Recently, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conducted several surveys of their members. In one, 20 percent of organizations reported leveraging benefits packages to retain workers. That number is surprisingly low given how effective desirable benefits can be for keeping staff happy, engaged and committed to their employers.
For example, one MetLife survey found that 58 percent of employees say benefits are one reason they remain with their employer. That percentage jumps to 63 percent for Generation Y workers and 62 percent for those in Generation X. In the same survey, 61 percent of employees who are very satisfied with the company benefits package they receive feel a strong sense of loyalty towards their employers. Only 24 percent of those very dissatisfied with their benefits feel the same loyalty.
Most Common Benefits
Most employers view health insurance and retirement savings benefits as the most important for employee retention. In the SHRM survey mentioned earlier, 72 percent of the organizations reported leveraging health insurance—including medical coverage and flexible spending accounts—to retain valuable employees. Fifty-eight percent relied on retirement savings benefits—including 401k and stock options, to do the same. Other commonly offered benefits include paid holidays, paid vacation and sick time, and supplemental insurance plans including vision, dental, life and disability.
Benefits Most Employees Want
While 90 percent of employees consider health insurance most important according to The Principal Financial Group, it’s not the only thing they find attractive in a benefits package. For example, a study by the Families and Work Institute found that 87 percent of employees say the flexibility to balance work and personal life is “extremely” or “very” important.
When structuring an employee benefits package that will keep your staff happy and engaged in their work, it’s important to survey them and find out what they really want. Then think outside the box when exploring ways to satisfy their needs. You’re likely to find some benefits—like their birthday off and PTO plans that combine personal, sick and vacation time—that you can offer at little to no cost.
Other benefits popular with today’s workforce include onsite childcare, onsite fitness classes, health and lifestyle coaching, wellness program bonuses, referral bonuses, one-on-one investment advising, flexible schedules (including four-day workweeks), telecommuting opportunities, leadership training and career development programs.
Structuring a Package
There are no one-size-fits-all formulas for benefits offerings. Every business needs a plan tailored for its specific needs. Working with an advisor is the best way to structure a package for your workforce, not only to ensure you meet state and federal benefits regulations, but also to provide insight into costs and the needs of your particular organization.
Remember, happy workers are engaged in their jobs, increasing business productivity. They’re also less likely to leave for greener pastures, reducing your company’s hiring and training costs. While a solid employee benefits package may require a financial investment, the long-term benefits will be more than worth the expenditure.