Benefits like group protection and healthcare are all too often either mistakenly viewed by employers as unnecessary and expensive to provide or, where they are provided as part of a comprehensive employee benefit plan, they are mentioned in the company handbook but then rarely promoted in any other way to employees.
They are, however, very valuable benefits, and should be highlighted, both in the recruitment and retention of staff.
All too often employers put in place a group life insurance benefit for their staff before any other group protection or healthcare benefit, establishing the benefit at the same level for all staff, e.g. two times basic salary.
As with any other expenditure, employers should ensure that they get the best return for their budget, and therefore design the benefits they provide to fit with their employee demographics.
For example, rather than provide the same group life insurance benefit for all staff, it may be more appropriate to provide a larger benefit for those employees who are married and/or have dependent children than those who are single. Similarly, with there being a much greater likelihood of an employee being unable to work due to illness or injury than them dying before they retire, is the provision of an Income Protection plan, or a Medical Insurance plan, likely to be more appreciated by their staff.
Whatever combination of group protection and healthcare benefits you choose to provide to staff it is important to think carefully about how the particular benefits will appeal to your employees as well as how they can best be promoted.
In a recent survey by the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP), six out of ten people said that the benefits provided would determine their choice of career.
With increasing competition for high quality staff, attractive employee benefits play an important part in getting the right type of people to apply to your organisation. If they then get to the stage where they’re comparing similar offers with pretty similar salaries, the additional benefits you provide may well be what tips the balance in your favour.
Once you’ve taken the time and effort to draw up an innovative benefits package, what steps can you actively take to use it to recruit talented staff?
First of all, make sure you include details of the benefits in the job advertisement. Take the time to highlight the benefits fully at the interview stage and use testimonials throughout your company collateral of what your business is really like as somewhere to work.
Let’s face it, we’re at work a high proportion of our time so the culture of the place is vital to our happiness and well-being. But culture is a difficult thing to convey. The benefits you offer and the way they are used all help to give a clear picture.
There are also clear links between benefits and retention.
The CIPP found that almost three quarters (74%) of employees would be more likely to stay with a company that offers great benefits.
When it’s costly to replace an employee in terms of recruitment and training, it’s obviously much better to hang on to them. A well-thought out benefits package can not only help retain quality staff but also help with motivation, engagement and improving job satisfaction.
But benefits can only help to retain staff if they know all about them and know how to use them. Processes and systems need to be in place to make any benefit scheme easily accessible and simple to get the most out of.
Once an employee has worked somewhere for some time, benefits can easily get overlooked or almost taken for granted, which is why it’s important to keep repeating the message, promote the benefits provided throughout the workplace and offer regular updates to employees.
If you get your benefits package right, it will help productivity, reduce turnover, minimise the costs of absence and foster a culture of care. At Creative our consultancy and employee education programs make all of this available our clients, both in terms of ensuring the right benefits are provided to maximise the value of the employer’s budget, but also so that employees know what great benefits are provided for them.
If you have any concerns about the benefits you provide, or maybe that you currently don’t, or the promotion of these to your staff, please get in touch via your Creative consultant or contact us on email@example.com. Make sure your employees (current or future) don’t view the benefits package as ‘fringe benefits’ but as an integral part of their employment.