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Unleash the power of your benefits garden: Cultivate a thriving workplace!

21st July 2023

Article by George Bentham, Head of Employee Benefits

Anyone that’s spoken to me recently knows I have been spending a lot of time landscaping my garden. So, the other day at a seminar, when Mags one of the two hosts described marketing as an environment such as a garden, it really spoke to me.

The concept was based around a garden being a visible environment. It takes time and effort to get it exactly how you want, however, once you’ve achieved this, the work isn’t over. Plants and weeds will grow, and the garden will fall out shape unless it’s maintained. You have to maintain a garden by either employing a specialist or doing it yourself! When designing the garden, you choose the effort of maintenance you want. If you want a low maintenance garden, you could design it with artificial grass and wooden fences, over hedges and real turf. Each decision you make will impact the end result, but importantly, when it is finished, it is unique to you and looks exactly how you want it to look. This usually means that no two gardens look the same. Importantly, a garden needs maintenance and consistent care.

When you don’t give the garden the correct care and attention required, and it goes unmonitored, the garden quickly falls out of shape and become overgrown. The plants are no longer as healthy or where they should be. Very quickly, what was once your pride and joy can become unruly. Weeds can destroy the very foundations of the work you’ve done. The weeds can then become trees or bigger obstacles which means, to get the garden back to how you want it, requires a lot more input and effort, and potentially needs more money spending on it (certainly more than it would have cost to maintain it).

As an analogy, the concept was that, like a garden, marketing is the very same. You need to build a plan to consistently communicate brand values and messages. Ad hoc work will fall flat and present challenges to the overall goals and objectives of your marketing plan. This spoke to me from the challenges clients had when I ran a marketing agency, but it started to make links to my world now. In the very same way that this applied to marketing, we can apply it to corporate wellbeing and employee benefits.

The analogy transfers fantastically. Your workplace is the garden, your people can be the plants. To help them flourish in the best possible way you can assess and implement mental wellbeing, physical wellbeing, social wellbeing, and financial wellbeing. By having a carefully designed balance and the regular care and attention, you can help nourish your team to help them take the most benefit from your environment.

Rule and regulations may impact your benefits garden, or society itself. There is no better example than the impact of Covid on employees’ mental health! As these environmental changes happen, as an attentive ‘gardener’ you can keep the impact minimal, or if you need further support to help combat these new challenges, you can call in an expert.

Just like a garden can become misshapen or overgrown, if you don’t constantly monitor your employee benefits and wellbeing, and keep up to date with the latest information and training, then your employee benefits too can grow out of shape and no longer work to create the happiness they once achieved.

So the real question is, when did you last attend to your employee benefit and well-being garden?