These days, younger workers in Canada are being more proactive in looking for the best places to work. That’s not simply the enterprises that pay the best or generate the most profit, but those that can offer a working environment that supports a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
According to a 2014 report by the respected global professional services firm Towers Watson, benefits impact not only employees’ initial decision about where to apply for work, but their engagement and commitment once they’re on board. The research encompassed 12 countries, including Canada.
What’s more, Monster.com’s Canadian affiliate released a recent report showing high interest in certain benefits among employees. A majority of Canadians would like to see corporate wellness programs implemented at their workplace, but only a small minority actually offer them.
A 2012 study of 58 leading companies, including many top brands here in Canada, suggested that benefits have many, well, benefits—and that these impact employers as well as their workforce. It seems long-term success may actually be tied to a strong benefits regime.
Some of the positive operational outcomes related to strong employee benefits included:
- Greater growth
- Better dividends
- Higher team morale
- Higher retention
Indeed, 75% of the employers surveyed indicated they believed that the decision to maintain or increase benefit levels, even in the midst of market challenges, was directly related to positive outcomes in terms of employee retention.
72% said benefits positively impacted employee loyalty, as distinct from retention.
When facing financial challenges, as many businesses throughout Canada and around the world have in recent years, it may seem intuitive to look at benefit reductions as the first response. By the numbers, however, this approach can be disastrous for long-term success.
In 2013, 7.3% of employees in Canada voluntarily left their jobs — representing millions in costs for recruiting and training, not to mention loss of productivity. Since then, Canada’s job market has strengthened and employees have a wider range of places to look for the work they truly desire.
In a “seller’s market,” it’s important businesses take steps to drive retention. Only a stable and mature workforce can develop the knowledge capital and best practices necessary to compete in an increasingly global economy.
When it comes to the Canadian workforce, money invested in benefits is money well spent. To remain competitive, brands should consider how strategic development of an attractive benefits package might positively impact their own retention aspirations.