In today’s competitive economy, companies cannot remain oblivious to their employees’ needs and concerns. This makes employee welfare programs one of those core areas of the business that need to be given their due attention. Else, there is a possible chance of the employees becoming impediments to the success and sustenance of the business.
In a developing country like India, where the private sector is increasingly becoming relevant as a core employment provider, the aspect related to employee welfare cannot be ignored by any forward-looking company. This blog seeks to interest readers on why employee welfare is important, especially in a relatively young country like India.
Why are employee welfare programs necessary?
The quality of life of an employee is directly proportional to the company’s overall health. To keep the workforce physically and mentally happy comes down to several types of benefits and welfare measures adopted by the company. These are a few things companies need to understand when it comes to the necessity of employee welfare programs. Here it is:
- Improves retention rates: It is a general rule of thumb that happy employees stick with companies. They remain in the company for the long term without jumping ship. Employee welfare programs and measures help in saving costs, time, and resources going into replacing an employee. Moreover, it is a fact that the longer an employee remains in a company, the more proficient they become – adding to the overall productivity and impacting revenues. And seasoned employees tend to make lesser mistakes than newbies.
- Enhances morale & engagement: An employee who is cared for by the company exhibits immense trust in the company and works in the company with a sense of belonging. They cherish the fact that the company treats them as valued asset and gives them enough amenities for their psychological and physical well-being through employee welfare benefit plans. Such employees who have spent a sizable part of their work-life in a single company positively impact their peers and new employees. They, directly and indirectly, inspire others towards a higher engagement to their assigned job roles.
- Positive word-of-mouth: Any company that puts in place a multitude of welfare activities for employees is certainly going to attract positive word-of-mouth. Such companies are likely to be featured in the press and the media, as companies with the best working environment are likely to be spoken of as the “most preferred employer.” All such accolades improve the reputation of the company and attract new talent who will be eager to join the company. This, in turn, makes the company a sought-after name in the job market, making the HR department’s job that much easier.
- Gain the competitive edge: When you create a working culture where the active welfare of employees is given priority, naturally, you reduce the attrition rates prevailing in the industry. You not only retain employees, but you can also think long-term when it comes to conceiving, innovating, and developing new products. Such a scenario makes you a leader in the industry, which helps retain the competitive edge in the market. Google is a company that epitomizes this work culture. They ensure their employees are provided with the best working environment, and the employees ensure that they remain leaders in the search engine market.
- Attract the best talent: When you succeed in actively showcasing your employee-centric work culture. You manage to attract the best talent in the industry. As a company, you would not be required to indulge in nefarious practices like poaching employees. The best in the industry will naturally gravitate to your company due to first-in-class welfare measures in place. Such employees will be integral to taking the company forward in both critical and leadership roles in the long term.
While there used to be a time when employee healthcare benefits were solely associated with financial incentives, things have changed, and today it encompasses a plethora of welfare measures within the premises of the company and outside of it. Having said that, there is also a school of thought that believes that employee measures could also include the independence to express creativity within the confines of the organization.
It could include the privilege to voice one’s opinion and challenge the status quo. While on the surface, it may seem iconoclastic, probing a little deeper, one will understand that the need and the drive for innovation in a company can only be expedited by nurturing a different & distinct line of thought. Companies should think about rewarding such employees who exhibit a creative bent of mind and who could become trailblazers for the company in the long run.