How to Provide Benefits Your Employees Actually Appreciate

Monday, April 29, 2019

Providing benefits packages to employees has become quite commonplace these days, but it's no good just spending your money on any old benefits. Here's how to choose the ones your employees will actually appreciate.

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At the end of the day, retaining employees contributes to achieving success. One way to ensure your employees are interested in staying with your company is by showing them the appreciation they expect and deserve. Knowing how to do so can be like solving a complex puzzle, but the right benefits can do wonders.

Showing your appreciation for a job well done is meaningless if it is not of value to your employees. Benefits may or may not be appreciated equally by everyone on staff. Offering a wide range of benefits is one way to build loyalty with each individual in your company. These can include perks like flexible scheduling, the opportunity to work from home, health and wellness perks (gym memberships or HSA accounts, for example), maternity and paternity leave, tuition reimbursement, mental health services, and others.

Some companies have built a company culture around a fun in-office model in hopes of retaining employees. Offering “brain break” areas equipped with video games and magazines, a breakroom stocked with snacks and beverages, or other initiatives focused on workplace wellness may be enchanting at first, but will they make your employees stay?

Understanding value

Experts in the field are now saying that office perks are not enough to establish long-term, committed employees. It may improve the small portion of their life they spend in the office — but how is that enhancing their personal life?

The importance of establishing a healthy work-life balance has been brought into the limelight in recent years. The largest generation making up today’s workforce, millennials, are not interested in working their lives away; they value experiences over material items. This shift requires businesses to reevaluate their benefits package when they’re unable to offer further financial incentives.

The value of providing benefits that enhance employees’ time off the clock will result in happier employees. And there are a number of benefits for companies when their employees are satisfied with their job, including more productive staff. Balancing the scales between the success you receive due to their hard work and the benefits they receive as a result should be the ultimate goal.

Importance of Flexibility

Employees enjoy the feeling of being autonomous, even in fleeting moments. Give individuals the ability to manage their own time, make executive decisions on their own, or to stay home when they’re not well without having to ask permission to do so.

Telecommuting

Working remotely is one workplace benefit that helps both the morale of the employee and positively affects the company's bottom line. The number of companies implementing remote working options is increasing each year. It serves companies well by reducing the amount of money spent on office furniture and real estate costs — savings which can be redirected towards your employees’ benefits. It also allows older employees to stay with the company, enabling the company to retain veteran employees who hold valuable experience.

Paid leave

Companies such as Facebook have the financial means to offer onsite doctor visits when employees aren’t feeling well. But not all businesses have such deep pockets. However, if you have the means to do so, offering employees paid sick leave, in addition to paid time off, is one way to keep your employees happy (and healthy). Not offering paid sick leave puts other employees at risk of falling ill. It also sends a message to your employees that you’re not interested in their personal wellbeing, only their ability to generate revenue.

Bonus Benefits

Medical, dental and life insurance are all important offerings. Looking further into what would enrich your employee’s lives is where you can really shine as an exceptional employer.

Tuition reimbursement or match

Depending on the type of company you are, there may be a large percentage of employees with mounting education loan fees they’ve accrued in order to earn their current position. Offering aid in tuition reimbursement is almost as good as adding a bit more to their paycheck. This also doesn’t need to entail a 4-year degree. Reimbursing employees seeking an education at a trade school can equip them with specialized skills that you may need in your workplace — and it can actually be cheaper than shelling out for contractors or full-time employees to fulfill those duties. Offering tuition reimbursement also enables your company to get a tax break for doing so.

Additionally, for those in your company who wish to continue their professional development to move up the company ladder, providing tuition reimbursement or matching contributions is beneficial. When offering this benefit, it’s common to establish a contract of the employee’s commitment to the company for a stated period of time. This enables you to know you have an employee you can count on for that length of time. It also offers job security to the employee for the length of the contract.

Incentives

Employees have reported enjoying the opportunity to make additional income through contests, bonuses, or commission-based sales. Establishing a monthly, quarterly or yearly competition among your staff can both encourage them to work diligently to achieve their goals and also offer a small financial boost.

If you’re unable to offer cash incentives, you could still offer a single paid day off or lunch out with the boss; it doesn’t have to be extravagant to feel special. 

If you truly wish to know what kind of benefits your employees would appreciate, send out an anonymous survey. Be sure you’re in a position to act on the responses so staff don’t feel like their input is falling on deaf ears.

Author: Indiana Lee is a writer and journalist from the Pacific Northwest with a passion for covering workplace issues, social justice, politics, and more. You can follow her work on Contently, or reach her at indianaleewrites@gmail.com

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