Diversity in the workplace is no doubt a priority for your company. It's not only beneficial for personal growth and experience, but it also yields greater profitability.
The challenge then becomes creating a workplace—and benefits program—that attracts and retains the level of talent and diversity you’re looking for. For all the different backgrounds, cultures, and generations you’ll attract, there will be varying needs, expectations, and preferences.
How to build a diverse workforce and benefits program
In this article, we’ll reiterate why prioritizing diversity is important and offer tips to create a benefits program that resonates with a diverse set of employees. Some of the key benefits of a diverse workforce include promoting innovation, attracting top talent and increasing constructive debate among teams.
Let’s dig in.
Five benefits of having a diverse workforce
It’s essential for organizations to prioritize diversity in their hiring practices. Here are just a few of the many benefits.
1. Promotes innovation
When you bring together individuals from different cultures, backgrounds, and experiences it promotes innovative thinking. When employees from all walks of life collaborate, they bring fresh ideas and insights as well as unique problem-solving approaches.
2. Leads to smarter decisions
Diverse teams are more likely to engage in constructive debates and consider a variety of viewpoints, which leads to more well-rounded and informed decision-making. The more diverse your organization is, the more likely you’ll be to challenge the status quo.
3. Attracts top talent
Organizations that embrace diversity send a powerful message to potential employees: they value inclusivity and respect individuality. As a result, they become more attractive to a broader talent base, including those who seek supportive and open-minded work environments.
4. Increases engagement
When employees feel seen, heard, and valued for their contributions, they’re more likely to be engaged and committed to their work. Employees are more willing to invest their energy and talents into their roles, leading to increased productivity and job satisfaction (more on that next).
5. Improves retention
Diverse organizations tend to experience higher retention rates as employees feel a strong sense of belonging and loyalty to companies that embrace their differences. Employees working in diverse teams also benefit from exposure to different ideas and skills, which leads to more stimulating and rewarding work experiences.
How to create a benefit program that caters to a diverse workforce
How do you create an employee benefits program that provides options that appeal to everyone, without creating an expense that will get vetoed by upper management?
Break the traditional mold of what workplace wellness means and offer workforce benefits as diverse as your team.
Here’s how to create a benefits program for a diverse workforce:
- Look beyond physical fitness
- Foster social connections
- Provide flexibility
Look beyond physical fitness
While you want to provide options for physical health, wellness goes beyond the physical. Each of us has competing stressors and priorities in life that can impact our financial, emotional, and physical health. Often employers look to provide options that address fitness, yet fail to recognize equally important aspects such as mental health, work-life balance, and financial preparedness.
Recently, emotional and mental health has become a topic of awareness and concern. Companies that provide resources for awareness, information, and support can help employees find solutions to challenges they may be facing. Beyond mental health, employers who provide access to stress management, leadership training, and emotional intelligence education are likely to find happier, healthier, and more productive employees.
Foster social connections
A large part of employee wellness can be attributed to a company’s culture. Full-time employees spend most of their time interacting with their colleagues on a weekly basis and relationships with co-workers can either positively or negatively impact stress levels, productivity, and happiness at work.
Offer social wellness “programs” in the way of on- and off-site activities. From happy hours and book clubs to seasonal celebrations and events—facilitate genuine connection with a calendar of social activities.
Employee wellness should address physical health, too. Make preventative health a focus by offering education and awareness of health-related topics easily accessible through events, onsite information booths, newsletters, challenges, and more. In addition, make community resources easy to identify and even partner with those vendors to provide tailored services or discounts.
Most importantly, provide flexibility and customization to appeal to every employee—regardless of their current physical state or future goals. Customizable benefits programs, like the ClassPass Corporate Wellness Program, provide access to a variety of wellness offerings that will encourage both adoption and ongoing engagement. Employees will feel empowered to support their physical and mental well-being in whatever ways work best for them.