Employee Benefits Speak Values

May 20, 2024

One of the many ways a company communicates its values is through the benefits it makes available to employees. Beyond healthcare insurance and retirement plans is a plethora of emerging perks that human-focused organizations are beginning to offer (and in some cases, gift) to their team members.

As more businesses expand their compensation packages with compelling benefits, it may be a good time to ask, “What do our employee benefits say about our values?”

Employees: Help Me Balance Life with Work, Keep My Money Right

Two categories of employee benefits—flexibility and financial wellness—are well-suited to walking-the-walk of people-centered corporate values.

Reignited by the post-pandemic emphasis on work-life balance, programs designed for flexible hours and time in the office have rapidly expanded in recent years.

Companies emphasizing these flexibility benefits are undoubtedly motivated by employee retention goals. A number of recent studies have shown that many employees will consider switching jobs if employers alter their beloved remote and hybrid options. In our survey of Bank Iowa business customers, 88% said flexible work is their organization’s most effective employee engagement initiative.

Financial wellness benefits, too, have grown exponentially. This is likely due to the economic strains of inflation and high interest rates many working Americans are currently experiencing. Financial strain has been shown to affect mental health and sleep, which can have a significant impact on an employee's performance.

A recent MetLife report suggests employers can do better in supporting the financial health of their employees. The survey found that although 83% of employers believe their employees are financially healthy, just 55% of employees believe the same.

Communicating Values with Employee-Centered Benefits

Flexible work benefits can take many different forms beyond hybrid and remote working accommodations. Other examples include adding equitable maternity and paternity leave for new parents or paid time off for volunteering in the community. Instituting these benefits and others like them can provide solid proof points for corporate values of family and social responsibility.

Programs designed to enhance employees’ financial wellness expand on the typical insurance and retirement plans with more personalized options. They include things like one-on-one financial coaching and tuition reimbursement. Businesses that provide access to programs like these communicate that the company cares about the holistic well-being of each and every member of the team.

Employers that Deliver on Promises Attract & Retain Talent

Unemployment continues to be low in our state, making competition for Iowa’s talent fierce. Setting your business apart from other employers may come down to honoring the commitments of your corporate values. The opportunity to do so is huge, as Gallup says just 26% of employees strongly agree their company always delivers on its promises.

If Gallup surveyed your employees today, would it find similar sentiment? If you suspect it may, consider deploying additional—or different—benefits that do a better job of putting your corporate values into action.

Funding such programs may be more affordable than you think. The finance experts at Bank Iowa would be happy to help your business work through the economics of extended benefits. If that’s something you’re up for connect with us here.


Written By: Jill Shedek, HR Director at Bank Iowa