The workforce today is a diverse, varied mix. Baby boomers, Generation X, millennials, and Generation Z are all active workers today. This means that every one of your current employees is going through different transitions and milestones. From weddings and baby showers to housewarming and retiring parties, celebrations are abundant. While these milestones may be personal achievements, they can affect how employees show up at work and their performance.
As a company, you want to be there for your employees during these transitions. Doing so shows that you care and creates a sense of commitment. This in turn leads to better cooperation amongst teammates through the pursuit of a shared company-wide vision. It can also result in employees staying for the long haul, as they see their company is invested in their lives. Long-term employees create a stable working environment, allowing for more seamless transitions during onboarding as well as higher productivity rates.
Whether you are a small startup or a booming corporate enterprise, your company’s involvement in employees’ milestones is significant. Not sure when, where, or how it’s appropriate to best provide support for your employees? Below we discuss three major milestones that companies can help support their employees through.
Homeownership is a significant milestone, one that employers can help their employees achieve. An employee who purchases a home with the assistance of their company will likely feel more dedicated to the company as well. Now, this doesn’t mean the company needs to hand over a huge bonus at the end of the year to help with a downpayment. While that’s certainly a nice gesture, being helpful could simply mean making the process easier. A company can partner with lending partners for discounted corporate mortgage rates, for example.
Additionally, companies should be verifying income in the most streamlined way to better assist their employees with loan applications. Thanks to technology, income verification can be as simple as adding a software application to your existing payroll system. When an outside source — like a mortgage company or bank — makes a request, then the verification process is handled automatically from the software system. With this process, the employee is able to easily make a verification request while the employer can be hands-off but still looped in.
Having a child is a major milestone that will significantly impact how employees show up to work each day. Becoming a parent is a lifelong responsibility, and companies can help share the burden particularly during the newborn years. It starts, of course, with a reasonable parental leave coverage. Going beyond the mandated 12-weeks maternity leave policy helps your company standout, as it shows you truly care about your employee’s wellbeing. Offering a generous paternity care benefit provides better support for fathers during this life transition too.
More and more companies today are providing fertility benefits as well. This coverage ranges from adoption assistance to surrogacy to egg freezing and storage. Incorporating fertility benefits can help in the recruitment process, while also boosting retention. And when the little one is a bit older, providing employer childcare benefits such as paid coverage is another life-changing benefit. Employees who are thinking about becoming a parent could be motivated to switch companies based on these types of benefits.
While individuals are retiring later in life, there will come a time when employees are ready to hang up their hat. They may be relieved that the career part of their life is ending, however they may be nervous and have some trepidations. Just because they are nearing retirement doesn’t mean they want to completely go off grid. Offering networking and training opportunities specifically to those in their 50s and 60s is a way to help them not dwell on the unknown. At this lifestage, recognition is often more important than advancement, so be sure to keep them engaged by acknowledging their efforts.
Many within this demographic may be eager to share their career stories and journeys. Younger employees who are just starting off have a lot to gain from their experiences. Setting up a company-wide mentorship program is a great way to help facilitate conversations amongst your workforce.
Lastly, make sure your retirement package is robust with an appealing 401K plan or pension. Company matching is a common perk, so make sure you match at a rate that’s comparable — or better — than that of your competitors. This can be a differentiating factor amongst potential employees as they think ahead about their life beyond the traditional 9-to-5.
No one of these life stages is more important than another. They all are incredible milestones that should be acknowledged and considered by companies. Whether it’s providing assistance or offering paid leave, companies that show up for their employees during these times will be rewarded. Employees often feel a closer tie or connection to their employer. This loyalty can affect their workday, as they will want to show up and perform better overall.
And remember, your benefits should be evolving with the times. If you are unsure how to improve your current benefits, ask your employees! There’s a high likelihood that at least one employee is going through one of life’s milestones right now. Ask how you can support them. Also, look at what similar companies are offering by scouring LinkedIn and other job posting sites. You can set yourself apart from the competition by offering benefits that exceed employee’s expectations.