Help your employees get the most out of their benefits

Matt BauerEmployee Benefits, Human Resource Consulting, Uncategorized, Wellness Programs

Smart business owners know that to attract and retain quality employees, they must provide a congenial working environment where employees can find opportunity for growth, success, and professional satisfaction.

Happy, healthy, productive employees make a business stronger and translate into profits and organizational success.

Obviously, base compensation is a key recruitment and retention tool and must be competitive, but owners who fear being priced out of the skilled labor pool are not alone. Employers are increasingly focusing on boosting benefit packages, in lieu of significant wage increases, to keep staff happy. The good news is, when promoted correctly, those benefits can begin to match salary as a key factor in employee satisfaction.

Along with making the investment in offering your employees more, internal communication and education about how and why to use these benefits will help increase adoption rate and employee satisfaction.

Wellness programs: Incentivize it!Wellness programs, which promote healthy habits and long-term positive change, are one of our top recommendations for bottom-line success. Quite simply, healthy employees are productive employees, and wellness programs create a fruitful partnership between management and staff. They are not without investment: smoking cessation programs, complimentary weekly healthy lunches, and gym membership reimbursement are just some of the ways you can invest. But like all good resolutions, the hardest part is sticking to it. Consider developing creative ways to encourage employees to take advantage of those offerings, plus routine medical screenings.

Take a vacation, really! — You offer paid time off, adding more days as a reward for seniority and milestones. The problem is…your employees aren’t using it, even when they say they are. This is a uniquely American problem and it is nothing to be proud of. The productivity level of stressed out, always-on employees, no matter how dedicated and talented, will suffer, costing you in the long run. Make vacation and breaks away from the office a part of your company’s culture. Owners and other senior staff can set a good example by being conspicuously absent for vacation, even if secretly checking in via smartphone. The key is balance, which will never exist if nobody ever leaves the office. 

Take this free money, please! — Americans are woefully, frightfully unprepared for retirement, so much so that the Golden Years are much more likely to be the Leaden Years. According to the National Institute on Retirement Safety, the median retirement account balance is $3,000 for working-age households and $12,000 for “near retirement” households. If you offer a match in your 401(k)/403(b) retirement plan (and if you don’t, let’s talk about the tax benefits you’re missing out on), include that match when you cite a position’s salary. Help new hires and existing employees alike by making them realize that not participating is the same thing as voluntarily cutting pay.

We’ll pay you to learn! — Younger employees may not cite professional development opportunities as a top job benefit, but they’ll quickly grow to love it once taking part. Furthering the education and real-world experience of staff at all levels provides personal growth while making your business that much smarter. Don’t just say you offer professional development opportunities, make it part of your HR function to proactively encourage and schedule relevant conferences and classes for employees.

Looking for more ways to help your staff get the most out of benefits? We can help.

Matt Bauer

Sinclair Risk & Financial Management
mbauer@srfm.com