Let's face it: with 48% of American employees actively looking for new opportunities, there's no stopping this industry-agnostic, nationwide talent shake-up. The boat has left the dock, leaving many employers out to sea. The best thing you can do for your company right now? Strengthen your retention sea legs — and that begins with buoying your benefits.
DocuSign's Director of Global Benefits, Well-Being, & Mobility, (and Nava Advisor) Ellen Meza recently joined us and HR Today for a conversation on how to make it through the Great Resignation unscathed. Her biggest piece of advice: Offer the benefits your employees actually want.
"I'm gonna say it for those in the back: Benefits have always been meaningful, but now that value is much more obvious," Ellen emphasized. "We have the stage, so we have to make the most of it."
Here are four actions Ellen recommends employers take now to bolster your benefits and reduce the risk of turnover.
Conduct pulse surveys
Want to give your employees the support they need? Try asking them about their wants and needs. "Listen to your employees and create spaces for them to speak honestly about what they need."
In fact, simply offering employees the opportunity to speak their mind could make a big difference when it comes to turnover. In fact, there's a 16% increase in turnover among employees who aren't comfortable giving upwards feedback.
And getting this invaluable feedback doesn't have to cost a dime. It could be as simple as creating a new slack channel, or scheduling team meetings specifically to discuss benefits. "It's going to cost time and energy, but the return is so incredibly valuable."
Make meaningful changes both during open enrollment and year round
"The status quo of addressing benefits in bulk once a year no longer addresses the actual changing needs of your employees." You can say that again, Ellen. Renewal season may be the most opportune time to make big changes to your benefits — and for many employers, that season is already over for the next year. But that doesn't mean you can't still make some tweaks (and potentially create a big impact).
It's time to break free of the "hamster wheel" of the open enrollment cycle by working closely with your vendors and leadership team. Ellen recommends raising ideas to your exec team in advance, so when the need arises, they're already familiar. "I always add a slide to the end of a deck during open enrollment or when I'm presenting to my CEO or CHRO that says, 'here are ideas I'm thinking about for the next six months to a year."
Don't shy away from bespoke benefits
"When it comes to benefits, one size may not fit all. Be thoughtful about placing all of your eggs in one basket. Consider niche benefits and how they might produce a positive shift in your employees' ability to have a work-family integration that supports their personal and career goals."
Specialized benefits may only impact a small portion of your total employee population, but that impact could be huge for those people — maybe even life-changing. And that's worth considering.
Some of these benefits can be funded by 'wellness dollars' from your medical providers. Smaller employers should 1, ask for wellness dollars at renewal and 2, use them to fund programs with a big impact (even if it's a small population). The publicity around these types of benefits both internally and externally is almost as good for the one receiving the benefits as it is for the peers sitting next to them.
Smaller employers may consider looking into voluntary benefits to provide that personalized touch without significant budget impacts. They're usually 100% paid for by the employee, leaving only a small administration fee for the employer to cover. Try asking your broker about how to add these benefits onto your offering.
Find vendors who align with your vision
"Even when you're an HR team of one, know that your vendors and consultants are there to be your arms and legs when you need them most." The right vendor will be open to helping you plan and optimize your offering to meet your unique needs and goals.
Ask yourself — are you building an offering to support employees through the Great Resignation and beyond?
"I want to be here at DocuSign even in the worst of times," Ellen said. "And I believe my employees do, too."
Have questions Ellen didn't answer? Our team can help.
Unsure which benefits vendors are best for your employees' needs? Check out the Nava Benefits Search Engine to explore 600+ vendors across 28 benefits categories, read reviews from real HR leaders, and get a quote for free.