Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
One of the more interesting HR observations over the last few years is that benefit strategies, or any internal business strategies for that matter, work best when they are structured to form part of the ‘whole’. The ‘whole’ meaning - when they’re aligned with an overall strategy, rather than functioning in their own vacuums or as standalone entities.
So too, it is important to ensure that your financial wellbeing and broader health benefit strategies are aligned. Getting this right will ensure the benefits provided under these strategies are linked so that they positively affect one another and can complement each other in achieving greater levels of overall employee wellbeing.
Ideally, you’d want to be able to measure not only the success of a benefit (e.g. its return on investment) but also the impact of this success on that of other benefits.
"The effectiveness of health benefits will increase in an environment with healthy levels of financial wellbeing"
We know that problems with health and particularly mental health are often, (not always of course), present as a consequence of financial problems. In cases like these, it is a symptom rather than the root cause of a problem. In practice, these issues are already linked. It should therefore be an important aim when formalising any wellbeing strategy, to link different types of benefits in terms of delivery too. The effectiveness of health benefits will increase in an environment with healthy levels of financial wellbeing, where root problems are addressed.
In today’s complicated talent management environment, an organisation cannot afford to offer a suite of employee benefits only as a tick-box exercise. Offering product for product’s sake is an incredibly easy trap to fall into and in many instances HR decision makers might eventually become disillusioned and even lose faith in the validity of wellbeing solutions altogether. Not to mention the potential damage to your organisation’s bottom line by having to absorb the cost of failed interventions.
The correct approach, from the outset, is to ensure you establish the objectives you as an organisation want to achieve through the benefits that you offer. These objectives should in turn be aligned with your overall business strategy. By doing this, a strategic framework should be set within which both your financial wellbeing and health benefits can be delivered.
This framework should very clearly define the following:
Finally, your engagement strategy should deliver targeted communication to your workforce, in line with your wellbeing strategy and linking different cohorts of employees with the most appropriate set of benefits.
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