An organization’s biggest asset is its employees. These employees can make or break your organization. Hence, having an employee benefits program for your employees becomes essential. Benefits programs for employees are one of the critical drivers of employee engagement.
Gone are the days when benefits were all about providing attractive salaries, now the companies have to offer much more than that to retain talent.
What are employee benefits?
Employee benefits are non-wage types of compensation that employers pay to their employees. These are non-cash or indirect cash compensation paid to employees, apart from their salaries. A few employee benefits are governed by the law, for example, group health insurance and retirement benefits.
A few benefits like paid vacation, flexible work, workplace perks are offered to the employees to drive hiring and improve retention of employees.
As the world is fighting a pandemic and struggling with working remotely, perks and benefits can increase employee motivation.
Employee benefits policy – why is it important?
Let us understand the importance of employee benefits policy in an organization with a case study.
According to the SHRM employee benefits survey conducted in 2017, 40% of the employees were planning to look for new employment opportunities by the year 2018. Out of which 29% revealed that the reason was the need for better employee benefits. Hence, this is how providing perks and benefits for your employees can affect your organization.
Now let’s answer the question, why is it essential to provide benefits packages to the employees?
The answer is, it can help you with the following:
– The first and foremost advantage is that you can retain talented employees in your organization. They stay back in your organization, meaning the loyalty towards the organization increases.
– You can improve employee’s focus and workplace productivity. Providing employee benefit programs like wellness programs or health insurance plans can cut down the stress and burden, hence increasing the productivity of your employees.
– Providing employee benefits defines your company culture. It says a lot about your organization, especially how well you care for your employees. Your organization can improve its brand image from the others in the industry by introducing such benefit programs for the employees.
How to design an employee benefits program?
It is easy to design an employee benefits program. However, creating the right benefits program for your employees is necessary. They must make use of these benefit programs and benefit from them. Let us understand about designing the right employee benefits program for your workforce.
Five factors to consider while designing benefits plans
Here are five primary factors that you must consider before designing the benefits plan:
1. Identifying the objectives of the benefits
Before designing your employee benefits program, be clear about its objectives. The significant goals for any organization can be
– Attract and retain talented employees.
– Have benefits that are unique to your industry.
– Include those benefits that the law governs like health insurance plans, retirement benefits etc.
This can act as a guide for you to establish a benefits program for your employees.
Finding the objectives can reflect both the employer and employee needs. Consider factors like the employee size, location, industry type to find better benefits.
2. Employee benefit expenses
Providing benefits programs for your employees can be costly. The first and foremost thing to do is assign a budget. Analyze the benefits costs for the programs you wish to offer your employees.
If there are any existing benefits for your organization, analyze the annual cost and projected cost and design a spreadsheet accordingly. This can significantly impact providing perks like employer-employee insurance.
3. Conducting a survey
Always design a benefits program based on your employee needs. Conduct an assessment in the form of an employee benefits survey to understand your employee’s perspectives. Include all questions related to the benefits program that you want to offer your workforce.
After conducting the survey, analyze the answers to determine your employee’s expectations from the workplace benefits program. This benefits program for employees you offer is essential to achieve the organization’s goals in the times to come. It can help you get the right mix for your employee benefits program beneficial to your employees.
4. Choosing the right benefits plan
The modern workplace is a mix of employees from different generations. There are veteran employees, baby boomers, and millennials who work in inclusive companies and have unique requirements. For example, some employees may want wellness programs as part of the employee benefits program, and others may appreciate a Netflix subscription.
Hence, make sure your employee benefits program has something for everyone.
5. Evaluate periodically
To manage your employee benefits program efficiently, periodic evaluation of the program is mandatory. Assessment of the employee benefits program periodically would help us answer questions like are the employees satisfied with the program, the organization’s objectives, etc.
Through this periodic evaluation, you can measure the extent of success of your employee benefits program.
Top 5 employee benefits to offer your employees
Let us see what the top 5 employee benefits that you can offer your employees are. They are:
1. Paid leave
Paid leave is when an employee is paid even during the time off. Especially when they feel unwell, paid sick leave is one way to support them.
2. Flexible working
The pandemic has pushed all of us to work remotely. Even after the situation gets normal, some employees may still prefer to work from home. Hence, providing flexible working hours and the freedom to work from anywhere is a desirable employee benefit in times to come.
3. Group health insurance plans
Providing a group health insurance plan to your employees is a great way to show that you care about them. Insurance plans that cover the employees and their dependents can cut down your employees’ financial stress during medical emergencies. This further helps the organization in improving employee loyalty and retention.
4. Employee workshops and training
Providing employee training and workshops as a benefit will help your employees grow and hone their skills. Providing the funds and resources for exercise is a great way to go about it. These can be in the form of online courses, lectures, webinars, conferences etc.
5. Wellness programs for employees
Wellness programs for employees like mental wellness programs, yoga, meditation, gym memberships are some of the great benefits you can offer. This is a great way to encourage your employees to stay fit physically and mentally.
It is always important to design the right employee benefits program through an employee benefits platform for your employees. Considering the age, gender and number of employees, you can create benefits for employees. It can retain talent and improve workplace productivity. This is another excellent way to enhance the employee engagement rate of the organization. Make sure you consider your employee’s interests and needs.