When we say we’re going to focus on “building community” within an organization, we’re talking about more than just ensuring people get along. And it takes more than just a potluck lunch to build a real community.
Why community matters
Did you know that, on average, we spend 90,000 hours at work during our lifetime? That’s one-third of your life! So, if you’re going to commit that much time to something, of course, you want it to be in a positive, inspiring place and where you can be your authentic self.
Community is what gives people a sense of belonging. Community empowers teams to work together and creates a desire to further the company’s mission. So how do you build a robust and healthy community?
Start with your benefits package.
Building community through benefits
Community-focused workplaces all share something in common – they’re pro-people. More and more people want a human-centered approach to the way they work. And that’s where employee benefits come in. Having benefits that support how people work and live is central to having employees feel supported.
Let’s look at some ways benefits can strengthen the team and bring people together.
The role of commuter benefits
Commuter benefits are a newer type of employee benefits that people appreciate on a few levels.
Employer-sponsored commuter benefits allow employees to set aside money from their paychecks for commuting costs like public transit, ridesharing, and qualified parking expenses. These funds are tax-free and can reduce the employee’s federal taxable income. Currently, the IRS allows employees to set aside up to $280 per month for commuter benefits.
Building financial wellness
Before we can be strong team members, we need to have our individual needs met. For many, that means building financial wellness into their lifestyle. Commuter benefits can help with that by lowering the employees’ taxable income, allowing them to save more or pay down more debt.
Another way these benefits help build financial wellness is by encouraging people not to drive to work, saving them money on gas and wear and tear on their vehicles.
Employers also benefit financially when their teams have access to commuter benefits. A company offering commuter benefits can reduce its payroll tax bill since employees lower their taxable income. For example, if a company has 50 employees participating in a commuter benefits program, the annual savings will be around $24,000 through decreased payroll tax payments.
Attracting new team members
Commuter benefits can also be helpful if you’re trying to add new talent to your team. Benefits are a great way to stand out in the current job market, and commuter benefits, in particular, can make your job offer shine.
Creating an engaged workforce
One of the benefits of having a strong workplace community is that you tend to have more engaged workers. And having engaged employees can have a significant impact on your business.
Offering meaningful benefits that recognize your employees’ needs and concerns is one way to boost engagement and build community throughout your workplace. Most workers consider the strength of their benefits packages to play a critical role in job satisfaction.
Lower employee stress
Having stressed-out employees is not conducive to building a healthy community. By offering commuter benefits, you can address a common source of stress for employees – their commute. Commuter benefits not only help with expenses; they make it easier for employees to take public transit and relax during their commutes instead of being caught in traffic jams and wasting their personal time.
Don’t forget to listen
Feeling heard is a crucial part of building any team, and it’s even more critical in the workplace. When making decisions – big or small – it’s vital to ask for input from a wide range of people across your organization. Listening to what your employees tell you will help foster a tighter community.
Commuter benefits are good for the individual, and the team
When thinking about building community within your organization, benefits should be on your mind — particularly commuter benefits. Your team will be delighted with their financial and mental benefits, and you will love how it helps strengthen your team.
To learn more about how these benefits work, schedule a meeting today, and we’ll be happy to review all your options with you.