People want to feel appreciated for the work they do.
Offering a competitive wage is one way that employers do this. Another way is to provide benefits that support the employee and possibly his/her family.
In the past, employers have worked to find ways to skimp and save money on benefits, either by cutting offerings, or making them more expensive to the employee.
I know one company that offered their people a ‘health care benefit’—it cost each employee $30 per month, but only covered one office visit per year! There was no major medical coverage, no specialist coverage—nothing. This employer was actually making money on the deal!!
That won’t work anymore.
If your benefits package is mediocre and/or expensive to the employee, they will often leave in search of a better benefits package—one that illustrates to the employee that their employer values them and wants to help them ease the challenges of modern living.
Now, more than ever, workers need help. They are struggling with expensive or non-existent childcare; they have parents who are elderly and in need of care. They are struggling to be healthy in the midst of long commutes, or they are trying to do good work from home in the midst of a pandemic.
Every detail of life is a hassle—whether taking and picking up the dry cleaning to taking the dog for a walk during the day while they are working.
More and more workers are looking to their employers for help easing the stress of life, in addition to creating their best life. Employers who realize this and offer stellar benefits that meet their employee’s needs will have an advantage.
Typically, a good health plan, vacation time, and some 401(k) match were seen as a good benefits package.
Now, these benefits are seen as baseline. They are expected. Workers leave when they see colleagues working for a company that will reimburse their tuition for further education—or better yet, help them pay down their student loans!
Workers are migrating to employers who are offering a menu of benefits to choose from that can ease their lives and help them feel cared for. These benefits can range from access to a dog walking service, to child care reimbursement, to elder care reimbursement, to flexible hours and unlimited time off. Health club memberships, healthy food service memberships, house cleaning services are also ways that help workers feel like their employers value them and are helping them find some stress relief.
If you work for a small company, is it still possible to create a benefits package that appeals to your employees, and that you can afford?
ASK THEM what they want, and what they need. If they have transportation issues, help them find a solution. If they need before school child care, help them find that and help them pay for it. Or, if possible, offer them the flexibility to begin work every day after their child has gone to school.
If you are creative and work with your team, AND IF YOU OFFER AN OTHERWISE TERRIFIC CULTURE, you can find ways to offer the kind of benefits that will retain your people and help them know that you value and appreciate them.