A generous employee benefits package is a great way to attract and retain key talent for your company. The benefits package could weight decisions by top talent to decide in favor of your business over another with a less generous employee benefit program. Employee and industry perception of a company that provided excellent benefits to its employees helps the overall bottom line, as it paints the company as one who is both successful enough and cares enough to take care of its employees at any cost. Salary is a tangible reward, but benefits and vacation policies are intangibles that make all the difference in the world to an employee. In fact, many job seekers assign a dollar value to a great benefits package or an extra week of vacation, such as “I’d take 10,000 less in salary for an extra week of vacation and amazing health benefits.”
However, be careful to exercise caution when rolling out a new benefits package. While the goodwill and positive buzz you create is a great thing, keep in mind that once you give benefits to employees – it is very difficult to take them back if suddenly the cost of carrying them becomes too much. That said, in tougher economic times when your company may need to slash salaries or offer lower starting salaries than in the past, a generous benefits package can make your employees feel like they are making more money than they actually are. Furthermore, if your company becomes widely known for offering a top-of-the-line benefits package, you will find recruiting top talent in your field to be an easier endeavor.
Health insurance is rife with political implications at this point in our history, but it is also the benefit most expected of an employer and, in many cases, required by law to be carried. Keep in mind that if you choose to not carry health insurance, you may have a very hard time attracting employees. The rising cost of private health insurance and the draconian measures people have to go through to obtain and maintain it make it the most sought after benefit by employees. Likewise, dental insurance, vision coverage and chiropractic coverage are coveted by employees but less expensive to offer than regular health insurance.
Flexible spending accounts are a great way for your employees to set aside pre-tax money for health expenditures. The FSA can be used to cover anything from contact lenses to diabetes equipment, with the sole catch that there is a deadline on using the money. Generally, the amount of money the employee elects to defer to their FSA must be used within that benefit year. There are a whole slew of other benefits from vacation time to maternity/paternity leave to sabbaticals that you can offer your employees. One thing is for certain, a generous employee benefits plan can not only attract and retain top talent, but inspire loyalty from your employees. And loyalty is well worth the cost of the benefits plan.