeing. This helps reinforce the importance of workplace wellbeing.  

Don’t forget to examine the data too. For example, have retention rates shifted at all? Are you receiving higher-quality candidates for job openings? Monitor your data regularly to see if you’re going in the right direction.

3. Include your best benefits in all your job adverts

Sounds obvious, but it’s easy to forget to update written information. How often have you copied and pasted the previous job advert and just updated the section about the role and responsibilities?

By not updating your website or job adverts with your up-to-date benefits package, you’re missing out on some serious browny points. That’s because when it comes to accepting a job offer, 78% of employees say that benefits are a very or extremely important part of the decision.

Don’t be afraid to shout about your wellbeing benefits package. It really can have a positive impact on recruitment efforts.

4. Look past the onboarding process

It’s easy to fall into the trap of front-loading benefits communications on new starters. But it makes a lot more sense to have a strategic approach to benefits communications.

Adopting a regular, drip-feed approach to talking about wellbeing benefits acts as a reminder to employees about all the great benefits they have access to. Use wellbeing benefits for retention by keeping new and existing employees informed and updated about changes.

You could consider spotlighting one particular benefit each month and sharing resources or communications with your teams around it. Internal newsletters and communication are other excellent ways of keeping new and existing talent engaged in wellbeing benefits.

Data published by PWC shows that wellness programs result in an 18% reduction in staff turnover.

5. Know your wellbeing benefits package inside and out

Consider giving training to recruiters and HR so they can talk confidently about your wellbeing benefits package. You can also encourage recruiters to use the benefits themselves so they can talk from experience. 

There’s also an important role for managers here. Encourage them to attend events related to wellbeing benefits. This will help build respect and strengthen team bonds. As a result, your workforce will see the leadership team as supportive, relatable human beings.

This has another benefit. That’s because employees will see that the company also cares about the wellbeing of the leadership team too. When leaders lead by example, they are an inspiration to the whole team.

6. Integrate wellbeing benefits into your brand

Gen Z are the workforce of the future and they gravitate towards brands and employers that hold space for workplace wellbeing. 

  • Use your website and social media channels to talk about your wellbeing strategy. Make it visible to all prospective and current employees.
  • Highlight individual stories, not perks. Testimonials and stories from employees who have found wellbeing benefits helpful are an excellent way of fostering a culture of wellbeing.
  • Build credibility and authenticity for your brand by getting the leadership team involved in employee wellbeing conversations and promoting this to existing staff and potential candidates.

Of course, always make sure employees give permission to share these stories.

7. Make information easily accessible

Making access to benefits easier for employees is a great way to increase uptake. Health insurance, for example, can appear very complicated to employees who haven’t used it before.

Consider having all information about all the benefits you offer in one place. This repository of information makes it much easier to look something up.

There are various tools such as Slack and Notion that you could use to store information and links to employee wellbeing benefits.

There are also multiple benefits platforms, for example Perkbox, that allow employees to see all benefits on offer at a glance. These platforms also allow employers to measure engagement so you can monitor what’s important to your workforce.

8. Get outside help

Managing a holistic and comprehensive wellbeing benefits package designed to help recruitment and retention is no small task. For this reason, it can make sense to collaborate with external partners.

There are plenty of providers who offer wellbeing-focused benefits, whether that be physical, mental, or financial wellbeing.

By partnering with Openwage, you can give your employees immediate access to their earnings. Earned wage access (or on-demand pay) can promote financial wellbeing and it can even save you money.

Interested in offering an exciting new financial wellbeing perk?

Openwage is an employee benefit aimed at promoting financial wellbeing by making access to pay fairer and more rewarding.

On-demand pay from Openwage is free for employers and it’s quick to set up. For employees, on-demand pay is a safe and cost-effective alternative to expensive borrowing using credit cards, overdrafts or payday loans.

Interested? Find out more about Openwage.