When you hear the word benefits, the first thing you probably think of is healthcare. And when you think compensation, you probably think about salary first. But compensation and benefits can be about much more than just salary and healthcare.
It’s easy to fall into a trap of thinking primarily about salary and healthcare, as those are two significant costs for a business. But if employers default to increasing salary every time they’re concerned about a good employee leaving or think they have to increase salaries to attract the top talent, it eventually catches up with them financially.
Income isn’t directly tied to happiness, yet many employers fall into the trap of using raises to try and retain employees. Culture (which key benefits can help influence) plays a significant role in employee satisfaction. When it comes to benefits, think about the total package your company can offer and how that can help you recruit and retain employees.
Here are some key areas to consider.
Matching programs for 401(k) retirement plans are great incentives for employees to save for the future. Under these plans, everything an employee contributes to a 401(k) up to a certain percentage of their salary is matched by the employer. This helps employees save for retirement both with their own funds and with the matched amount.
Many companies also use a vesting program to encourage loyalty, where an employee has access to a certain percentage of the matched funds based on how many years they’ve been with the company.
If you’re not offering a 401(k) match, you should think about adding it as part of your total benefits package.
Flexible and remote work schedules
The average work commute in the United States is 26.1 minutes according to the US Census Bureau. For employees in some metropolitan areas it can be significantly longer. But what if you could give them some of that time back?
Flexible and remote work options are on the rise with employers as they try to increase retention. It’s especially important for employees who have family situations where they need to be at home sometimes or might have to drop off or pick up kids from school. It helps employees save both time and gas money, which provides a hidden raise to those who take advantage of it. Not everyone can work from home, but if the option’s there, it’s worth exploring.
Paid time off and bereavement policies
Your policy for paid time off can be a key piece of attracting and retaining the talent you need at your company. Do you allow employees enough time off throughout the year and have a culture that supports truly taking time off from work? What holidays are included in your paid time off?
A bereavement policy is another place you can add to employee benefits. Some workplaces allow bereavement leave not only for immediate family members, but also for extended family like aunts, uncles, or cousins. Some companies are even adding pets to their bereavement policies because losing a pet can have a significant impact on an employee.
These benefits may seem small, but they can contribute significantly to your employees’ quality of life.
Employee assistance programs
An employee assistance program, or EAP, is something that more workplaces should consider offering. At its core an EAP is a recognition that issues at home affect and come into the workplace. We’re not two separate people at home and work, and if something’s happening at home, it impacts our focus at work.
This sort of employee assistance comes in the form of assessments, counseling, referrals, and follow-up for people who are dealing with problems either in the workplace or at home. These can include everything from substance abuse to family issues to grief or psychological disorders.
Knowing your employer has your back not just in the workplace but as a person can be a huge benefit for employees, especially those that are dealing with any extra challenges.
Benefits as a whole
When you look at compensation and benefits, it’s important to look beyond just salary and healthcare packages. Benefits encompass so much more, and you can only grasp the full extent of the compensation you offer your employees when you consider the whole picture. Make sure you’re offering your employees benefits they value, and you’ll reap dividends in retention, productivity, and satisfaction far beyond what money alone can offer.
Need help getting creative with your benefits package for employees? Contact us today to schedule a consultation.