Have you ever thought about how employee benefits and other compensation tie into the psychological needs of your workforce?
Sustaining our health and well-being are primary drivers for all of us. This is the basic principle behind Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, a classic organizational psychological theory of human motivation.
Maslow’s hierarchy at work.
At the lowest level of the hierarchy pyramid are physiological needs, and these basic requirements must be met at the outset. In the workplace, this layer is provided to employees in the form of a paycheck, which allows them to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. Once these basic needs are met, only then can they move on to fulfilling the higher layers, which include security, belonging, affirmation and meaning. So let’s say a business is paying its employees substandard wages while doling out cheap trinkets as incentives. The place is a revolving door the management team wonders why. Are the workers ungrateful? Are they greedy? The problem isn’t necessarily with the employees themselves. Rather, it’s that their basic needs aren’t being fulfilled. The bottom line? To a point, money does buy happiness, or at least initial workplace satisfaction.
By Chiquo – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=77918631
Get to know the “magic income” number.
A study from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School found that $75,000 per year is the key to contentment. The lower a person’s annual income falls below that benchmark, the less satisfied he or she tends to feel in the workplace. That’s not to say you should rush out and pay everyone $75,000 or more, but it does mean that employees making below $75,000 are more likely to leave your organization for money, regardless of how well you treat them.
Are you paying enough attention to your benefits and perks?
Providing incentives that improve the quality of your employees’ lives is crucial for their positive experience, and they can be a key competitive differentiator. While most companies provide some type of benefits, the perks you choose to offer can make or break a promising candidate’s decision to work at your company. So then the question becomes: are you giving your workforce the incentives that matter to them based on where they are in their hierarchy of needs?
Student loan assistance.
Many of your employees are likely dealing with student loan debt. If their payments are particularly high, it may affect their performance due to stress or the need to work multiple jobs. By helping your employees pay off their student loan debt faster, not only will it alleviate some of that financial pressure, it may even allow them to put more money into their retirement savings. Of course, you will need to consult with a tax professional, as these payments are likely taxable and your employees may not be pleased with paying extra taxes: https://studentloanhero.com/featured/job-sponsored-student-loan-payments-taxes/.
Remote work opportunities.
While working in an office environment can be great for bringing your team together face-to-face, many employees seek work-from-home opportunities. It demonstrates your trust in them and can actually boost productivity while potentially lowering your employees’ commuting costs too. If remote work schedules are new to your organization, start by easing into them. Try giving employees the ability to work from home once a week and monitor their performance.
These programs help employees by promoting an active, positive lifestyle with the goal of improving their overall physical and mental health. Your company’s wellness initiative could include things like providing nutritious snacks at work, subsidizing a gym membership, onsite chair massages, and more. Make sure that your program is inclusive and addresses a full spectrum of healthy lifestyles. Once again, it is key to consult with a tax professional, as many of these benefits are also taxable: https://www.valuepenguin.com/2017/04/7-employee-benefits-are-actually-taxable-income.
Employee recognition. While many workers may be motivated by money, they still want to be treated well and valued. Employees who work hard and perform at high levels deserve to be acknowledged. These rewards can be as simple as hand written thank you notes or branded promotional items, or you can dole out more extravagant items, such as tickets to sporting events, gift cards, trips, and more.
Compensation, benefits and perks are an integral part of the overall employee experience.
Creating the right package for the right stage in the employee’s life takes time and thoughtful consideration, but it can offer significant competitive advantages.
For nearly 25 years, The HR Team has been helping companies attract and retain exceptional employees. Please reach out to our knowledgeable professionals to find out how we can assist your organization, too.
About The HR Team: Founded in 1996, The HR Team is a Maryland-based human resources outsourcing firm committed to developing strategic, customized solutions that respond to the unique needs and cultures of organizations of all types and sizes. Available as a one-source alternative to an in-house HR department or on an à la carte project basis, the company’s flexible service models address the full spectrum of HR needs that many organizations struggle to address. The HR Team helps clients achieve their highest level of success by providing value-driven human resources services that leave them time to focus on what they do best: directing business growth and profitability. Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, the firm serves all of Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia. To learn more about The HR Team, call 410.381.9700 or visit https://www.thehrteam.com/.