Workplace culture relics that don’t belong in the 21st century: Part 4

Workplace culture relics that don’t belong in the 21st century: Part 4

Organizations today, whether starting up or long-lived, have mostly adapted to the dynamics of 21st century workplace culture. It’s a necessity, as the priorities of industries have changed to reflect the emergence of a global economy.

However, some things are harder to change than others. They remain as relics of a bygone era with different values from the industries of today. At times these practices and habits are mostly harmless, but the worst ones contradict everything that elevates the 21st century workplace. Each week, we’ll pick apart one of the five worst workplace culture relics, and detail why and how they should be phased out.

Skimping on employee welfare packages

It’s no secret that employees who are well – on the inside as well as the outside – are more productive at the right times. And that should make sense! Professionals who are healthy can perform their functions day in and day out with very little risk of fatigue, illness, or other physical hindrances. And, if they were able to deal with issues in their lives in a healthy manner, there would be no distractions when it’s time for work.

Employee benefits packages are the foremost means through which employers can become involved in their employees’ welfare. Advances in medicine and health science have allowed greater insight into and ability to address risk factors related to work, at any level of physical or mental activity. Benefits packages have also expanded to include insurance and financing assistance for various purposes.

Whatever the working definition of employee benefits, giving employees these options eases the load on their physical, mental, and even emotional state. Benefits give them that extra feeling of stability and security, like a well-loved blanket at night.

So obviously, if this safety net were to be taken away then professionals would be exposed to all sorts of stressors. Sadly, this is still an all too common occurrence even as we end the second decade of the millennium. And the foremost justification for it? The familiar reason of “cost-cutting”.

Let’s go back to last week’s commentary for a very relevant concept: organizations must invest in their people. It is a concept that gets buried today under organizational management measures that can be categorized as the “easy way out”.

A related concept is that businesses are not mere tools. They are collectives made up of people with shared stakes in a venture’s success, and as such have roles to play in bringing about that success. These people have responsibilities to each other; in other words, responsibility in an organization is not only from the bottom going up.

An organization that skimps on benefits for its employees is running away from its role in the employment arrangement. How can such organizations be shown the error of their ways?

The most effective way to challenge this stubborn subculture is to be thorough in pushing strict compliance with existing labor laws. Compared to decades past, employee benefits are given ample attention in the current body of labor legislation. Our Department of Labor and Employment has also taken an active role in looking into compliance, so anyone from an organization seeking to counter this trend can reach out directly to the DOLE.

Options are also aplenty when it comes to potential partners for employee benefits. Medical care and insurance providers can tailor packages specifically for your organization’s budget and the volume and nature of its employees’ needs. So, there’s not excuse to not browse the options.

Still not convinced that investing in employees through benefits is worth it? We leave you with a simple question: if you don’t have the skill to balance your organization’s expenses and the welfare of your employees, why did you even go into business in the first place?

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