Top 6 Employee Benefits Supporting Diversity And Inclusion
Employee benefits are an integral part of employee retention and job satisfaction. Similarly, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are vital to building a great company culture. But how to bring these two together? Well, this article is all about the top employee benefits that support diversity and inclusion.
Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) has become a hot topic in today’s world and our organizations. People finally recognize its importance, relevance, and how it is beneficial for business growth.
According to Glassdoor, 35% of hiring managers and decision-makers want to invest in diversity and inclusion along with employee benefits. Thus, business leaders must choose their investments wisely, for example, hiring a diverse talent pool, implementing a no-discrimination policy, providing equal training opportunities, and more.
In many cases, investing in inclusive employee benefits and perks is highly beneficial. It helps retain your employees and attracts people from all gender, race, sexual orientation, and other underrepresented groups.
So, without further ado, let’s quickly take a tour of the employee benefits supporting diversity and inclusion in the workplace. But, first, we must understand:
What is Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace?
Diversity in the workplace is the representation and presence of diverse individuals in a company. Diversity is not only about gender, race, caste, creed, and sexuality. But also about mindset, skills, personality, life experiences, etc.
In recent times, the definition of diversity has changed due to the outbreak of Covid-19. For instance, we can also extend the definition to diverse working methods like remote working, flexibility, etc.
On the other hand, inclusion refers to creating an equal work environment and positive company culture where individuals feel a sense of belonging. Workplace inclusion includes a discrimination-free work environment, freedom of expression, equal decision-making, and much more.
How Employee Benefits and Perks Elevate Diversity and Inclusion
As an employer, you must leverage your resources and data to unleash your areas of opportunities for improvement. One way to analyze if your employee benefits are up to mark is by organizing employee surveys.
To begin with:
- You must include questions about benefits in your employee engagement surveys.
- Ask questions about equal and fair opportunities.
- Ask them to express their discomfort or any sort of harassment freely
- Ask questions about gender equality, leaves, perks, etc.
- Make it inclusive
- Understand through which medium candidates are applying and if they think the job description was inclusive enough
- Combine employee engagement surveys and hiring data and analyze where you’re lacking.
Top 6 Employee Benefits Supporting Diversity and Inclusion
We believe inclusive employee benefits and perks can upgrade your workforce diversity and engagement levels. So, to get you started, here are 6 employee benefits that’ll boost your diversity and inclusion program:
1. Floating Holidays/Leaves
Let’s be real; not every employee in your office celebrates Christmas. But somehow, in the US, businesses offer holidays only at Christmas.
In reality, you must also support employees from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds by offering floating holidays based on their traditions.
According to a study, 55% of companies do not offer this employee benefit to their employees, 17 percent offer one day every year, and only 13% of companies offer more than two days. Hence, this is an opportunity for you to show new candidates and employees that you preach inclusion and practice it.
2. Paid Time-Off
Alongside floating holidays, you can also offer ample paid time-off to attract talented employees from various cultural, racial, and religious backgrounds.
Many religious holidays do not necessarily fall on weekends. So, offering paid time-offs allows workers to avail themselves of this benefit if they wish to see family who live far away.
If not on religious holidays, such diverse and inclusive employee benefits seem to be beneficial for working and single parents. It gives them time to navigate through school breaks or take care of their sick children.
According to a study, a full-time worker in the US is entitled to 11 days off after a year, 15 days after five years, and 21 days after 20 years.
So, for you to have a competitive advantage, you must consider revamping your paid-time-off policy as an employee benefit. Doing so increases employee retention and job satisfaction.
3. Remote Work
A massive 80 to 90% of workers in the US say they would prefer to work remotely, even if it is part-time. An employee benefit supporting diversity and inclusion is beneficial to many but mostly useful for some underrepresented groups.
For example, such benefits and perks can do wonders for people with disabilities, retired, and semi-retired workers. To reduce workplace challenges, stigmas, and unnecessary commutes, they would rather work from home, enhancing productivity.
Remote working is also helpful when it comes to working parents. They will get enough time to spend with their children while working.
This flexible culture also allows you to hire diverse talents from every corner of the world. This gives you a larger pool of candidates. Also, this benefit is very pocket-friendly.
4. Flexible Work Schedules
I guess it’s time to say goodbye to the traditional 9 to 5 schedule, don’t you think? A great place to start is introducing flexible work hours, attracting and retaining working parents, elderly workers, and disabled workers.
Flexible working is an amazing way to attract a wide and diverse talent pool. It works great in many situations, for instance:
- Parents can log in at 6 am and log out early just in time to pick up their kids from school.
- Employees can enjoy working hours that align with their sleep schedules and energy.
- People with a terminal illness or frequent medical appointments can easily visit their doctors and maintain the health required for their performance at work.
5. Paid Parental Leaves
According to a report, the United States is the only developed country that does not have a federal, paid parental leave policy.
In addition, only a mere 38% of companies offer paid parental leaves to their workers. Working parents often look for a good work-life balance, and this benefit helps you attract such workers.
For them, maintaining a bond with their children is as important as their jobs. So, implementing a solid paid parental leave policy will help you retain new and expecting working mothers.
Make sure not to make this a gender-specific benefit. You must provide this equally to men, women, and other parents belonging to various gender identities.
6. Equal Learning and Development opportunities
Implementing fair and equal training and development programs help you hire high-potential candidates. You can train them and help them develop their skills.
For example, you can introduce boot camp sessions to self-taught marketers and help them learn about new digital marketing strategies. By doing so, you will successfully attract workers from various socio-economic and educational backgrounds. As a result, you will have a workforce aiding towards a great company culture.
You can also organize training programs to enlighten your workers about equality and workplace equity. Hire experts from the community and let them have an open discussion with your workers. An experts’ thoughts can positively impact your workers and the company as a whole.
These were just the top 6 employee benefits supporting diversity and inclusion in the workplace. There are many more if you wish to implement. All you need is to bring empathy and kindness to your daily business decisions.
You can involve your employees in your decision-making process to help them choose the best employee benefits that they believe are inclusive of their needs. Make certain that you create a one-of-a-kind employee benefits package that reflects your company’s values.
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Anjan Pathak is the Co-founder & CTO of Vantage Circle, a cloud-based employee engagement platform and Vantage Fit – Corporate Wellness Platform. He is an HR technology enthusiast, very passionate about employee wellness, and actively participates in corporate culture growth. He is an avid reader and likes to be updated on the latest know-how of Human Resources.
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