Should We Offer Benefits?
Whenever a business starts considering offering an employee benefits package, it is often for a number of different reasons. While recruitment and retention come to the top of everyone’s mind, there are many other benefits, on both the employer and employee sides of the coin. Employers often begin offering benefits with the hopes of creating loyal employees, that choose to work at the business because they enjoy the culture, and how they are treated.
Talk To Your Employees About Their Benefits Expectations!
The first step in understanding your employees’ benefits expectations is simple: Ask them! There are many ways to approach this task, through a simple survey, having a town hall style meeting, or bringing them up during one on ones. By identifying the employees’ needs, a business owner is then able to start seeking out different options that will help meet those needs, and create happy employees.
Take Into Account Everyone's Needs
One of the growing trends in the wide world of employee benefits are consumerized (or personalized) employee benefits. For too long one size-fits-none “group” style benefits have been the status quo. How can one expect to make 5, 20, or even 50 people happy with one or two products, when every individual has their own specific needs and wants. A defined contribution approach is often a good start to consumerizing the benefits, in a system where the employer can simply define a contribution that the employee can choose to use on a number of different benefits options.
Give Employees Choices
The second piece to giving control over benefits to employees is access. Access to products they need (health insurance/investment vehicles/etc), and educated professionals who can help them make informed decisions about what they are purchasing. Group benefits evolved because 40 years ago, it was hard to offer this type of access. Now that we are in the age of information, this access is at the fingertips of anyone with an internet connection. Making sure the employees have access to a professional, or to educate themselves if they choose is key to ensuring they are able to take advantage of the benefits offerings.
No matter what the surrounding circumstances, it is important for both parties to communicate their needs and expectations to each other. This will help create a happy, productive workplace, where people come to work with a smile.
If you're a small business owner, what questions do you have about offering employee benefits? Leave a question or comment and we will respond.