What Are Successful Strategies for Advocating Employee Benefits Improvements?

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    HR Interviews

    What Are Successful Strategies for Advocating Employee Benefits Improvements?

    We've gathered insights from eight leaders, including Chief Human Resources Officers and CEOs, on how they've successfully advocated for better employee benefits and workplace policies. From leveraging third-party HR insights to advocating for competitive healthcare benefits, these professionals share their strategies and the impactful outcomes that have shaped their workplace cultures and boosted employee satisfaction.

    • Leverage Third-Party HR Insights
    • Exceed Industry Norm for Parental Leave
    • Introduce Mental Health Days
    • Revise Outdated Dress Code
    • Equalize Parental Leave Benefits
    • Present Data-Driven Benefits Proposal
    • Propose Hybrid Work Model Trial
    • Advocate for Competitive Healthcare Benefits

    Leverage Third-Party HR Insights

    Bringing in a third party can help convince management to adapt their employee benefit package or workplace policies. As a recruiter, I've played this role often and with good success.

    HR might think that reaching out to a recruiting firm isn't necessary if they're not actively hiring, but a full-service firm like Pender & Howe is also equipped to provide insight into compensatory and policy trends.

    We have the data to back up our recommendations and can hand it over when HR needs numbers to bolster their attempts.

    So, if you're a human resources worker struggling to come up with a working strategy to positively shape your workplace, consider reaching out to a recruiting firm in your sector for a second opinion.

    Travis Hann
    Travis HannPartner, Pender & Howe

    Exceed Industry Norm for Parental Leave

    As a Chief Human Resources Officer, I recall successfully advocating for the enhancement of our parental leave policy, recognizing the need for more inclusive and supportive benefits. The strategy began with gathering data on industry standards and employee feedback to present a compelling case to senior leadership. By highlighting the direct correlation between comprehensive parental leave and increased employee retention, satisfaction, and overall workplace morale, I underscored the long-term benefits outweighing the short-term costs.

    Following thorough discussions and negotiations, we successfully extended the parental leave period and introduced more flexibility in how it could be used, significantly exceeding the industry standard. This change was met with overwhelming positive feedback from employees, who felt valued and supported, leading to increased loyalty and a stronger company culture.

    Reflecting on this experience, it reinforced the importance of listening to employee needs and actively advocating for policies that support their well-being. This approach not only enhances satisfaction but also positions the company as a desirable employer, crucial for attracting and retaining top talent in a competitive market.

    Steven Mostyn
    Steven MostynChief Human Resources Officer, Management.org

    Introduce Mental Health Days

    A Mental Health Day: As the workload and stress levels for our team were increasing, I proposed a monthly 'Mental Health Day'—a free day when no one would work and you didn't have to provide any excuses. This was backed up by stats about productivity and mental health, showing how it would benefit employees' mental health in the long run and, in turn, increase general productivity. After the first month, positivity increased dramatically, cases of burnout went down, and our reputation as a caring employer bloomed.

    Sarah Jeffries
    Sarah JeffriesFounder, First Aid Courses Manchester

    Revise Outdated Dress Code

    I was working as the head of human resources in a financial firm where the dress code was formal business attire, including suits, ties, and formal dresses for all employees. However, I noticed that this dress code was becoming increasingly outdated and did not align with the company's culture or the preferences of younger employees. Recognizing the need for a more flexible and inclusive dress code policy, I decided to advocate for improvements in this area.

    First, I conducted research and data analysis on the trends in workplace attire and gathered data on the preferences of employees regarding dress codes in similar companies. Second, with my findings, I developed a comprehensive business case outlining the benefits of updating the dress code policy. I highlighted the potential impact on employee morale, recruitment, and retention, as well as the need to align the dress code with the company's brand and values.

    Third, I sought input from key stakeholders to ensure that the policy addressed their concerns and incorporated their input to have them as allies. Once approved, I communicated the new dress code policy to the team through different campaigns and provided visual aids to educate our employees on the new way of working.

