Employer employee mutual benefits

Consider old job scenario and retired professionals remember most about their workplace, a 9-5 routine, work and only work in these eight hours, a pay check at the end of the every month and a constant struggle to save for a rainy day. The present job scenario workplace has become more than a place to earn daily bread. It has become a second home as you end up spending more time here than any other place and have to contribute more, than just what is expected of the employee. This had led to both employers and employees extending themselves beyond just a 9-5 relationship. Employees, therefore have high expectations, as far as benefits and remuneration for the time and the effort they put into their work concerned.

However, according to a recent survey, ‘The Study of International Employee Benefit Trends’, Indian employers are not maximizing the potential of benefits to fulfill business objectives and generally offer employees few benefits besides life and health.

The study reveals a disconnect between what benefits Indian employees say they need and want and the benefits Indian employers are prepared to offer. The top benefits that most Indian employer provide are benefits to control employee health and welfare cost and to help increase employee productivity.

The survey finds workers are extremely concerned about basic financial worries such as adequate health insurances (82%) and having enough money to live on (80%). India employees’ top financial concerns regarding retirement include “having enough money to take care of elderly parents or in-laws” (79%) and “running out of retirement money”(71%). Keeping this in mind and the fact that Indian organizations have to measure up against global standards, the need of the hour is for employers to tailor make their employee benefit plans based on their employees’ priorities

Some employers have initiated a ‘Flexible benefit Plan’, which is individual specific where the employees get to choose which benefits are necessary for them. It is observed that majority of employees opt for benefits that have maximum tax optimization.

Another priority that some employers have taken into account is the need of employees to upgrade their skills. Another employer has an education enhancement program where they offer monetary support to all employees who are eager to pursue higher education in their respective fields. Apart from this, many organizations are also paying attention to the wellness aspect of employees. They offer meditation classes, language classes, games, reiki sessions etc.

81% of Indian workers are concerned about job security. And the thought that arises is what whether or not organizations keep this factor in mind while initiating new benefits? Job security comes through the organization’s culture. For the employees, having benefits makes them feel that they are apart of the organization but doesn’t really spell out job security for them. Benefits are provided so that employees are motivated and certainly make them happy but a sense of job security cannot necessarily be achieved from it. It depends upon various other factors like the work environment, caliber of leadership, business results achieved, skill set and consistency of decision making. These factors all add up to employee comfort and security.

IT, biotechnology and manufacturing companies, which often have difficulty finding skilled workers, have greater incentive to offer competitive benefits programs in order to attract and retain experts agree that organizations need to change to keep the employees engaged and they feel that one obvious way to do it is to offer them more than just the ‘regular’ benefits. Introduction of benefits has helped organizations as employees sense the care of the employer and especially so, on the happening of the unplanned event.

Recruiting strategies have changed and employees are now the company’s internal customers. Organizations are investing in training, objective assessments and transferable skill development to cultivate commitment. Compensation is no longer the most important issue, but greater value is now placed on career development, training and life style.

Today, benefits provided by organizations enable people to have a work life balance. It also encourages participation and involvement in the organization’s growth. Imaginative benefits might just be the things to keep employees happy, loyal and productive.

  • All said and done, no doubt involvement is optimised through health and wellness programmes but as rightly pointed out newer methods would have to be found out to keep the employee involved. The Reliability, Assurance, Tangibles, Empathy and Responsiveness (RATER) model of CRM could be tried out to ensure the involvement levels during the ESS programmes. Kano’s CRM model has already been found to be useful by Kurt Matzler, Mathias Fuchs and Astrid Schubert. They have concluded in their article “Employee Satisfaction: Does Kano’s Model Apply?”(Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, Nov-Dec 2004)

    that Kano’s Model on customer satisfaction factors is also relevant to describe employee satisfaction.