In a good economy, it is easier for employers to provide their employees with what they want and need to be happy and satisfied. 

But in times of economic uncertainty, it becomes more challenging for employers to maintain this stability, leading to decreased job satisfaction and costly employee turnover. This can be prevented by offering the right employee benefits.

The Importance of Retaining Employees

Losing good employees who have valuable skills and knowledge is a big loss for most employers. Not only that, employee turnover is expensive. 

Costs of hiring new employees include:

  • Hiring team: External teams cost 15 percent to 25 percent of the newly-hired employee's salary, and an internal HR manager’s average salary is $113,300 per year.   
  • Career events: $125 and $225 per event, plus any associated travel and marketing costs 
  • Fees for job boards: The fee depends on the job board and whether it is per-click or per month. In general, the cost is about $300 for any given hire.
  • Background checks: Up to $80 per employee depending on how thorough of a check your company needs.
  • Training: It takes eight to 26 weeks for a new employee to earn more than they cost. For most companies, onboarding and training cost 1 percent to 2.5 percent of the total revenue per employee.

A study by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) shows that the average cost of a new hire is more than $4,000 per employee. 

To help retain employees during these difficult times, consider providing these key benefits:

1. Financial Wellness Program

A primary objective of most any financial wellness program is to help employees establish and maintain a stable relationship with money. 

A holistic financial wellness program should include:

  • Budgeting
  • Building credit
  • Reducing debt
  • Understanding student loans
  • Managing student loan debt
  • Savings
  • Personal attitudes and behaviors toward spending and saving
  • Financial goal setting
  • Managing financial crises

When an employer offers a financial wellness program, employees will be more satisfied with their employer, seeing that their employer cares about them. 

Additionally, this benefit will help reduce employee financial stress. 

Data collected from Enrich shows that as an employee’s financial understanding increases, their stress level drops. 

Both increased job satisfaction and lowered financial stress are key to retaining employees, especially during trying economic times.

To learn more about the Enrich financial wellness program, check out our demo video.

2. Short-Term Employee Loans

Nearly half of all employees are living paycheck to paycheck. 

This means that when a financial emergency happens, they don’t have an emergency savings account at the ready. 

Many turn to payday loans, but these have high interest rates and often trap people in a cycle of debt. 

Offering low-interest short-term employee loans may be a solution. 

In most cases, the interest rate is significantly lower than that of payday loans, and monthly payments can be deducted directly from an employee’s paycheck. 

Short-term employee loans should be paired with financial wellness education that provides employees with the skills and tools to avoid future problems. 

For more on short-term employee loans, check out TrueConnect.

3. Mental Health Benefits

Forty-five percent of U.S. adults are depressed about their finances, according to a recent survey. Other studies show even more alarming numbers. 

Thankfully, nine out of 10 companies now offer some sort of mental health benefit.

Potential benefits to consider include:

  • EAPs
  • Mental-health insurance coverage
  • Substance abuse treatment benefits
  • Mental-health assessments
  • Mental-health education
  • Stress-management

For more about mental health video counseling, check out Healbright.

4. Integrated Savings Accounts and/or Savings Matching

The top three financial stressors across the U.S. are debt, lack of retirement savings and lack of an emergency fund, according to a GoBankingRates survey.

Helping employees save money through integrated savings accounts, also known as sidecar savings accounts, can be a very valuable employee benefit to offer, particularly during a recession. 

These accounts are tied to the employee’s retirement account through payroll deductions, allowing the employee to save for both short-term and long-term needs simultaneously. 

Employees without emergency funds are always more stressed than those that have them, according to recent Enrich data. 

When paired with a financial wellness program, employee stress levels drop even more. 

5. Wellness Apps

Wellness apps, such as Castlight, Virgin Pulse and WebMD, create a culture of better physical and emotional habits. 

Wellness apps also increase engagement and satisfaction with healthcare benefits. 

Employees are three times more likely to feel loyal to a company if they approve of the benefits offered, according to a MetLife study. 

Loyal employees are far more likely to stay with a company, even during trying times.

6. Student Loan Repayment Matching

Employer-sponsored student loan repayment assistance programs help employees pay off their student debt through refinancing assistance, matching contributions or flat contributions. 

Seventy-five percent of those who had student loans wished their employers would offer some sort of student loan repayment benefit or refinancing option, a SCORE survey revealed. 

This is the most sought after benefit for millennials, who state they would remain at a company that offered such benefits for five or more years. 

Student loan repayment assistance benefits also boost employer diversity, studies show.

Go here to learn more about the Enrich student loan benefit program.

7. Resilience Training

Stress management techniques that increase resilience are increasingly popular. Having resilient employees is beneficial to everyone. 

Such employees are 31 percent more engaged, have 50 percent less lost productivity and feel twice as happy with their quality of life.

Retaining employees during challenging economic times should be a top priority for any employer. 

Since employees are your biggest asset, getting through difficult times together makes the entire company stronger and better.

To learn more about employee resilience training, check out MeQuilibrium.