    The outcome was great, and as a result of these efforts, the company environment improved, and company results improved. It was a culmination of actions, but being comfortable while working had a great impact.

    Mariana BazanHR Head

    Equalize Parental Leave Benefits

    I noticed a difference in our parental leave policy, which provided less support for new fathers than for mothers. Recognizing the need for gender equality and work-life balance, I began discussions with HR and leadership. I gathered information on industry standards and presented a well-researched proposal for equal parental leave for all employees, emphasizing the advantages of inclusion and justice.

    Through collaboration and effort, I persuaded stakeholders of the need for this change. The result was a changed policy giving equal parental leave regardless of gender, which improved staff morale and retention. This event not only addressed a critical issue at our workplace but also demonstrated the importance of pushing for equity in other parts of corporate operations. It established a culture of mutual respect and support, displaying our willingness to adapt to changing cultural ideals.

    Justin Crabbe
    Justin CrabbeCEO, BlackJet

    Present Data-Driven Benefits Proposal

    Advocating for an improvement in employee benefits or workplace policies can be a challenging task, but it is also extremely important in shaping a positive and supportive workplace culture. At the time, our company was facing high employee turnover rates and low employee satisfaction scores. After conducting a survey among employees, it became clear that the lack of work-life balance and inadequate healthcare benefits were major contributing factors.

    I started by gathering data and evidence to support my case for improving employee benefits. This included statistics on the impact of work-life balance on productivity and employee retention, as well as comparisons with industry competitors' benefits packages. I also reached out to colleagues and formed a small group of like-minded individuals who were willing to support the cause.

    Next, we scheduled a meeting with the human resources (HR) department to present our findings and proposal for changes in employee benefits and policies. We made sure to have a clear and concise presentation, with specific examples of how the proposed changes would benefit both employees and the company as a whole.

    In addition, we also reached out to senior management and made a case for the importance of investing in employee well-being. We emphasized that happy and satisfied employees are more likely to be engaged, productive, and loyal to the company.

    Justin Turner
    Justin TurnerFounder & CEO, Turner Home Team

    Propose Hybrid Work Model Trial

    Some years ago, I successfully advocated for an adjustment/improvement in our organization's workplace policy. The plan was for the company to adopt a hybrid work system. This arrangement was to allow employees the opportunity to strike a balance between their work life and personal life, but most especially to reduce burnout from the undue stress of spending long hours in the office, and being distracted by the thought that they were missing out on the opportunity of being around during the developmental stages of their kids' lives (the greater percentage of our workforce are parents).

    As expected, management was worried about the possibility of being able to maximize efficiency if we adopted this mode of operation. However, in addition to my argument that a happy and content employee is sure to do more than the barest minimum of their job requirement to ensure that they remained productive, and that the plan was not to close down the office for certain days, that with a hybrid approach, there would still be an adequate environment to encourage collaboration, that way, employees wouldn't be lacking the support they need. However, the convincing factor was the proposition that we experiment with the idea for 2-4 weeks. The results achieved were convincing enough.

    Andrew Johnson
    Andrew JohnsonGeneral Manager, Drughelpline

    Advocate for Competitive Healthcare Benefits

    I successfully advocated for an improvement in employee benefits at my workplace. The company had recently announced a change in our healthcare plan, which would result in higher deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses for employees. This news caused a lot of dissatisfaction among my colleagues, who were already struggling to make ends meet. As a result, I decided to take action and advocate for better benefits and workplace policies.

    To effectively advocate for this change, I first gathered data on the current healthcare plan and compared it to plans offered by other companies in our industry. This helped me present evidence that our company's benefits were not competitive and needed improvement. I also reached out to my colleagues and gathered their feedback and concerns regarding the change in healthcare plans. I then put together a proposal with alternative options that would provide better coverage for employees without significantly increasing costs for the company.

    Alex Taylor
    Alex TaylorHead of Marketing, CrownTV