Your Benefits Package – Giving Your Employees What They Want

Becky Hochhausen, HR Generalist/Benefits Specialist | Aug 15, 2017

As an employer, you likely offer a benefits package to your employees, but are the benefits you offer the ones your employees value and want?  Spending a lot of time and/or money on benefits your employees don’t value is money that could be better spent, elsewhere. Likewise, not offering the benefits they want could lower job satisfaction and increase turnover. Research shows that millennials are not the only group who will jump ship for a bigger, better offer. According to a new survey from Namely, an HR software and services company, people aged 55 to 65 are changing jobs nearly as much as their millennial co-workers. Employee benefits are part of each employee’s Total Compensation package and smart employees take these into consideration when thinking about their compensation and job satisfaction.

The Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) 2017 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement survey report showed that the top three benefits valued by employees are health care, leave, and flexible work schedules. The report also showed a large gap between employees who viewed these benefits as important, and those employees’ satisfaction level, which shows room for improvement.

Does this mean you should immediately contribute 100% for health care, and put an unlimited leave policy in place? Not necessarily. Media coverage today focuses a lot on the benefits huge tech industries are offering their employees, such as unlimited leave or extended parental leave, etc. When looking at your offerings, be sure you are comparing apples to apples, and not oranges. In other words, look to your peers when comparing your benefits package. Market data is available and should be reviewed, at least annually, before making benefit decisions.

After researching some norms in comparable companies, take a look at what your employees value. An often-overlooked way of finding out what your employees want is to simply ask them. Check in during one-on-ones, host focus groups, or send out a simple survey. In general, employees are more receptive to ideas they believe they were a part of, so this can grow employee morale, as well as help you gain a better understanding of what your employees want.

Finally, compare your research to your budget. Decide which of the benefits are offered in comparable companies and which benefits are most highly valued by your employees. See if there is room to offer different benefits or change your company contributions to current benefits. Doing so should lead to a more satisfied workforce and will help with the difficult task of retaining key employees.


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