Offering employees a competitive benefits package can help businesses to attract and retain the best talent in their field. For some workers, the benefits package is a bigger consideration than salary. According to data from Glassdoor’s Employment Confidence Survey, 79% of employees say they would prefer to receive new or additional benefits over a pay increase.
However, determining the right set of benefits to offer employees can be a difficult task. Learn more about the most coveted employee benefits and how employers can develop an attractive offering.
1. Health Insurance
For most employees, health insurance is one of the most important features of a benefits package. In addition, some individuals will not consider working for an employer who does not offer health insurance. Companies that want to attract high-quality job candidates should ensure that health insurance is among their employee benefit offerings.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 69% of private companies offer their employees health insurance benefits, although this varies by company size. Companies that offer their employees health insurance must decide what percentage they will pay and how much employees should be required to contribute.
The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that employers pay 82% on average for single coverage and 71% on average for family coverage. However, it is up to each business to determine what it considers affordable and appropriate within the confines of any carrier obligations and Affordable Care Act regulations.
Business benefit consultants can help companies develop a competitive offering in this regard by benchmarking health coverage against companies, of a similar size in the area, who are competing for the same talent.
2. Life Insurance
Another popular and affordable benefit companies can offer employees is life insurance. This compensates an employee’s survivors for their lost wages and income if they pass away while they are employed by the company. Although single people who do not support anyone may not need this benefit, it is very attractive to employees who have families.
Although it is not as common as health insurance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 55% of private firms offered life insurance in 2016. In many cases, employers will offer life insurance in the amount of their employees’ salary at no charge to the employees. However, if that is not in the company’s budget, they may opt to pay for part of the policy and with the employees covering the remaining balance if they are interested in obtaining coverage.
3. Dental Insurance
Another common employee benefit is dental insurance. It is an attractive option because many workers seek dental coverage, and it is significantly less expensive than health insurance. Many businesses choose to offer an 80/20 split between employer and employee for dental insurance, but companies can use the best ratio for their budget.
4. Paid Vacation And Sick Time
Nearly every company offers employees some paid time off as part of their employee benefits package. It is customary to offer full-time employees at least two weeks, or 10 days, of paid vacation time, with many companies extending this for employees who remain with them for several years.
Paid time off can be presented as a collective offering, or separated into sick time, vacation time and personal days off. Benefits advisors can help companies determine which structure makes the most sense for them.
5. Flexible Schedules
A flexible working schedule is a highly coveted benefit, particularly as society gains a deeper understanding of the importance of having a good work-life balance. This is something that many companies can implement without spending money.
It is also beneficial from the employer’s standpoint since employees who are satisfied with their job tend to be more productive. For example, when workers can start and end their days at hours that work better for their sleep cycle, or that enable them to avoid traffic on their commute, they are often better able to focus and accomplish more during their working hours. This is one way that companies with a smaller benefits budget can stand out from the pack.
6. Education Assistance
Some companies offer employees tuition assistance to earn a degree. This may have some tax advantages, and businesses may benefit because employees who feel their company is investing in them are more likely to invest back into their company.
Some businesses will require the employee to remain with the company for a set amount of time after completing their degree to discourage people from taking advantage of tuition assistance and then leaving once they have completed their education.
7. Retirement Accounts
Most employers offer a 401K plan to employees to provide them with a means of saving for retirement with tax advantages. The IRS allows employees to contribute up to a set maximum, and they can decide how their contributions are invested.
Some employers contribute to their employees’ retirement accounts by a matching program, which will typically have a cap of around 3 percent of the employee’s salary. However, others may pay a 100% match, up to a set limit. Some companies approach retirement contributions through profit sharing, informing employees of the contribution amount to their account at the close of each quarter.
Consider The Workforce To Guide Benefit Decisions
When assessing employee benefits, companies should also consider what makes sense for their employees. The benefits preferences of middle-aged workers may be more focused on retirement investments, for example, while a workforce that is largely in its 20s may place a greater value on options such as flexible working hours. Companies can use approaches such as surveys and one-on-one conversations with employees to get workers’ perspectives on current and future benefits.
As their employee population changes, businesses can make adjustments to their offerings. For example, as a workforce grows, a company may be able to receive discounts on benefits offerings as a result of the higher number of participants. Therefore, it is important to stay on top of these thresholds and collect updated cost information as worker populations evolve.
When job candidates are not accepting a company’s job offers, it may be time to reexamine the benefits package to see if improvements might be made that can give recruitment efforts a boost.
Contact the Professionals at Business Benefits Group
Developing a strong and competitive employee benefits package while keeping an eye on the bottom line can be challenging, particularly for smaller businesses. For assistance finding the right offering to attract and retain high-quality employees, contact the experts at the Business Benefits Group (BBG).