When it comes to employee benefits and compensation, salary is the king of the hill. But as Google is known for, rewarding employees goes beyond just the paycheck. Many companies have adopted perks like unlimited vacation, pet insurance, free food and beverages, and on-site massages. But what’s becoming clear, is that one-size will not fit all. Tailoring benefit options and offering flexibility in choices is the latest trend in benefits that even small businesses can utilize to attract and retain talent.
“New benefits come out all the time, like a college debt payoff program targeted towards Millennials. Businesses are looking for ways that will give them an advantage in the marketplace,” explained Renee Blaine, HR Consultant and owner of E Squared HR Solutions. Unfortunately, that particular benefit would be meaningless to a Gen X or Baby Boomer employee. The solution – customization and options.
Here are a few tactics small businesses can incorporate into their benefits packages to set them apart from the crowd:
- Communication: Go to the source and start by asking your employees what they want. You can quickly learn what options resonate and have value and which would be a waste of time and resources.
- Education: “Hold informational sessions so people get the most out of their plans,” Blaine recommends. Take the time to educate them. Even with online tutorials, face-to-face consultations provide employees with a much better understanding of the differences in benefits packages and how they can utilize them. This is increasingly important with the myriad of changes facing major medical plans today.
- Financial Security: Across the board, whether right out of college or heading into retirement, financial security is a key stressor for employees of all age groups. Therefore, offering financial management tools and benefit options that cover unexpected expenses can provide peace of mind. This benefit leaves employees in a healthier and more productive mindset.
- Automation: Springboarding off the desire for financial security, offer automated financial management tools – increasing 401(k) contributions with each pay raise and automatic investment adjustments, for example. Also offer online benefit management tools and smartphone apps to make accessing information quick and easy.
- Voluntary Options: Call these the “Feel Good” benefits. Cyber-security and discounted home and auto insurance, education assistance, or paid parental leave, for example. A win-win solution. Employees feel rewarded with access to plans that provide additional security and convenience. Furthermore, it gives small businesses a competitive advantage over larger organizations in landing those highly valued employees.
Consider Tailoring Employee Benefits to Your Employees’ Needs
Bottom line – the better the employee benefits, the stronger the relationship is between an employee and employer. Employee benefits packages are changing. Business owners are listening to their employees and offering creative alternatives that are tailed to the individual needs. Are you listening to your employees? Tell us what creative benefits your business offers!