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How to boost your benefits package

Written by: Elizabeth Walker
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Published on January 26, 2022.

According to the Society for Human Resource Management, throughout 2021, an average of 3.9 million workers quit their jobs each month, and that number doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Companies looking to stabilize their business are looking for ways to increase their employee retention. But what is the best way to go about doing that?

One method is to introduce new additions to your benefits packages in response to the tight labor market. After all, the better the employee benefits are, the better the employee experience is and , the more likely employees are to stay with your company.

In this article, we’ll go through six top notch benefits options you can offer to make your employee benefits package stand out from the competition.

  1. Reimbursements for family building
  2. Retirement benefits
  3. Wellness benefits
  4. Work-from-home benefits
  5. Technology and communication benefits
  6. Transportation benefits

1. Reimbursements for family building

More and more employers are recognizing the importance of supporting their workers through the financial challenges of building a family. The core of any family-building benefit helps lower the sticker price of costly procedures, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), donors and surrogacy, or other reproductive technologies and fertility treatments.

If your group health insurance plan doesn’t cover these kinds of family-planning benefits, one way to help cover it is with a group coverage HRA (GCHRA).

With the GCHRA, sometimes called an integrated HRA, employers set an allowance for employees to use each month toward out-of-pocket expenses. Employees make purchases from a list of eligible expenses—including many fertility treatments—and then are reimbursed by the employer once the expense is verified.

Several of the expenses that employees are eligible for with a GCHRA are related to family planning and child care, including:

  • Pregnancy tests
  • Fertility treatments monitor
  • Midwives
  • Childbirth classes
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Adoption (and associated medical expenses)
  • Breast pumps accessories
  • Infertility treatments
  • Cord blood storage
  • Ovulation monitors
  • Lamaze classes (for mother only)
  • Breastfeeding classes
  • Doula or birthing coaches
  • Diaper rash creams (over-the-counter)

This makes the GCHRA not only a good health benefit supplement in general, but a great option for those looking to start a family.

New to the GCHRA? Get our guide to learn everything you need to know.

2. Retirement benefits

Retirement plans are a valuable benefit that impact the present and future lives of employees and are a great way to enhance your benefits package. Some employers offer 401(k) accounts or profit-sharing to their employees, which gives employees a boost toward saving for retirement and aids retention efforts.

Here are some of the pros of offering retirement benefits:

  • You can receive some significant tax advantages for your business
    • Since 2020, employers offering a 401k can qualify for at least $500 in tax credits
  • If the plan is based on profits, it may enhance employee motivation and productivity
  • Retirement benefits give you a recruiting advantage over other companies that don’t offer a retirement account
  • If your business has high start-up costs, you can use a retirement plan to supplement your compensation package

If you decide you want to offer retirement benefits, you should obtain professional advice and guidance. Pension regulations are complex and the tax aspects of retirement plans can be confusing to understand for beginners.

3. Wellness benefits

A healthy employee is a happy employee, and a happy employee is more likely to be productive. A way to show your employees that you’re invested in their wellbeing is by offering wellness perks.

A wellness stipend, or wellness spending account, is an easy way to set an allowance available to employees to pay for wellness benefits.

Example wellness perks could include:

  • Gym memberships
  • Discounted workout equipment
  • Free access to meditation apps or programs
  • Onsite or virtual health services
  • Ergonomic office furniture
  • Mental health support services

Time away from the office is another valuable wellness perk an employer can offer to their employees. This could be in the form of mental health days, additional paid vacation time and sick time, parental leave, or longer sabbaticals to travel and spend time with loved ones.

4. Work-from-home benefits

One of the most attractive perks an employer can offer is workplace flexibility, whether that be where employees work or flexibility around working hours. According to 2022 statistics, only 16% of companies across the world are fully remote but 74% of employees say that having a work-from-home option would encourage them to stay with a company.

Giving your employees the freedom to work fully remotely or choose a hybrid work model lets them work in their most comfortable surroundings. A growing number of people want the ability to work remotely as it’s often a less stressful environment to operate within and provides better work/life balance.

To offset this, employers can provide a remote work stipend. This type of stipend is a fixed amount of money paid to an employee to cover the extra costs incurred by working from home, such as a standing desk or new office chair.

5. Technology and communication benefits

Another popular employee benefit during an increasingly remote world is a technology and communication benefit. Mobile stipends are payments made to employees which can compensate them for the use of their personal cell phone for work purposes or for their internet.

Employers can decide to provide reimbursement for the employee’s purchase of a new phone itself or provide a monthly allowance intended to cover some or all of the employee’s phone or internet plan.

Employers may choose to reimburse remote employee expenses in a lump sum or on a recurring basis, but you should be sure to outline in your company’s expense policy what your employees can get reimbursed for and up to what amount.

Thinking about going fully remote? Read our article for tips on making the switch!

6. Transportation benefits

If you need your employees to commute to a physical location, offering commuter benefits can help relieve the financial burden that gas and transportation costs place on the employees.

Commuter benefits allow employers to set aside pre-tax funds to pay for qualified mass transit and parking expenses associated with their employees’ commute to work.

These types of benefits can offset frustrating commutes and make it easier for employees to afford the costs associated with coming to a central location, particularly when remote work isn’t an option.

Conclusion

The key to attracting and retaining talented employees could be as simple as offering a more robust employee benefits package. It can be a huge differentiator in increasing job satisfaction, employee loyalty, and productivity. If you have extra benefit dollars to use, a good way to stop the flow of employees resigning, especially in this tight labor market, could be spending that money on supplemental benefits.

If you’re ready to boost your employee benefits package with personalized benefits that fit your employees needs, contact a PeopleKeep benefits advisor today! We’d love to help your employees stay financially, physically, and mentally well.

Originally published on January 26, 2022. Last updated January 26, 2022.
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