The Benefits of Better Benefits: Retaining Your Top Employees

According to research by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), attractive benefits packages are essential to hiring and retaining good employees. Further studies have shown that, in many cases, benefits outweigh even salary as a candidate decides where to go to work.

  • Sixty percent of HR leaders surveyed by Harvard Business Review said benefits were very important for hiring and retention, compared with only 38 percent who cited a high base salary.
  • In a related study, approximately 49 percent of employees said benefits were an important reason why they came to work for a company, while 60 percent said benefits were their reason for staying.

Choice Matters

It’s a huge plus if you can allow your employees to make choices about the types and levels of benefits they prefer. For starters, medical and retirement plans can take many shapes and sizes to meet both employee needs and your business goals. Your medical plan could range from a fully insured health product to a flexible spending account, and your retirement options could encompass a 401(k) or a simplified plan.

  • Once these major components are in place, it should be fairly easy and cost-effective to include other popular offerings, such as vision, dental and life insurance and short-and long-term disability.
  • With so many demands on today’s workers, a flexible work schedule is a big plus. 87 percent of employees surveyed by the New York-based Families and Work Institute said having the flexibility they need to balance their work with their personal lives would be “extremely” or “very” important if they were looking for a new job.
  • Be creative. Depending on your financial resources and the reality of your company’s workload, there are myriad options for creative benefits that contribute to greater employee satisfaction and engagement. Determine what works best for everyone – whether it’s a compressed, four-day workweek, telecommuting, job sharing, on-site child care or discounts at nearby centers, a fitness facility or gym discount, tuition reimbursement, or bringing pets to work to reduce stress.

Ask Your Employees

To optimize the value of your benefits investment, survey your employees. Use the results to tell which benefits are the most meaningful to them, which ones they’d like to see added, and which are no longer relevant.

  • Consider follow-up focus groups to gain a deeper understanding of how your benefits package should look. Questions for discussion might include: “What types of benefits are most important to you? If you could choose one new benefit, what would it be?” and “If you were given X dollars to spend on employee benefits, how would you do it?”

Find out what Lyons HR can do for your business!

There’s a lot involved in designing and implementing the best benefits program for your business. Why not let the experts at Lyons HR help you understand and evaluate your options, as well as introduce any changes and keep things on track for long-term retention success? Contact us today to learn more.

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