How to Build a Great Employee Benefits Package

How to Build a Great Employee Benefits Package

Perhaps more than ever, organizations must look to their benefits offerings to help recruit and retain talent. The fact is that employees everywhere feel increasingly emboldened to pick and choose, in terms of what kind of work they want to do, and for whom. That means that beyond a fat paycheck, an enticing, well-thought-out benefits package that is also cost-effective could mean the difference between luring and keeping top talent and losing out to the competition. Keep reading for how to build a great employee benefits package.

The Issue

According to the HR consultancy Breathe, more than 68% of employees said they were more apt to accept a job if the organization offered a favorable benefits package. What’s more, 69% of employees indicated that they were more likely to stay on with a company that offered such a package.

Employee Benefits

Such packages contain all the non-wage compensation that supplements an employee ‘s pay, including health benefits and elements such as paid time off and flexible working hours, and even gym memberships.

Elements of an Employee Benefits Package

A basic plan may include the following benefits, although organizations will need to include more to stand out, which you can get from an excellent employee benefits brokerage.

  • Health insurance, including dental, and vision.
  • Flexible spending accounts. Employees can use this benefit to save pretax cash for medical expenses.
  • College savings plans. Such plans, called 529s, are used by employees to put aside money for their children’s education.
  • Retirement savings plans. Plans such as a 401(k) make it easy for employees to save because the money comes straight from their paychecks.
  • Life insurance and disability. This additional insurance covers your employees and their families in the event of a catastrophic occurrence.
  • PTO, sick days, and vacation days. Employees want a good work-life balance, and that includes time to care for themselves and their families.
  • Commuter benefits. Employees who live in a city such as New York, where car ownership is scarce, would particularly appreciate this kind of pre-tax benefit.
  • Flextime. Many employees would welcome an opportunity to work from home, since many had already begun to do so, however tentatively.
  • Stock options. Common in startup enterprises, this benefit permits employees to buy stock at a preferred price for a certain period should the organization go public.

Benefits to Employers

Yes, a strong benefits plan can, well, benefit organizations as well. The No. 1 benefit is recruitment and prevention, which we’ve discussed. A great package can also help keep your people healthy. You need a healthy workforce for a healthy bottom line. Moreover, a competitive plan is good PR. After all, word does get around.

Suggestions for Creating a Great Benefits Package

Nowadays, a one-size-fits-all approach is not ideal. Employees increasingly expect organizations to offer personalized plans that help them meet their own needs and objectives. Employers can, for example, supplement high-deductible health plans with voluntary benefits that can include elements such as low-cost loans, telemedicine, wellness plans, an employee food allowance, and financial advisory services.

Whether you use surveys or some other means, you must find out what your employees want. It’s expensive and time-consuming to guess, so you should go straight to your people. You also should consider using an employee benefits broker to help you navigate an increasingly complex and expensive arena. A great broker — Mercer comes to mind — will help you analyze your objectives as well as your employees’ needs and risks, and present to you tailored solutions.

The bottom line is that building a great employee benefits package takes a lot of forethought and, ideally, exterior help from experts. After all, you have a company that needs your day-to-day attention. In any case, you should move quickly to bolster your ability to recruit and retain. Your organization’s performance depends on it.

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