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To be competitive in the modern US business environment, it is not enough to have a great product or service, advertise it effectively, and pay your workers a “reasonable” salary.
The fact is, winning the best talent and retaining it is one of the most important factors leading to business success - and employee benefits are at least as important as direct monetary compensation to most of today's workforce.
With that in mind, here are 5 steps to follow in designing a "winning" benefits package:
1. Set Parameters & Goals
You can't afford to take a haphazard approach to employee benefits. Set specific goals for what you want each offered benefit, and the overall program, to accomplish. That might include, for example, improving employee morale, reducing loss of top employees, or keeping employees healthier by ensuring they can afford preventative medical services.
But you also have to be realistic. You probably can't afford to provide every possible benefit to every employee without limits. Establish a budget and stick to it. This will force you to prioritize the most important benefits over the rest.
2. Get Employee Input
From the very beginning, be sure you are offering benefits that your employees want. If you don't, expect to struggle with employee engagement levels later on!
Take a survey asking current employees to select their top 2 or 3 most desired benefits. Also leave a blank space so those surveyed can add something you may not have included in the options.
But also do market research on which benefits are most popular in the US, in your region, and in your particular industry. After all, you want to attract new employees too - so you need feedback from both existing employees and potential future ones.
3. Formulate the Plan
Using the data collected from surveys and market research, and information on which benefits are available and how much they would likely cost, put together a tentative plan. Make sure every benefit contributes directly toward meeting your goals and fits within your budget.
Before committing to your tentative plan, talk to a professional benefits consultant to gain professional advice.Their insight, experience and knowledge may help you avoid a costly mistake that cannot be changed in the short run. This is their passion and what is “far out” to you may be just what gets and keeps you that talent leading to your business’s success, but you didn’t even know it was out there and available!
4. Communicate the Plan
It's easy for busy workers to pay little attention to your employee benefits package. They may not even be aware of the wonderful benefits you've gone through such trouble to provide for them! During open enrollment periods, a special awareness campaign will be appropriate, but don't fail to promote your benefits all year long!
Full information on your benefits package should be given to all new recruits in both written and verbal form, and HR should always be ready to answer any benefits-related questions. Also be sure to post flyers/posters around the workplace advertising your benefits to your employees.
5. Periodic Re-Evaluation
Don't let your benefits program go stagnant. Be sure to periodically re-survey employees for more feedback and update your market research. An annual assessment of the effectiveness of your plan is a must. And consider using a benefits consulting firm to help you make adjustments as needed.
For help in creating or updating superior employee benefits offerings, contact Summerlin Benefits Consulting today!