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Designing Benefits with Diversity in Mind: A Multidimensional Approach to Diversity

  • Inclusive benefits serve as a catalyst for diversity and inclusion efforts.
  • Employees are 38% more likely to feel valued in companies that offer inclusive benefits programs.
  • Employers should address the needs of a multigenerational workforce, think outside of traditionally offered benefits, and equip leaders with the tools to reinforce available resources.
  • Family-friendly benefits, elderly care, financial wellness, and out-of-the-box offerings can cater to a diverse workforce.
  • The traditional approach to benefits and wellness programs is no longer sufficient to support an increasingly diverse workforce.  

    Benefits packages, pay, and culture have long been important components of businesses’ complete incentives package. They are typically the deciding factor in whether the company can attract or retain top talent. 

    Approaching benefit design through an equity lens and providing inclusive benefits can catalyze a company’s diversity and inclusion efforts. 

    HR leaders must understand their diverse workforce’s health and welfare needs and ensure their benefit plans embrace them. 

    Designing Benefits Through an Equity Lens 

    To build equity, it’s essential to understand the biases some employees, specifically marginalized groups, may experience. 

    Employers need to consider that different groups of people may have different needs and unequal levels of access to healthcare based on factors like location and socioeconomic status. 

    Data shows that employees are 38% more likely to feel valued in companies that offer inclusive benefits programs. 

    To ensure that benefit plans are inclusive, consider the following: 

    1. Conduct Workforce Surveys and Gather Feedback

    Employers must better understand what truly matters to their employees by creating connection points through employee resource forums, focus groups, workforce surveys, and roundtables. By listening to employees’ feedback, employers can identify gaps in benefit design and tailor their benefits to meet their workplace’s distinct and evolving needs. 

    2. Address the Needs of a Multigenerational Workforce

    For the first time in history, organizations have up to five generations working together, each with different experiences, knowledge, and health needs. Companies need to consider these differences when offering benefits and wellness programs. 

    40% of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers prioritize employer-provided health and wellness benefits over salary increases. 

    Employers should consider the unique needs and preferences of different generations to ensure that benefits are inclusive and meet the diverse needs of their employees. 

    3. Think Outside of Traditionally Offered Benefits

    Employers should tailor their benefits by analyzing employee feedback to meet their workplace’s dynamic and evolving needs.  

    Specifically, employees show significant interest in benefits such as financial wellness, telemedicine, legal service programs, elderly and children care, and more. 

    4. Equip Leaders with the Tools to Reinforce Available Resources

    Educating teams on their health and wellness is important, but it’s equally important to equip managers with the tools to support the available resources. This approach will allow employees to feel supported and receive the care they deserve. 

    Inclusive Benefits and Wellness Programs: The Key to D&I 

    Inclusive benefits and wellness programs are great for companies to showcase their commitment to a diverse and inclusive workforce. Here are some approaches that cater to a diverse workforce: 

    Family-friendly benefits: Data suggests that 73% of employees want childcare benefits from their employer. Other family-friendly benefits, such as fertility and adoption, also go a long way in attracting and retaining employees longing to start a family. 

    Wellness benefits: Employers must fill the gap in this area by offering mental health services, nutrition counseling, and community involvement. A recent survey shows that 72% of employees believe mental health benefits are important when considering a job offer.  

    Employers can show they care about their employees and their communities by providing paid volunteer time. This allows employees to volunteer and give back to their communities during work hours. 

    Financial wellness benefits: Budget counseling services, student loan repayment programs, and 401(k) benefits have become even more critical during a year when many are hit with financial hardships. According to a recent survey, 56% of employees want their employer to offer financial wellness benefits. 

    Out-of-the-box offerings: To stand out to job candidates, companies should offer unique and creative benefits such as telemedicine (not just for primary care but also for dentistry and mental health), legal service programs, prescription and hearing aid discount programs, elderly care options, and even pet sitting services. 

    Draup for talent help companies design more inclusive benefits programs by providing data-driven insights on today’s diverse workforce’s health and welfare needs. This can help HR leaders identify gaps in their current benefit plans and tailor their offerings to meet the employees’ unique and evolving needs.