The national unemployment rate in the U.S. in July 2021 was 5.4 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While this is good news for job seekers, employers are finding it more difficult to attract and retain employees. Properly structuring employee benefit plans can help modern businesses draw in talent and drastically reduce turnover.
Ways To Structure Benefit Plans
A comprehensive employee benefits plan can directly contribute to a company’s overall productivity and performance. However, structuring a plan to retain a general workforce is not always easy. Here are strategies to make the process easier.
1. Perform A Needs Assessment
A needs assessment can be used to determine what benefits are needed most by employees. This assessment may include an employer’s perception of what employees require in benefit plans, as well as an in-depth evaluation of what workers actually want. Needs assessments also may take into account the offerings of industry competitors to determine what works and what does not.
2. Communicate With Employees
Employees know best when it comes to what benefits are most desirable. Communication with workers is a critical component in structuring benefit plans that will satisfy the masses. Create awareness across the organization about new or existing benefits and request feedback from employees about what benefits they use and which ones are missing from the current plan.
3. Ensure That Compensation Is Competitive
Many businesses struggle to find employees, meaning competition is high to attract and retain the most talented workers. Providing employees with a competitive salary and benefits is one of the best ways to recruit and retain workers. According to a Glassdoor survey, 45 percent of employees say that the reason they quit their job was due to salary, followed by career advancement opportunities, and benefits.
4. Include The Most Sought-After Benefits
Some employee benefits are more desirable than others. Consider adding more benefits to the company plan to attract and retain employees. Some of these include:
- Healthcare — Health insurance and wellness programs have always remained a staple in benefit plans. Sufficient health coverage is more important than ever in the midst of a global pandemic.
- Lower Copayments — High deductible health plans can add extra stress for lower wage earners, with potential out of pocket medical expenses eating up a large portion of the annual wages. Customized health plans designed to reduce common medical expenses can help alleviate that stress and increase retention.
- Remote Work – The ability to work from home has become increasingly popular for safety, convenience, and to decrease commute time. Consider offering remote options on a part-time or full-time basis.
- Paid Time Off — Offering employees paid time off (PTO) allows them time to recharge and prepare to return to work without concerns about not getting paid while away from work.
- Flexible Hours – Life is unpredictable and many employees struggle to balance life and work responsibilities. Flexible hours give workers the chance to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
- Paid Family Leave – Companies that offer paid family leave have an edge over businesses that overlook this essential benefit. Families are constantly growing and experiencing hardships that require time away from work.
- Educational Assistance – Employee benefits like tuition and student loan assistance are highly attractive to employees, especially a young workforce consisting mostly of students.
- Fitness Perks – Consider alternative benefits to add to a structured benefit plans, such as gym memberships, weight loss programs, and similar fitness perks that can help employees become healthier and more fit.
5. Periodically Review The Plan’s Effectiveness
Many businesses make the mistake of creating an employee benefits plan that works in the present,but does not grow with the company. It is important to periodically evaluate the status of the plan and its effectiveness. Ensure that the benefits are meeting the ongoing needs of employees, that they continue to remain competitive, and comply with all state and federal regulations. Make adjustments as necessary to keep the plan attractive to both job candidates and employees.
6. Look To The Future When Choosing Benefits
It is not enough to consider an employee’s current benefits needs. Also, consider employees’ future needs, such as offering a 401(k) or another retirement savings plan. A strong retirement plan can help recruit and retain employees, especially when businesses offer an attractive employer match on contributions.
A 401(k) is a voluntary retirement savings account in which employees can contribute a portion of their pre-tax earnings. Employers are responsible for administering and controlling the plan and may choose to match contributions on a tax-deductible basis.
Contact An Employee Benefit Plans Consulting Firm
Building a comprehensive and attractive employee benefits plan is one of the best and easiest ways to keep a workforce happy and healthy. New City Insurance is an employee benefits consulting firm that helps businesses in all industries develop and structure benefits plans that keep employees motivated and productive. For more information on how to structure benefits plans to retain a general workforce, contact the employee benefits experts at New City Insurance.