How satisfied are you with your job? If you're reading this and thinking not very much, you're not alone. According to MetLife's Employee Benefit Trends Study, job satisfaction is low at 69%. Employee satisfaction is largely driven by how well employees feel cared for by their employers.
Only 65% of employees say their organizations care for them, while only 58% feel cared for while working. Yet, 88% of employers think caring for their employees is essential.
So what does it mean to care for your employees?
Employee care is when employers demonstrate an interest in employees' overall well-being built from a foundation of fair compensation and a safe work environment. Care also recognizes employees' contributions and acknowledges their unique needs. In other words, it's taking steps to contribute towards employees' holistic health—financial, mental, physical, and social. For example, 80% of employees who feel cared for at work describe themselves as holistically healthy compared with 40% who feel an absence of care from their employer.
When employees feel cared for, they are more engaged, productive, and loyal than those who don't feel cared for. The study found that when employers show care, 87% of employees are engaged, 90% are productive, and 89% are loyal.
Here are five ways you can show your employees that you care.
5 ways to show your employees you care
Demonstrating care can include benefits such as healthcare and wellness offerings, flexible schedules, professional growth opportunities, and purposeful work. But, there are other intangible ways employees can feel care from their employer, such as treating the workforce with respect, creating a safe environment, and offering to support to prevent burnout.
Offer flexible benefits
Only 61% of employees feel like their employer offers a range of benefits that meet their needs and the needs of their households. More than ever, workforces comprise diverse, multigenerational workforces with different needs. Hence, a one-size-fits-all benefits approach doesn't work.
Flexible benefits allow employers to meet their employees' individualized needs by enabling them to create their own benefits packages. These benefits can support employees' holistic health by offering options that appeal to employees' social well-being and financial health. For example, flexible benefits like convertible PTO allow employees to take unused PTO and convert it to valuable benefits, such as student loan payments, retirement contributions, etc.
Professional growth and training opportunities
Employees are always looking for opportunities to uplevel their skills to grow within the company. The more opportunities employees can get from their employer, the longer they want to stay with the company.
Employers can show care for their employees by offering learning and development opportunities such as courses, mentorships, or training. While hard skills have always been popular, employees want to learn more soft skills, such as managing colleagues. Leaders can also demonstrate care for their employees by listening to and implementing their feedback.
Healthy company culture
At most companies, culture drives everything. Company culture is vital to employee happiness, engagement, and care. It's the difference between employee turnover and retention. For example, disengaged employees are 3.8 times more likely than their engaged counterparts to cite organizational culture as a reason for leaving.
A healthy and supportive culture that offers an inclusive and safe environment shows your employees you care about how they're treated at work. Companies can achieve this by defining cultural norms and behaviors using open communication and dedicating resources and attention to create a more supportive culture. Examples include offering employee resource groups to build community, how you treat your PTO policy, and your stance on broader cultural and social initiatives.
Leaders can boost company culture, decrease burnout, and demonstrate care by promoting work-life balance. And this starts with PTO. Employers must create a culture where employees are encouraged to take their PTO, beginning at the leadership level. By not taking time off, leaders reinforce negative assumptions around PTO, making it harder for employees to want to disconnect from work. Positive reinforcement from inside and outside company walls can counteract the guilt many feel for taking PTO.
Beyond PTO, employers can support their employees' lives outside of work through wellness benefits. One benefit employers can offer is a life planning account (LPA), a spending account focused on wellness initiatives. Employees can use LPAs for wellness benefits such as gym memberships, nutrition coaching, meditation app subscriptions, and more. These initiatives can help employers show employees that they care about their well-being and care for them as a human, not just a worker.
Employees want meaning and purpose in their work and enjoy their companies to care enough to make that happen. Employers can show care for their employees by providing resources to support employees looking to connect with purpose. Examples of this can be offering volunteer time off (VTO), donation matching, or company-sponsored donations to social initiatives.
Employers can also let employees donate their unused PTO to a coworker in need or donate to charitable causes that are important to them. Offering employees a leave-sharing program and an option for philanthropic donations fosters a company culture of giving and purposeful work. Employees are proud to work for companies that promote social good and serve as a pillar in the community. As a result, employees are more empowered to give back and strengthen their communities.
Show employees you care through your benefits
Employees want to feel cared for by their employers. When employers care for their employees, it makes it easier for them to show up and give their best. Learn how PTO Exchange can help you show your employees you care by helping them create flexible benefits packages.