Making Sure Employee Benefits Stay Competitive and Relevant to Needs

Develop Employee Benefits That are Perfect for Your Workforce

Employee Benefits Value
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When is the last time you checked to see what the competition offers in terms of employee benefits? If you are like most people, once you signed up for your employer’s benefit plans, that was the last time you really thought about it. If you are an employer, you may just assume you are offering the best benefits to your employees because there have been few complaints.

The truth is, the job market is becoming candidate driven, therefore employers need to be doing a better job offering benefits that are relevant to the needs of working professionals.

Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all benefits. Today’s employees are putting a greater emphasis on working for companies that offer above-average compensation and benefits so they can meet the unique needs of their lifestyles.

What are the Most Common Employee Benefits Offered?

Most employers consider benefits to be the icing on the cake, that is, the little extras they offer above and beyond a paycheck. Benefits like medical coverage, life insurance, and retirement financial planning are the norm, while others offer a few more choices in supplemental insurance like prescription drug coverage, dental, vision, and additional financial products. These are viewed as vital by most employees, so that they can manage personal health and lifestyle needs.

But standard employee benefits are not competitive on their own. Why? Because employees expect to be offered certain levels of required coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Using Employee Benefits to Become an Employer of Choice

Most employers would like to be viewed as a leader in a particular industry. Rising to the top to become an employer of choice means the company is also considered to offer the best opportunities and compensation for employees who have a strong desire to become tomorrow’s leaders.

A well-managed and communicated employee benefit program can become the conduit for achieving this status, and staying there for the long term.

Using the above reasoning, therefore, when thinking of designing employee benefits packages, the human resource team must tap into the ultimate needs of employees and their dependents. Making benefits relevant increases their value exponentially. Ways to accomplish this can include:

  • Conducting exit interviews to find out what the current employee benefit programs may be lacking or could be doing better.
  • Researching competing companies to find out what they may offer that’s attracting people within your industry.  
  • Including questions about employee benefits in all employee surveys to find out what they want or need directly.
  • Consider the multi-generational needs of all employees. Some may be looking for benefits for younger lifestyles and children, while others need retirement and long-term care insurance.
  • Evaluating the use of current benefits and either increasing or decreasing the limits for each program based on this use.
  • Exploring a wide range of low cost and employee-paid voluntary benefit plans that offer much more than the standard coverage for lifestyle and financial needs.
  • Adding in products like identity theft protection, automobile and home insurance, and technology purchasing programs to sweeten the pot.

Communicating Total Value of Employee Benefits

Now that you have a deeper understanding of the benefits that are considered to be most valuable and sought after by employees and future employees, it’s time to create a total rewards communication campaign. Outside of rolling out new and better benefits to your workforce, this critical part makes sure that all know about the full extent of what you offer to employees. Organized benefits that are presented in a clear and attractive way can be a powerful tool in recruitment and retention of employees.

Develop total rewards materials around benefits and use relevance to the daily lives of employees and their families. For example, even a simple newsletter sent out to employees once a month that highlights one of your benefits can be enough to promote it and educate employees about important health topics. This demonstrates to employees how valuable they are to your company and lets them choose if they want to enroll in these benefits.

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