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To be truly competitive in the modern marketplace, businesses must compete for employees as much as for customers. Few things will influence top talent to come to your company and stay there more than an optimally valuable employee benefits package.
The immense importance of creating an employee benefits program that works for both your company and your employees makes it well worthwhile to invest in employee benefits consulting services to help you develop the best possible plan. The ins and outs of formulating your benefits offerings can get quite complex.
But here are three basic considerations that you need to build any employee benefits program around, regardless of other factors:
1. First, Implement All Mandated Benefits
Workers comp, unemployment insurance, social security, and (for medium to large sized businesses) health insurance, are all among federally mandated employee benefits. You have no choice here: these must be provided for first.
A good benefits consulting firm can help you avoid all legal and financial pitfalls associated with mandated benefits. Unless you have this part of your program in place, you could face lawsuits and other legal actions, so be sure you understand all the details of these programs before getting started on the rest.
2. Next, Establish Your Core Benefits
With legally required benefits in place, you next need to move on to establishing core benefits that employees expect, even if they're not mandated.
For smaller businesses, health insurance could be in this class of benefits. A pension or retirement plan of some kind is certainly among core benefits desired by employees in all companies, and paid time off and more bonus opportunities also rank high on employees' "wish lists".
Conducting a survey of your employees will reveal which benefits they value most, and you'll also want access to market research on which benefits are most highly valued in the US or in particular industries. Again, benefits consulting can help immensely at this juncture.
3. Finally, Provide Variety And Options
After both federally required and basic, core benefits are in place, it's time to start diversifying your "benefits portfolio." People like options, and people like benefits that are custom-tailored to their needs and to the nature of the company they're working for.
Life insurance is sometimes viewed as a core benefit, but given it can't be taken with you if you switch jobs, it's better to use employee-based life insurance as "extra" life insurance - and thus, it's more of an optional add-on than a core benefit, in that view.
Dental and vision insurance, free child care subsidies, college tuition reimbursement programs, student debt repayment help, fitness center membership, and flexible spending accounts are all generally add-on benefits.
Things like employee discounts at retail outlets or restaurants, free to download materials at IT jobs, or one free flight per year if you work for an airline, would be examples of company-specific benefits offerings - a class of benefits that costs you relatively little and has a big positive effect on employee morale.
Of course, there is much more to be said about crafting a full orbed employee benefits package, but following these three key steps is a good start.
For additional help in formulating a new benefits program or in adjusting an existing one, feel free to reach out to Summerlin Benefits Consulting for expert, targeted advice!