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Employee benefits can have a positive impact on workplace inclusivity

Women in the office talking
Photo by Alexander Suhorucov from Pexels.

On this World Health Day, it's important to consider offering employee benefits that cater to the diverse needs of your workforce to create a more inclusive workplace. Millions of people around the globe are facing increasing threats to their right to health, so as an employer, it's crucial to prioritize your employees' well-being and ensure that they are receiving the support they need.

An organization's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) can be demonstrated through its employee benefits programs, which are a competitive differentiator and a business imperative.

Implementing a DEI strategy helps organizations achieve a sustainable and diverse workforce, promote employee well-being, improve commitment to environmental, social, and governance (ESG), and drive better business outcomes.

Which employee benefits can make an impact on inclusivity?

Employee benefits are vital for attracting and retaining top talent. They also play a crucial role in creating an inclusive workplace and improving overall employee experience, well-being, and productivity. Employers can collectively improve health and financial equity.

Some of the key areas of opportunity, discovered through inclusive benefits assessments and employee listening, include:

  • Flexible work arrangements

  • Comprehensive health and wellbeing programs

  • Voluntary benefits

  • Financial security

  • Caregiver support

Flexible working is the way forward

Flexible work arrangements can support equity and inclusion by accommodating employees with chronic health conditions, disabilities, or mobility issues. Enabling these employees to work remotely when needed or have adjusted work hours that meet their needs can make it easier for individuals from these underrepresented groups to participate in the workforce and career development activities.

Make your health plans accessible

Comprehensive health and well-being programs are crucial to support DEI through benefits. Affordable and easily accessible healthcare benefits are essential for companies to offer their employees in light of the rising healthcare costs.

Employers can provide employees and dependents with comprehensive coverage that includes preventive care, mental health, gender-affirming care, reproductive health, and chronic condition management.

Financial well-being in DEI

The affordability of basic needs is a major challenge that goes beyond healthcare costs. According to the 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey (GBAS) conducted by Willis Towers Watson, one in five employees finds it extremely difficult to pay for basic basic necessities. The financial and emotional well-being of employees continues to be affected by inflation and economic disruption.

Offering financial well-being benefits that help support employees’ financial resiliency can alleviate some of the stress caused by economic uncertainty. Financial well-being benefits support DEI efforts by helping to address financial disparities among employees from different socioeconomic backgrounds. For example, offering student loan repayment programs can help alleviate the burden of student debt, which disproportionately affects employees from underrepresented groups.

Where you can start

Supporting DEI requires a clear strategy and deliberate planning through all stages of benefits design and delivery. It is a continuous improvement effort, requiring measurement and rebalancing, which is foundational and integrated into all aspects of the benefit cycle. By doing so, you can foster a more equitable and inclusive workplace and ensure a sustainable workforce.

Find time to connect with our team of experts today to help you determine the right employee benefits and DEI initiatives to support your employees.


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