While the COVID-19 pandemic has spawned an unprecedented wave of unemployment, many economists are predicting a strong recovery. Those employers offering great benefits packages will have a clear edge retaining existing employees and attracting the best talent over the long haul.
Here are 5 ways to develop a top-notch benefits package that keeps employees happy and your business thriving.
- Do your research. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel if you are looking to create or improve your benefits package. There are ample resources to help you design the best fit for your employees. The Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) offers a how-to guide to designing a benefits package. Additionally, the Academy to Innovate HR (AIHR) offers a full guide to compensation and benefits that includes several examples of benefits packages as well as advice on the best way to explain benefits to employees.
- Prioritize what employees want. While creative benefits such as summer Fridays, onsite massages, and unlimited snacks may grab headlines, it is the substantive benefits that employees truly value. Research has consistently shown that health care, including dental and vision coverage, as well as a retirement savings plan and life insurance, are top priorities.
As far as non-insurance benefits, a 2019 survey for Unum found the top five were generous paid time off (40%), flexible working options (30%), paid family leave (22%), gym memberships (21%) and healthy lifestyle incentives (17%). Fun perks can boost morale and set you apart from the competition. But keep in mind that they aren’t a replacement for benefits that offer protection, flexibility and a sense of security for your employees.
- Gather feedback. A simple way to get a clearer idea of benefits that matter to your employees – ask them. Experts recommend surveying employees to find out what they prioritize. Be careful not to over-promise. Create a list of benefits that you know you can deliver on, but make it clear from the get-go that the package you create will focus on their top priorities and likely won’t include everything on the survey. It’s OK to ask if they have any ideas that aren’t included on your list, but again emphasize that ultimately you will need to make decisions based on what is realistic from a financial perspective.
- Focus on clear communications. The return on your investment for the money, time and effort that you put into creating a great benefits package won’t fully pay off if you’re employees don’t fully understand what they are getting. Unfortunately, research has shown that as many as 80% of employees do not pay attention to the information they receive about benefits. Look for innovative and consistent ways to engage your employees about the benefits you are offering. The Reward And Employee Benefits Association offers five tips on how to best communicate the full value of your benefits package.
- Think about life insurance. Life insurance can be an affordable and extremely valuable benefit for your employees. Life insurance can provide peace of mind and essential financial stability for an employee and his or her family at one of the most challenging times of their lives. According to LIMRA’s 2018 Insurance Barometer Study, 90% of those surveyed said a family’s primary wage earner needs to own life insurance and more than a third of households would feel the financial impact within one month if the primary wage earner died.
LifeWorks from Erie Insurance makes it easy for small business owners to offer life insurance as a benefit to employees and at no additional cost to the employer.
Lifeworks is a voluntary life insurance benefit program designed for employers to collect premiums through payroll deduction and submit to Erie Family Life on behalf of the employee. There are two plans available, Whole Life Insurance and 20-year Convertible Term Life Insurance.
Talk to your local ERIE agent about how LifeWorks can be a key part of a great employee benefits package.