A Useful Guide to Employee Benefits Programs – Everything You Need to Know

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Your employees are an important part of the business and without them, your company wouldn’t be what it is currently. Looking after your staff is one of the ways that keeps your workforce happy and content within both their role and who they’re working for.

 Employee benefits programs are a great way to reward staff for their efforts at work, as well as giving them a number of benefits to help them out both in the workplace and outside of it. Every company offers something different but not all of them are as effective as they could be.

A Useful Guide to Employee Benefits Programs - Everything You Need to Know

Having employee benefits that are useful is more effective than first thought. One Medical conducted research and found that 69% of employees would opt to chooose one job over another, if it provided better benefits. 

In this guide, you’ll understand everything you need to know when it comes to employee benefit programs. What should be included in these benefits? Do you focus on reward, investment, or both? Hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll have all you need to create an excellent employee benefits program.

What are employee benefits programs?

Almost every organization will have some form of employee benefits program in place. Some are rich in benefits, whereas others may only offer a limited number, perhaps due to cost. 

Employee benefits are seen as non-cash rewards that have a financial cost to the employers. This can be anything from paid holidays to pensions and company cars. Some businesses will offer private healthcare, investment opportunities, or free computer equipment.

 

The more offered, the more enticing it can be for an employee to remain within the company. For prospective candidates for a job, it’s a good way of swaying them to choose your business above others. 

These packages can also vary in terms of who it’s for and how influential they are to the business. As a result, staff members might build their way up when it comes to their career path in order to be eligible for more employee benefits.

Should you opt for reward, investment, or both?

There are different types of employee benefit programs that focus on certain areas of the employee’s wants and needs. As a business, should you opt for rewards, investments, or both? Let’s have look at some of the typical opportunities that a business would provide.

Healthcare

Typically dental, vision, and general medical insurance can be provided by employees. It gives the employees peace of mind that their health is being looked after. For some businesses, that same healthcare may be offered to immediate members of the family too.

Stocks and profit-sharing

Companies will often provide bonuses or opportunities to buy stocks from the business. As such, it may be beneficial to employees whose stock prices rise and they make profits on the stock they own.

These stocks may often be given as a reward for hard work, rather than having to buy them.

Retirement and pension benefits

Some businesses like to look after their staff in the run-up to their retirement and even beyond their leave of the company. While extra benefits beyond retirement might not be offered by all businesses, most provide a pension that may be a certain percentage contribution.

This percentage may also rise if the employee decides to contribute more or the company chooses to offer more contributions.

Wellness benefits

Wellness benefits are typically given sparingly, but you might come across some that have plenty of options on offer. For example, gym membership discounted entertainment subscriptions, etc.

In regards to whether you should be offering rewards, investments, or both as part of the employee benefits program, a mixture of both is often the best. Most businesses tend to do so due to employees nowadays wanting more from their benefits package.

Five ideas for company perks and benefits

There are a variety of ideas for company perks out there to choose from. A business doesn’t need to go with the generic options and may wish to add on to it with a variety of other benefits. Here are five ideas that your business could utilize when it comes to your benefits package offered.

1.  Monthly lunches or social events.

For those who love to go out and socialize, offering monthly lunches or team get-togethers where employees get a free meal or food voucher is a great incentive. It often provides more motivation for staff to work harder and to use these opportunities as a chance to celebrate the team or organization’s recent wins.

These monthly social events or lunches don’t always have to be an extravagant occasion, they could just be ordering in a selection of sandwiches to the office at lunchtime and getting everyone in to enjoy and socialize with others. They’re a small benefit but one that many sociable staff members will appreciate having.

2.  A birthday day off.

Having a birthday day off is a great benefit and one that many staff members will appreciate. After all, not everyone wants to work on a day that should be celebrating them. Even those that love their workplace might appreciate having the time off to go and do what they want for their birthday, whether it’s staying in or going out for the day.

It’s an extra day of annual leave but it’s something that will be appreciated by a lot of staff members.

3.   Cycle to work scheme.

Keeping employees fit and healthy is important to aiding workplace productivity. The last thing any business wants is run-down staff that gets ill regularly and can’t work. In January 2022, the US alone had 7.8 million workers with an illness-related work absences.

 

A lack of workers means a lack of business progression, which is certainly not ideal. That’s why cycle-to-work schemes have become very popular as a result because it encourages staff members to try out cycling instead of taking public transport or using their car to get to work.

1.  Gifting stocks as bonuses.

Being able to gift stocks as bonuses is something that would be welcomed by many who enjoy investing. However, even if they’re not investors, they always have the option of withdrawing the stock or keeping it in for a period of time until they’re ready to take it out.

The stocks themselves could be business stock but it could also be stock that’s part of other businesses which could be beneficial. In the case of gifting the company’s own stock, there’s no real loss for the business, especially as more employees are likely to keep it in than take it out.

2.  Discounts on local cafes and restaurants.

Providing discounts is a great way to help those employees who may not always make ends meet. As a business, you may have plenty of swaying power when it comes to local businesses that offer food and drink. You could possibly work with these businesses and offer regular customers to its doorstep in return for discounts.

If there’s a popular spot that does great lunch deals for example, your staff may opt to go to that place more often if the business has a discount card or code available.

How to improve your current benefits program

Improving your current benefits program is certainly necessary if it’s not the best that it can be. Here are a few helpful tips on how to improve your current benefits program in 2022.

Ask your current employees what’s missing

Speak to your current employees to find out what they’d like in their benefits package. Of course, there might be some suggestions that are a little too out of the company’s budget to provide but there might be some that are suitable and you’ve not thought about.

Offer elevated packages for certain staff members

As certain staff members move up in their career paths, it’s important to reward those with new benefits and those packages that might be slightly more elevated than the standard. It gives your staff something to work hard for and that they’ll appreciate receiving once they secured that promotion or change of role.

Assess your benefits program annually

As with anything in business, keeping an eye on how something is performing is important. The same goes for your benefits program. There will likely be something that you could change or that needs updating to modernize your current package offered.

Introduce an employee benefits program that retains your staff for longer

An employee benefits program is something that is highly effective for providing workplace satisfaction to your employees. With that in mind, it’s good to introduce an employee benefits program if you haven’t already. Or you can improve the current one you have to make it better.

 

Author Bio: Natalie Redman (LinkedIn)

Freelance writer for many clients across multiple industries. Natalie has two years of copywriting experience. Natalie has a wide range of experience copywriting for web pages for businesses across many industries. She’s also an owner of two blog websites and a Youtube content creator