Employers usually offer benefits packages that include standards such as health insurance, paid time off for illness or vacations and a variety of cafeteria plans that employees can choose from, at group rates. Retirement plans might include profit-sharing or employer contributions.
Medical insurance: This is the number-one benefit that employees want and the one that employers spend the most on.5 Offering attractive insurance plans is a sound investment in your employees. Not only can it help you attract prospects, but good insurance can also be an incentive for a seasoned employee to stay with your company rather than take another offer.6 When potential hires compare offers, they're likely to weigh the value of the insurance package and employer contribution heavily.
Cafeteria plans: These "flexible benefit plans" let employees choose different types of benefits they want.7 These may include opt-in policies like long- and short-term disability, life insurance, add-ons to medical insurance and critical care plans. Employers may offer these at group rates and may pay a portion of the costs on the employees' behalf. These choices are great options for employees because they can change their plan provisions as their needs change.
Paid time off: Vacation and sick time are often packaged together as paid time off. This allows employees to have flexibility when unexpected medical issues crop up, and they don't have to feel concerned about taking a hit in pay when they need sick time for themselves or their children. This flexibility is an important aspect of a benefits package and ranks highly in significance among employees in today's market.8
Education reimbursement: Another attractive benefit is to offer a set amount per year that employees can spend on training and continuing education. This encourages employees to obtain certifications and attend conferences that, in turn, can benefit their performance and the company.
Retirement: There are several ways employers commonly support employees in preparing for retirement. Employers may contribute to employee retirement plans or match employees' contributions. This is an attractive benefit to employees because these contributions effectively increase their salaries through boosting savings and providing tax benefits.
In addition to benefits that have higher costs, you can augment your benefits package with perks that have no or low cash value but rate highly in creating employee satisfaction.9 Negotiate discounts for dry cleaning and arrange pickup and delivery at the office, or get special rates at memberships to the gym in your building. Turn the old storage room into a relaxation space with calming music playing. Host a monthly game night for employees and their families at the local pizza parlor. Allow employees to flex their schedules as long as high-need business hours are covered.10
Find out what matters most to your workers, and invest in those benefits.