Offer Stability and Maintain Loyalty Through Employee Benefits
Employee benefits are more than a recruitment and retention strategy; they are a promise between employer and employee. Many employers allow benefits to be buried under operating costs and rarely examine them, to their own detriment. Employee benefits should be considered a multi-tiered investment; a contribution to employees on an individual level, a cornerstone to building a strong team environment, and ultimately an endowment to your reputation as a whole.
Start with the Basics to Communicate Stability.
In a competitive marketplace, attracting talent is key in maintaining an edge over similar businesses. Potential employees only have a few factors to use when determining whether or not to accept a position at your company (or to even apply at all), and employee benefits are powerful in communicating your company's value to employees. The most recent study by the Bureau of Labor states that two-thirds of private sector businesses offer paid sick leave, medical care benefits, and access to a retirement plan. Even if your business compensates with high pay, ignoring these simple benefits can cripple your business as the top talent in your industry is diverted to companies who invest in their employees' basic needs.
Build Upon Existing Benefits to Maintain Loyalty.
Employees can not function optimally if a lack of benefits create daily distractions, such as anxiety about child-care, difficulty in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, or tension around work-life balance. Simple extensions of your basic benefits not only have a powerful impact on your employees, but can also enhance the benefits you already offer. Many companies offer gym memberships and nutritional consultants with the dual purpose of creating happier, healthier employees and also lowering insurance costs. Some companies offer carpool incentive programs, which can ease the tension of long commutes and concerns about rising gasoline prices as well as add ecologically responsible support to a company's value statement. Offering these types of employee benefits not only ensures a better work environment, but also forces employees to think twice about offers from other companies.
Bring Employees to the Table.
A company is an entire ecosystem in miniature; what works elsewhere may not provide the best result for your own flora and fauna. Bringing employees into the benefit conversation gives you valuable insight into where to distribute finite funds in the most meaningful way possible, and assures employees that their experiences are valuable.