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• Gradifi

How to Make Your Benefits Align with Your Company Values

By Dawn Papandrea | 3-min read

Company values, when properly executed, are the lifeblood of an organization – a reflection of the overall mission, embodied by the employees. But would your employees agree that you’re practicing the values you preach? In other words, have you thought about how your benefits package reflects your values? One of the ways to foster a culture of employee engagement and satisfaction, and to recruit new talent, is to have a benefits package that aligns with your company values. Here’s why:

  • It can give your employer brand credibility. About 75% of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before even applying for a job, according to a LinkedIn study. Having a well-defined set of values with benefits to match shows that you’re more than just a paper mission statement.
  • Core-aligned benefits help with employee retention. In MetLife’s 2018 Employee Benefit Trends Survey, 51% of employers say that using benefits to retain employees will become even more important in the next 3 to 5 years.
  • Benefits affect job satisfaction. In a study by the Society of Human Resources Management, only 31% of employees said they felt satisfied with their current benefits; however, 56% said benefits are an important factor for overall job satisfaction.

Employee Pride Stems From Company Values

Young employees are especially interested in working for a company that has values they agree with. About 70 percent of Millennials believe their personal values are shared by the organizations they work for, while 56 percent say they have ruled out ever working for a particular organization because of its values or standard of conduct, as per a 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey.

Here’s how to focus on the right values and put them into practice:

Values should develop naturally. It would be fairly simple to put together a list of values that feature buzzwords that make your company sound great, but people will eventually see through them if they’re not genuine. Instead, think about what really fuels your company’s growth story, and what it stands for. It could be things like innovation, inclusion, teamwork, a customer-first approach, or a commitment to the environment. Whatever your core values are, they must be authentic.

Make sure the values are communicated clearly. To make sure that everyone – from staffers to prospective employees to clients — understand the company values, it should be written out and shared publicly on your corporate website. It should also be top of mind whenever business decisions are made.

Put values into practice. Establishing and communicating a set of company values doesn’t mean much if rings hollow. Holding the organization to that set of standards and hiring people who align with the core values is crucial.

“One of the really interesting things I found from the research is that it actually doesn’t matter what your values are, what matters is that you have them and that you align the organization around them. And the power actually comes from the alignment, not from the actual values.” That from Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, a company that is well known for its successful values-based approach.

How Offering the Right Benefits Can Help

If you use your core values to help determine which benefit offerings will have the greatest impact on your team, you’ll likely be giving employees things that they want. Of course, it’s always good to have an array of benefits that appeal to different segments of your workforce, but choosing ones that provide the best return on your investment and keep employees happy is key.

Here are some examples of core-aligned benefits. If your core value is:

A culture of innovation

Possible benefits: Profit sharing, commitment to training and education (like tuition reimbursement).

Example: Adobe offers employees $10,000 per year for tuition and books.

Financial wellness

Possible benefits: Financial planning assistance, student loan repayment benefits, discount programs

Example: Penguin Random House offers student loan repayment benefits to its employees.

Work life balance

Possible benefits: Strong parental leave policy, flex time, generous PTO, college savings assistance, day care programs

Example: Honeywell offers unlimited paid time off — great for employees who want more time to travel and explore other interests. 

Work hard, play hard

Possible benefit: Generous paid time off, company sponsored outings and events

Example: REI offers two paid days off each year called “Yay Days” for employees to enjoy the outdoors.

Community service

Possible benefits: Volunteer paid time off, matching gifts program

Example: Salesforce employees get up to seven days of paid time off per year to volunteer.

Commitment to the environment

Possible benefits: Company ride-sharing program or incentives to bike to work, discounts for energy efficient/sustainable products

Example: Clif Bar’s Cool Commute and Cool Home programs offer incentives for leaving your car at home or switching to a fuel-efficient/low emission vehicle, and for making earth-friendly improvements at home.

Offering your employees a strong selection of benefits that also embody the core values of the company is a win-win. It will help you attract candidates who share similar values and help keep your current staff engaged and motivated for years to come. Plus, by thinking outside the typical benefits box, you can set your employer brand apart from your competitors.