The business case for prioritizing employee health and happiness
Presented by TriNet
Improving employee happiness boosts engagement, productivity and longevity, and makes you an employer of choice for higher-value talent. Find out how the benefits directly impact employee happiness, and deliver a powerful return on investment, at this free VB Live event.
“Employee benefits are at the heart of socially responsible business practices,” says Sarah Green-Vieux, Head of Impact at Kinship, a membership organization for senior executives that provides its members with a community of peers and the ability to troubleshoot with experts on a wide range of leadership and social impact issues.
“I believe that without happy and healthy employees, a business cannot thrive,” continues Green-Vieux. “The business case is clear.”
Studies overwhelmingly show that happier, healthier employees mean higher productivity and higher retention rates. And in the absence of subsidized and government-mandated benefits, Green-Vieux believes, organizations have a duty to their teams to support them throughout their lives.
Benefits are basically the recognition of the humanity of an employee. “Employees get sick or have to take care of sick families,” she explains. “They need some free time to take care of their mental and emotional well-being. They have children and they need the time and energy to be good parents and raise good people.
But, as Green-Vieux notes, from paid parental leave and paid sick leave to paid family leave, the United States lags far behind all other developed countries, and this gap is more visible than ever.
Pressure is increasing on organizations to follow a stakeholder model, as opposed to the shareholder-driven model, and address these issues, especially in the aftermath of the pandemic. And the sustainability that encompasses ED&I, environmental issues and those pressing concerns is here to stay.
“The benefits will always be part of the conversation,” says Green-Vieux. “We have yet to see the impact of the pandemic on systems that previously existed, and the issues will change over time.”
For example, mental health is increasingly part of the conversation. Companies are starting to recognize the need to support employees, as well as help them connect and create safe spaces for each other.
“Leaders recognize trauma, especially trauma that women, BIPOC, non-binary people, religious minorities and others carry,” says Green-Vieux. “Trauma colors a person’s perspective, as well as the way they perceive actions and events; recognize that this is the key to being successful in managing and working with others.
She goes on to explain that Kindred, which was founded just before the pandemic, embodies these values. “The founders are fundamentally committed to the well-being of employees,” she says.
Their approach to benefits includes things such as unlimited time off; competitive compensation; unlimited remote working possibilities; an understanding that people work at different paces and times, so sitting nine to five at a desk is not sustainable; and more. And that’s what the profits of the future look like.
Organizations recognize that there is a new normal and the conversation about benefits is starting to change. Green-Vieux notes that Kindred members are asking how to support their employees’ mental health and ease their anxiety as they exit the pandemic, and how to create generous family leave policies.
“Executives are looking to help tired and disengaged employees,” she explains. “They want to create a strong distant culture, to which people belong despite being geographically separated. They raise questions about gender in the workplace. And they want to address employee anxiety as they grapple with the increase in hate crimes and police brutality. This is something, for me, that I had never heard people vocalize at work before. There is a feeling of empowerment.
But business leaders can’t make assumptions about what their employees want or need – ask and listen to employees, hear what they or they having to say about their needs, is the first step. And then leaders must respect those responses and implement those comments. That’s why it’s important to allocate a significant budget that allows you to make a real impact.
“Giving employees the right kind of benefits costs money, and studies show the return is there,” she says. “But investment comes first. Put your employees first and you will see that they will be more loyal. They will work better and more creatively for you and appreciate and respect you as an individual and as a leader.
And it’s essential to remember that employees are human. When her one-year-old daughter first fell ill, the boss of Green-Vieux saw her as a mother whose priority had to be caring for her sick child rather than working, and there was no no resentment or expectation around his absence. .
“It’s at the heart of what diversity, equity and inclusion are,” she says. Celebrate people for who they are, meet them where they are, and help them become the best version of themselves.
To learn more about the evolution of post-pandemic benefits, changing employee expectations, and how successful organizations are meeting their needs, don’t miss this VB Live event.
You‘I will learn :
- What Employees Are Looking For In The Post-COVID Era
- The surprising new changes that a redistributed workforce is introducing
- Looking to the future as offices reopen for business
- How to review your current benefit plans in light of future needs
- Sarah Green-Old, Head of Impact, Kindred
- Kelly Pacatte, senior HR and compliance consultant, TriNet
- Christy yaccarino, Executive Director, Benefits and Wellness Strategy, TriNet
- Stewart rogers, Moderator, VentureBeat