A good benefits package aids in the recruitment and retention of quality employees
Employees looking for a new job aren’t just focused on the salary or the hours — they will often choose a position that pays less because the job offers a more competitive benefits package. How can you build the best and most competitive benefits package that will entice new employees to join your team and help support the team you currently have?
First, let’s take a look at what is usually included in an employee benefits package. Regardless of where you work, you will often find things like:
- Health Insurance: Sometimes health insurance benefits will include dental and eye services, either included in the package or for an extra fee.
- Sick Days and Vacation Time: Most companies include vacation time and sick days as part of their benefits package. Employees might need to work a certain number of hours to qualify.
- 401K/Retirement/Pension: A decent benefits package doesn’t only help with an employee’s needs now. It also helps them plan for the future, with things like a 401K, retirement plan or pension they can access after retirement.
This is just a basic idea of what these benefits cover. The exact plan can vary dramatically from company to company, which is why having a competitive benefits package is so important.
A Competitive Package
What can employers do to create a genuinely competitive benefits package that will entice new employees to join their team? That all lies in the kind of benefits the company is willing to offer above and beyond the typical benefits. These can vary depending on the needs of the company itself, but some popular options might include:
- Schedule Flexibility: The standard 9 to 5 schedule can be challenging to maintain in fast-paced industries, but a more flexible schedule can be appealing to employees. A more flexible schedule helps employees to maintain a better work-life balance, by giving them more options when it comes to scheduling doctors’ appointments.
- Maternity and Paternity Leave: The United States is ranked last when it comes to maternity and paternity leave benefits. Women who have given birth can qualify for 12 weeks of unpaid leave after the birth of the child, and new fathers typically don’t qualify for any vacation, paid or unpaid. Offering paid and extended leave for new parents is a huge perk to include in your benefits packages.
- Training: On job training programs encourage potential employees to apply to your job listings. Effective programs are well managed, assess the needs of the company, and provide measurable goals and metrics. In the manufacturing industry, companies can take part of the Compressed Air Challenge, a brand-neutral effort to empower companies to provide employee training. Giving your employees the proper tools from the start can drastically improve your ROI by helping employees reach their full potential, whether you work in an office or industrial setting. What training challenge will you create?
- Fitness Rewards Programs: Gym memberships, perks for completing daily or weekly step goals and other fitness-related benefits can appeal to employees who want to improve their health. Providing an on-site gym is another perk some offices are starting to incorporate since 70 percent of employees say they are more likely to stay with employers that invest in their health and wellbeing. Gyms also have the added benefit of helping employees cope with stress and prevent muscle issues.
- Additional Policies & Other Benefits: Insurance extends beyond health coverage. Offering things like life insurance, disability and other types of insurance can help you build a competitive plan. In industrial settings, offering hazard pay could help employees to stay. Traveling salesmen on the other hand would find use of a company car more beneficial. Different industries require different benefits so find the mix that works for both you and your employees.
Now again, this is just an outline. The exact contents of your benefit plan will be up to you. Create a program that supports your current team but is also appealing to a new employee that might make them choose you over another comparable company.
The Perks of a Benefits Package
Why should companies make creating a competitive benefits package a priority?
A competitive benefits package makes it easier for businesses to appeal to younger employees. More than 10,000 Baby Boomers are reaching retirement age every day, and the last of them will be ready for retirement in 2030. On the other side of the coin, millennials currently make up the majority of the workforce, and more of them are reaching 18 and entering the workforce every year. It isn’t that these young men and women aren’t as career-focused as the generations before them, but they value work/life balance, which can be challenging to maintain in today’s economy.
A competitive benefits package, especially one that values that work/life balance and provides flexible options for scheduling and paid time off, is more appealing to millennial workers than a package that only offers health insurance and a 401K.
These benefits can also make it easier to secure talented new employees, especially in competitive fields. If two positions open at two different companies, and one only offers base benefits and no flexibility and the other provides a more flexible package, employees are more likely to choose the latter — even if the overall salary is less. If you’re struggling to secure or retain talented individuals, take a look at your benefits package and see if there is anything you can add or improve.
We have more than a decade until the last of the Baby Boomer generation will retire, giving us plenty of time to change how companies think of benefits to help them secure the best teams and futures. You can’t get away with just offering health insurance and a 401k anymore, especially with more millennials entering the workforce every day.
Written by: Megan Ray Nichols, BOSS Contributor
Megan is a STEM writer and blogger at https://schooledbyscience.com/