Does your company really need a benefits strategy?

 

The current job market is a challenge if you’re an employer seeking to maintain an ideal workforce. Good salaries are no longer enough when you want to attract and retain the best employees. Employees also want meaningful benefits and to better understand the benefits they already have. They want exciting new benefit options, even if they can’t tell you what they are.

It sounds like a tough assignment, but you can transform your benefits program to meet your employees’ needs and some of their wants. A simple three-step benefits strategy can help you pull all the pieces together.

  • Employee engagement
  • Management support
  • Funding

Step #1 Ask your employees. Listen to their answers.

Gallup.com recommends that you “… listen to your best people…” They built a successful company by doing exactly that, Their recent research determined that the best employees don’t want more meetings and memos. They just want better communication.

Translation: They want to be heard.

Listening is easy, even when you have a diverse workforce that includes old and young, men and women, married and single. Their input will be as diverse as their demographics. It will give you the valuable feedback and engagement you need to make sound benefits decisions on everyone’s behalf.

Employees don’t want an hour-long benefits feedback meeting sabotaging their workday. Try a less invasive option.

  • Craft a quick online benefits survey.
  • List potential benefit options and ask for suggestions.
  • Send every employee a link or distribute it via your social media page.
  • Use paper questionnaires as a backup for those who prefer traditional methods.

 The employee feedback you receive will help you create a roadmap for revamping your benefits program. It will also give your employees a chance to feel that you’re listening to them and value their opinions.

Because the process is all about opening up the doors to communication, consider using the opportunity to provide an online, plain language benefits booklet explaining the existing employee benefits in a way everyone will understand.

Step #2 Calculate the costs

With the data from your surveys, you can build an employee benefits wish list. You’ll need additional research for a cost analysis. While some benefits will require a financial investment, others may simply demand a change in management attitude.

Of course, you’ll retain basic benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, vacations, sick pay, and tuition reimbursement. Based on employee feedback you might also consider popular options such as flexible work hours, on-site daycare, off-site social events, wellness programs, student loan assistance, and company exercise facilities.

Step #3 Get management support

Management support will be less of a hard sell if you’ve kept them involved throughout the process.

  • Inform management of each step along the way.
  • Provide clear information on options and costs.
  • Recommend employee contribution amounts for optional benefits?
  • Outline the ultimate benefits to the company.

Tailor your own benefits strategy

Your strategy doesn’t have to look exactly like this, but it can be equally simple. Once you’ve designed and used your strategy, you can implement the process again when it’s time to reexamine your benefits package. Your strategy can ultimately become the go-to HR tool when you need an edge to help you build a strong, productive workforce.

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