Many employers offer very basic employee benefits, but most workplaces need to offer more than these basic benefits to stay competitive. This should be seen as an opportunity rather than a burden. With the wrong benefits, or lack of the right ones, top potential employees may head for the door. Employees have also proven to perform much better when they feel their needs are being met. But with the right benefits you can potentially catalyze your business’ growth. So while tightening up on benefits may help your bottom line for now, being a bit more strategic in determining what your employees want and what you can offer can help your bottom line much more down the line.
1. Know your employees’ needs
If the majority of your employees are young and single, they’ll be far less interested in a life insurance plan whereas almost everyone is interested in a health insurance plan. If your workforce is extremely varied you can offer a “cafeteria plan” that provides employees with benefits to choose from and fixed amounts that can be applied. Polling your employees is always a good idea to better understand their needs and have a collaborative approach to the question.
2. Understand what is “typical” outside of the required benefits
For example, most businesses offer paid bank holidays and around two weeks of vacation time or sick leave per year. Aim to cross reference the typical benefits offered such as health insurance, paid holidays, vacation time, retirement plans and life insurance with what your employees want, and then finally with what your business can viably offer.
3. Offer a wide range of additional benefits
Once you’ve determined which benefits you will offer your employees, provide them a few options to choose from. There is marked satisfaction when employees have a choice to choose what plan best suits their needs. Especially considering there can be tax benefits to the business deducting contributions and employees will often accept a lower salary for increased benefits, you should take advantage of having a few options in how you offer your chosen benefits.
4. Gain Professional Counsel
With an increase in benefits comes an increase of scrutiny so make sure you’re completely compliant with the law. One of the most common mistakes is failing to offer the same benefits to everyone on your staff, which can be required by law. On top of ensuring you’re financially able to provide your benefits, make sure you are aware of all the requirements in providing them legally as well.