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3 Ways to Improve Your Employee Benefits Package

Monday November 20th 2017

employeebenefitsYour employee benefits package could have a huge impact on the success of your employee onboarding practices and your employee retention rates. If benefit packages seem like an afterthought to you, it’s time to rethink your offerings.

The job market is more competitive than ever, and employers are striving to impress potential new hires by offering more than your average run-of-the-mill benefit packages. It’s not just about insurance any more – though good insurance is valuable to all employees – but more so about understanding your employees’ individual needs and providing packages that actually do benefit them.

If you’re uncertain about where to start improving your benefits packages, start with these three simple steps.

Step One: Ask Your Team

The best way to establish if your employees are satisfied with their benefits package is simply to ask. Give them the opportunity to voice concerns, make suggestions or express satisfactions with your offerings. The best way to do this is through an anonymous survey, as many employees may feel uncomfortable sharing their thoughts in person. Ask the following questions:

  • Are you satisfied with your benefits package?
  • What’s working?
  • What’s not working?
  • Would you consider pursuing a new job to get better benefits?
  • Would you favor a Health Savings Account (HSA) or a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

By allowing your employees to answer these questions anonymously, you are much more likely to get heartfelt, honest answers that can help you make improvements.

Step Two: Give Them Options

One of the biggest complaints many employees have about their benefit packages is the lack of options for insurance and healthcare. It’s not uncommon for a benefits package to include in-network insurance plans that limits who your employees can see for their medical, dental or vision care. Consider providing an option that does not restrict choices to a specific network so that your employees can choose whoever is best suited to meet their needs.

An important part of giving your employees options is educating them about those options. When you ask for their input, make sure they have all the facts to make an informed decision. This includes educating them about FSA’s and HSA’s, as many people don’t understand the difference. Be sure to explain the value of each, as well as potential drawbacks.

Step Three: Make it Personal

This is perhaps the most important step to creating a better benefits package. The easy part is deciding you want to provide health insurance, as that is the largest portion of most benefit packages, and a requirement by most employees. But the hard part comes in personalizing your benefits package to provide specific offerings that meet the needs of your team.

This is where the anonymous survey really becomes useful. By asking the right questions, and encouraging your employees to speak openly about their needs, you’ll be able to tailor a competitive benefits package that goes above and beyond.

These are the items that the workforce is looking for when considering a potential job offer. That extra little bit can go a long way to attract talent and convince them that your company is where they belong. And, it will also help you keep that talent once they’re in the door.

  • Maternity/Paternity Leave – There are still many companies that don’t offer paid maternity leave, and most don’t offer any type of paternity leave. But if you’re hoping to acquire and retain some fresh talent for your team, you’ll want to make sure you don’t force them to choose between family and career. There are many people in the work force who want both, and they will seek out the companies that will help them achieve those goals.
  • Sick Leave – Don’t make it harder on your employees to take a sick day than it needs to be. Everybody needs to call in sick from time to time – it’s better for the team if people aren’t forced to work with the flu because they ran out of sick days, or they were just sick enough to need extra rest but not sick enough to get a doctor’s note. Offering sick days doesn’t mean you’re giving away money – it ensures that you get the absolute best of your employees at all times, because they will have the ability to take a rest day when the flu strikes.
  • Paid Vacation Time – When you work hard, it’s only natural that you’ll need a break from time to time. And your employees deserve a guilt-free break, just like you do. Paid vacation time isn’t so much about a direct benefit to the company, as much as it’s about demonstrating your appreciation to your staff. Don’t be stingy about vacations, and encourage your employees to take the time they need to recharge their batteries, so they are able to do their best work in the office.
  • Flex Time – This is something that’s becoming increasingly more popular as the 9-5 norm is being abandoned for something that can be customized to meet the needs of the employee and the company. With many people in the workforce trying to balance a career and a family, flex time is especially valuable to anyone who’s trying to make it home to get the kids off the bus, or get the kids to soccer practice. Offering flex time as a benefit could revolutionize the way you do business and attract a larger pool of talented applicants to your company.

The most important thing to consider when re-evaluating your benefits package is: are your employees actually benefitting from all of it? Are you offering things that no one values anymore? Are you lacking things that everyone values? Start thinking more about how your benefit offerings can better serve your employees, and you’re certain to create a package that puts you head and shoulders above the competition.

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