Competitive Employee Benefits Help Companies Retain and Recruit Employees
January 28, 2020 by Robert Dube
How strong and unique benefits can tip the recruiting scales in your favor
Employee recruiting and retention can be very competitive, as many savvy applicants are able to compare compensation and employee benefits offerings with a simple Google search or countless job search websites. It should come with no surprise that companies with above average benefits often enjoy finding and retaining above average employees.
It should also be noted that the types of benefits offered resonate differently with certain employee demographics. Unique and exciting benefits packages serve as a key recruiting differentiator, especially among the Millennial generation, who thrive on creative experiences. The same-old-same-old is not the way to go when aggressively attracting this talent pool. Conversely, the Baby Boomer generation, who now comprise 40% of today’s workforce, react well to work-life enhancing benefits but are also focused more on tangible, compensation-based benefits that ensure they are retirement-ready.
Because the spectrum of needs and wants can vary greatly depending on lifestyles and career paths, it’s important to have your finger on the pulse of what drives your workforce in order to meet those needs. For assistance, Gordon Advisors can help in the consulting process with our Employee Benefits Plan Auditing (EBPA) services, so don’t hesitate to contact us to get the conversation started. Additionally, it’s important to know that companies whose total employee count meets or exceeds 100 people require a benefits package audit by law.
So, what makes a great benefit program?
The answer… is in the question! Great employee benefits (like great anything) are subjective, but their value lies in benefiting the employee in the form of extra or more of a particular thing – time, money, services, convenience – or something they can’t easily get elsewhere without paying for it with their own money and/or inconvenience.
We’ve compiled a list of industry-leading benefits in several benefits categories – time off, charity and family – with a focus on programs that offer a greater perceived value to employees as well as uniqueness. We hope that this list will inspire you to employ similar ideas of your own to create fantastic, but also realistic, benefits for your employees.
What is the right balance in offering employee work-life balance?
To many members of today’s modern workforce, there is high value in achieving a healthy work-life balance. In fact, this key factor ranked #1 in workplace satisfaction importance (over pay rate at #2) in a recent survey of hourly workers in the U.S., who make up nearly 60 percent of the total workforce. Besides compensation, the next ranking categories were: (#3) a good working relationship with boss, (#4) convenient working location and (#5) enjoyment of tasks or activities. Examples of benefits involving work-life balance are below.
• Full vacation benefits – Based in Denver, Colorado, the tech company Full Contact offers 100% paid medical, dental and vision to employees and their families. As if that wasn’t good enough, employees are required to take a minimum of three weeks of vacation per year. Full Contact pays $7,500 towards vacation time and insists that “Vacationing staffers are not allowed to check into work via email or phone.” This has led to increased productivity, reduced stress, and a stronger, more dedicated workforce.
• Top-notch time off – The now-ubiquitous media company, Netflix, is known for their outstanding employee culture, strengthened by a generous benefits program. Not only do their staff enjoy flexible working hours (and free food), they also get unlimited paid time off and new parents get up to one year of paid leave to tend to their newborns… Dads, too!
• Absence makes the heart stay longer – Among the software giant Adobe’s list of impressive extras their employees receive (in addition to pet insurance) is a list of “out-of-office” perks, including unlimited paid days off and an extended absence sabbatical leave every five years. Five-year employees enjoy a four-week leave, while ten-year employees take five weeks off to “recharge.”
Charitable giving pays dividends in employee recruitment
Many socially and environmentally-conscious employees pride themselves on giving back – whether it be donating their money or time. These types of employees respond well to charitably-driven benefits offered by companies in their employee benefits packages. The following examples demonstrate how giving back can keep employees (and recruits) coming back.
• A single percent can make a huge difference – According to an employee of Veterans United Home Loans, “Our employee-funded foundation is a perfect example of why I love to work for Veterans United.” Over 95% of employees donate 1% of their paychecks to local veterans and overseas service members alike, contributing to causes ranging from helping to obtain a service dog to getting a veteran into a new home.
• Charitable teamwork makes a big impact – Autodesk, the 3D design software company, is a great example of an organization lending its time and talents for good causes. For example, the company hosts a Global Month of Impact each June, recently assembling 3D-printed prosthetic hands for charity. Additionally, employees are given work time for volunteer activities, racking up $100 to donate for every 10 hours of logged volunteer time.
• “We can do more together” – This statement encompasses the spirit of NuStar Energy’s giving-based employee benefits, many of which directly impact their local communities. To maximize their efforts, the company has created the NuStar Volunteer Council which organizes company-sponsored charitable events for local groups like San Antonio’s Haven for Hope, the YMCA and Ronald McDonald House. Appreciative staff members note that they enjoy working for a company whose values match theirs, providing a possible advantage in a competitive job market.
Family-first employee benefits resonate with growing families
It’s often said that “it’s the little things that count.” Family-friendly benefits can sometimes fall into the “little things” category, in that until recently it wasn’t standard or even common to offer flexible family-oriented benefits. But for some, this can make a big impact. Ranging from big-time benefits to smaller acts of company kindness, these recruiting tie-breakers might be just the thing for companies to add to their mix of employee perks.
• Family first benefits keeps parents around – Ultimate Software, an HR solutions company based in Florida, aims first and foremost to care of their workers and their families. Some of the company’s benefits package highlights include paying 100% of the premium for healthcare (PPO), prescriptions, dental and vision coverage. To up the ante, they offer tuition reimbursement of up to $5,250 per year. The icing on the cake? $300 per child towards any sport or extracurricular activities. A family-first atmosphere resonates greatly with parents and shows that the company cares about their families, too.
• Leave-sharing is caring – The ever-present retail juggernaut, Amazon, is ever-mindful of their employees and their families. Not only do they offer employees up to $5,000 towards adoption expenses, they have enacted what they call their Leave Share program. The policy allows Amazon’s employees to share their own leave time with their partner (even if they do not work there), who is compensated by Amazon at 100% of their base salary for the duration of the shared time.
• Out of this world benefit – The music service, Spotify, provides an interesting service as part of their robust benefits package: egg freezing… on top of fertility assistance, six months of paid leave post-baby or adoption and flexible hours to ease back into work-life. Spotify’s strong portfolio of perks reflects the values of a truly family-first company.
We’re Here to Help
After being inspired by many of these uplifting and employee-centric benefits being offered, you may find yourself seeking consultation on new, creative benefits to keep long-term employees or make your company more attractive to job-seekers. But how can a competitive employee benefits plan fit into your business’ overall financial health? And how can you ensure you’re complying with EPB audit law? Those questions are where our employee benefits experts at Gordon Advisors can help.
Gordon Advisors performs employee benefits audit services in compliance with federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) requirements. Our experience allows us to help organizations of all sizes in a variety of industries custom-design benefits packages tailored to best position companies to attract and retain great employees for years to come.
Contact us today to begin to audit your employee benefits package and receive recommendations on how to balance effectiveness with affordability.