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Aside from ordinary wages, workers in today's US economy are looking for valuable non-wage compensation in the form of various employee benefits. Last time, we divided all employee benefits into three basic classes: legally required, basic, and elective. Here, we want to delve into the variety of different benefits that can be part of a full-fledged benefits package that will attract and retain top talent.
1. Salary Exchange Benefits
Not all employee benefits are technically "free." Many times, health insurance, life insurance, accident insurance, dental/vision policies, and other forms of insurance are provided not free but at a discounted, group rate to individual through their employer.
Under the Affordable Care Act, larger-sized businesses are required to offer "minimum essential coverage" at an "affordable rate" to all full-time employees.
Salary exchange style benefits are valuable because of the steep discounts they make available to workers - especially in regard to health insurance.
2. Tax Exempt/Sheltered Benefits
In some cases, insurance and retirement benefits may fall into this category - they may be deducted from the worker's salary pre-tax and then not subject to taxation. Or, they may be tax deferred merely.
The value of any benefit that escapes, reduces, or delays taxation is higher than its face value. A dollar untaxed might be equivalent to, say, $1.25 of taxed monies.
Employers normally share in the tax breaks that their employees benefit from; so this kind of benefit is mutually beneficial and should be used to the max wherever possible.
3. Education Related Benefits
Education and job skills training give workers the ability to make more money, advance through promotions, and be more productive for their employers.
For top-tier or rising star employees, it makes sense to offer perks like tuition reimbursement, employer student loan contributions, and free job training opportunities for those chosen for promotions.
4. Discount Programs
One of the cheapest and most convenient ways to reward people for working for you is to "not muzzle the ox as it treads out the grain."
That is, let restaurant workers have free meals during work hours and discounted ones off-hours. Give special deals and discounts to your workers on all your products and services.
5. Paid Time Off
In many countries, it's required by law that employer's give their employees so many paid off days per year. In the US, it's not, but many companies provide this kind of benefit to at least their full time and long time employees, nonetheless.
Both vacation days and sick leave days with pay are a major benefit. Workers need a break at some point, and yet, if finances are tight, they may be afraid to take off work. Paid time off eliminates that fear for some 85% of workers at large companies and 70% of workers at smaller ones.
6. True "Perks"
Miscellaneous benefits that don't seem to fit well into any other benefits category, we'll term "perks."
Perks like free daycare, free transport to/from work, profit sharing, relocation assistance for new employees or those moving for work reasons, free refreshments in the break room, or free meals/lodging on work premises would be examples.
It can be complex to decide which types of benefits should be offered to optimize employee satisfaction, but consider adding at least one benefit from each of these six classes.
For assistance in forming an impressive employee benefits package, contact Summerlin Benefits Consulting today!