The Impact of Employee Benefits on Employee Engagement & Retention

May 1, 2024

Lindsay Fuhrman

Quick Summary: "The Impact of Employee Benefits on Employee Engagement & Retention" highlights how strategic employee benefits enhance engagement and retention, fostering a committed workforce.

Main Points:

  • Employee engagement is linked to higher retention.
  • Tailored benefits boost emotional investment.
  • Wellness, work-life balance, and development benefits are key.
  • Recognition programs strengthen engagement.
  • Effective benefits strategy is essential for engagement and retention.

Your benefits can make or break employee engagement and retention.

In today’s fast-paced and ever-evolving work environment, the challenge of maintaining high levels of employee retention and engagement has never been more critical. With companies actively competing for top-tier talent amidst a challenging market, employee benefits stand out as a key solution.

These benefits, when tailored and communicated effectively, can become a cornerstone of an organization’s culture, directly influencing its ability to engage and retain employees.

Today, we explore the intricate relationship between employee benefits and engagement along with sharing tried and true employee engagement and retention strategies.

The Intersection of Employee Engagement and Employee Retention

Employee engagement refers to the emotional commitment and enthusiasm employees have towards their work and their employer. Engaged employees are passionate about their jobs, feel a sense of connection to the company's mission and values, and are willing to invest effort to contribute to its success..

Engaged employees are often less likely to look elsewhere for a job. According to a recent survey by Gallup, “Engaged employees make it a point to show up to work and do more work -- highly engaged business units realize an 81% difference in absenteeism and a 14% difference in productivity.”

As you can see, retention, reflecting an organization's capacity to keep its workforce, is significantly impacted by the level of engagement. When employees feel engaged and valued, they are less likely to seek employment elsewhere. This is because engaged employees:

  • Feel a strong connection to the company’s mission and values.
  • Experience job satisfaction, making them less inclined to seek new opportunities.
  • Develop relationships with coworkers, which can further increase their reluctance to leave.
  • Perceive their growth and development as being invested in by the organization, which encourages them to stay and grow within the company.

The Role of Employee Benefits in Engagement and Retention

When companies increase employee engagement, it can also help boost employee productivity and retention across the board. So, the question then becomes, how can organizations improve the employee experience to leverage these benefits?

It often starts with employee benefits.

Benefits play a crucial role in this interconnection of engagement and retention. Beyond the basic expectation of fair compensation and health insurance, providing additional benefits like professional development, work-life balance, and recognition and rewards programs can significantly contribute to an employee's engagement level.

Offering more benefits demonstrates an organization's investment in the well-being and future of its team, enhancing the emotional link between the employee and the employer. Benefits are a foundational part of improving employee retention and engagement.

Engaged work team high fiving

Employee Engagement and Retention Strategies Using Benefits

If you want to experience the benefits of an engaged workforce, start by evaluating your benefits. There has been plenty of research into why employees leave their jobs, and on the flip side, the types of benefits, recognition, and rewards that encourage them to stay.

Here are a handful of employee engagement and retention strategies that utilize benefits.

Tailored Benefits Packages

Gone are the days of a one-size-fits-all approach to benefits. Your workforce is comprised of individuals with diverse needs, and it's essential to offer benefits that accommodate their unique situations. For instance, while some employees may value pet insurance, others may not find it relevant to their circumstances.

The experts at the Society for Human Resource Management put it best – make sure to ask your employees what they want rather than just adding benefits because a competitor is. Conduct pulse surveys to gather feedback from employees and encourage them to voice their preferences regarding benefits. This approach ensures the creation of a comprehensive array of rewards tailored to their needs and preferences, increasing the likelihood of utilization.

Comprehensive Wellness Benefits

Show you care about employee health and happiness. Consider benefits that promote physical and mental well-being, like gym memberships, wellness challenges, mental health resources, or healthy food options in the break room.

While there is a lot of emphasis on physical and mental wellness, you should also consider adding financial wellness to the mix. Harvard Business Review reports that even though 77% of workers view financial wellness programs as an important benefit, only 28% of employers offer them. Offering comprehensive financial wellness benefits can enhance employee loyalty, as employees are more likely to stay with companies that invest in their long-term success..

Work-Life Balance Benefits

Work-life balance will always be important, especially as more employees are choosing remote work or a hybrid model. The right benefits can help employees achieve a healthy work-life balance. This could include generous paid time off, parental leave policies, or flexible work arrangements.

These benefits are competitive and help improve engagement.

Professional Development Benefits

Another important aspect of an employee retention strategy is ensuring your team can see themselves at your company for years to come. Providing benefits that show you are invested in their growth is key.

Some examples include tuition reimbursement, access to online learning platforms, or industry conferences as benefits to keep them engaged and committed to their career success.

Continuous education also enhances your workforce by ensuring your team members are equipped with the latest knowledge and skill set.

Recognition and Rewards Programs

Finally, do not underestimate how much employee recognition can improve engagement and prevent high turnover. Use benefits to recognize and reward achievements. This could involve bonus structures tied to performance, additional paid time off for exceeding goals, or even public recognition programs.

A Modern Approach to Employee Benefits

By strategically using benefits, you can create a more attractive workplace, improve employee engagement, and reduce turnover. However, offering a comprehensive benefits plan can also be costly.

When choosing perks to improve employee engagement and retention, remember that more doesn’t always mean better. It is important to be strategic and offer a mix of benefits that your team will use and appreciate.

At World Insurance, we are reshaping the employee benefits brokerage and consulting to make it better, not just bigger. Explore our innovative approach to employee benefits today.

About the Author

 Lindsay Fuhrman

Director of Population Health Management, Employee Benefits

  • For more than 15 years, Lindsay has been executing innovative approaches and best practices to transform well-being and care programs for clients and uses data analytics to inform strategies in the areas of vendor programming, incentive design, and care improvement.
  • Prior to joining World, Lindsay spearheaded health management initiatives at Optum, Delta Airlines, and FirstCare Health Plans.