CFOs are balancing the benefits of wellness options while maintaining employee “choice value”


For businesses of all sizes and in all industries, managing employees can be challenging. In today’s historically tight job market, with employees empowered to want more than just a paycheck, companies have started offering different incentives to attract potential candidates and retain top talent.

With the average benefits that cost a company almost a third employee salary, CFOs must not only be considerate in their allocations to wellness offerings to have satisfied employees, but they must also be diligent in tracking the use of benefits that improve the welfare.

It starts with culture

Dean Quiambaopartner at accounting and consulting firm Armanio, believes that even before the benefits kick in, a culture of fluid top-down communication is essential. This culture gives employees the opportunity to assess the well-being of their own company, which in turn positively impacts their own well-being.

Dean Quiambao

“One of the most underrated elements of employee well-being is the financial stability of the company that employs them,” Quiambao said. “When CFOs have a communication culture, it has a positive effect on employee well-being. [Unfortunately]most CFOs only communicate during tough times. »

Quiambao stressed the need for communication from executives to employees, not just about their well-being, but about the status of the company as a whole. Quiambao’s ideas are based on the notion that an informed employee is a happy employee.

“CFOs who communicate with an owner mindset, through good times and bad, spread that mindset throughout the organization,” he said. “Employees expect to hear from their CFO, what the numbers mean and, most importantly, how they affect the business. Just like in sports, everyone wants to be part of a winning team.

CFOs who communicate with an owner mindset, through good times and bad, spread that mindset throughout the organization. — Dean Quiambao, Armanio

As for CFOs who allocate profits themselves, Heidi CraneCFO of virtual fitness platform FightCamp and CFO for over 25 years, spoke with CFO on how managers should “follow the example” in promoting wellness. According to Crain, it is not enough to ensure that allowances are made for benefits that can benefit a company’s workforce. She emphasized the need to understand what your employees need by embedding it into the culture of the company.

“The CFO’s role is critical to ensuring the appropriate resources are dedicated to the company’s most important asset, their team members,” said Crain. “Building wellness into your company culture helps reinforce the message in day-to-day interactions. It’s the little everyday things that mean the most.

Heidi Crane

Crane thinks that if perks aren’t used, it’s probably something employees don’t find useful. She talked about the many low-cost or no-cost wellness options that allow companies like FightCamp to give their employees choices in their wellness benefits.

“People appreciate choice,” she said. “At FightCamp, we provide monthly reimbursement for the employee wellness activity of choice, so each person can decide what works best for them. [their] way of life. Our participation rate is close to 90%.

People appreciate choice [in wellness benefits] … Our participation rate is close to 90%. —Heidi Crane, FightCamp

Outside of benefits, Crane believes that morale plays an important role in keeping employees well-being and ultimately making them happy to come to work. “Employee morale and satisfaction must be constantly maintained, all of which is reinforced by the company culture. Making time to celebrate wins and regularly recognizing team members’ contributions are always high on the list.

Cut Unused Perks While protecting morale

With the US economy still struggling, leaders must consider the effectiveness of cutting budgets wherever possible. Miguel FernandezCEO of fintech Capchase, spoke with CFO on the balance between removing these types of benefits without affecting employee welfare or morale.

“Not all perks and perks are used equally or have the same impact on employee well-being,” Fernandez said. “It is much easier to add new things than to subtract them. At Capchase, we have clear expectations of what we’re trying to achieve with benefits. »

Fernandez explained how, when assessing the value of employee benefits, his team asks four questions. These questions assess whether the potential benefit will not only pay welfare dividends, but also whether it is worth the cost.

  1. Do we want to level the playing field with other startups at a similar stage?
  2. Are we trying to differentiate ourselves to increase appeal to candidates?
  3. Are we trying to hold people back?
  4. Are we trying to increase engagement, productivity and team spirit?

Miguel Fernandez

“Adding benefits becomes a more considered process. And the obstacle to add new ones that [may] risk of being unused [is] higher,” Fernandez said. “We then monitor usage and impact. If the usage is still not there, we offer alternatives or eliminate it altogether.

vested interest

Like Crane, Fernandez believes that offering a personalized benefits package to employees provides the best value for everyone involved. Going further, he explained that if employees have a small financial commitment to a wellness benefit, they are more likely to use it and receive its benefits.

“We find that even though we ask employees to contribute a small percentage of the overall cost, they are more likely to actually use the benefit,” he said. “It’s not about getting the money from the employee, it’s about the employee participating in the cost to get better uptake of the benefit.”

If we ask employees to contribute a small percentage of the overall cost, they are more likely to actually use the benefit. — Miguel Fernandez, Capchase

While he admits that sometimes long hours are needed in his industry, Fernandez makes his employees worth it by working to ensure they feel recognized, appreciated and motivated.

“It’s important to have a supportive and collaborative team culture, which can help maintain morale and well-being,” Fernandez said. “We try to celebrate successes with shouts at all-meetings and our loose channels and present the results to the entire organization. We want people to feel recognized for their contributions on a regular basis, not just through promotions. »

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Richard V. Johnson