How to make use of employee benefits?

The short answer is to acknowledge your team’s diversity and adjust the benefits strategy to fit the individual needs. However, the actual process requires more details and understanding.

Employee benefits are a fundamental part of a company’s HR strategy. They help in recruiting human capital and play a vital role in retainment and empowering talents. However, this tool will be wasted without wise supervision and may even harm the company’s image on the market. But first, let’s get the terms correct.

employee benefitsEmployee benefits are various compensations that employers provide their workers apart from agreed-on salary. Basically, they are divided into two categories – ones bound by law and others optional and chosen by the employer. Nowadays, there is a digital solution for employers to automate benefits administration, but the core strategy must be designed upfront to make the most out of the benefits.

The process requires a fundamental knowledge of the social environment, namely of the employees’ circumstances and needs. Luckily, social science is capable of giving us help with that. In the article, we mark essential criteria like generations and cultures that invisibly intersect the working space and influence everyone’s behavior. Moreover, we’ll discuss the corporate environment’s diversity and how to adjust the benefits strategy to fit the employees’ needs.

The diversity of the working environment

Imagine being invited for dinner with your friend’s family. However, your friend is Chinese, and her parents lead a traditional lifestyle. That’s why you’re horrified by constant thoughts on how to dress, what present to choose, and, actually, whether your behavior will be at all appropriate.

The confusion is comprehensible, but we tend to remain oblivious to it in the working environment. Our background, beliefs, and views for the future shape our working approaches and the benefits we prefer to choose.

Generations

The reason is that a certain period in the past shaped their worldviews and, consequently, their values. Check the infographic to see more.

  • Traditionalists, born 1925 to 1945
  • Baby Boomer, born 1946 to 1964
  • Generation X, born 1965 to 1980
  • Millennials, born 1981 to 2000
  • Generation Z, born 2001 to 2020

However, these frames don’t strictly determine one’s decisions. Even though gen Z is quite far from the retirement age, their consciousness and desire to have complete control of their lives lead them to think about the far future at a young age. That’s why it’s wise to base your benefits strategy on generations’ values and leave a place for choice and correction of individual plans.

Cultures

A multinational company reminds of a worldview’s battlefield. A task may be the same, but different people will have separate approaches and visions of the result. The same is with the benefits that employees value most.

The Culture Map‘ by Erin Meyer addresses the issue of a tangled business environment and gives practical solutions for communication with the globalized human capital. Evidently, taking every difference into account is an impossible challenge, but allowing employees freedom of choice will help fit most of the needs.

Employee benefits packages

Jobs are important. Yet they are not the whole life. Without acknowledging this simple fact, companies continue to lose employees and face a constant reduction in productivity. The solution is benefits. They link an employee’s working and personal life, where a company can have its share.

Here is an example. An employee Adam asks for a flexible schedule to have time for picking his son from a kindergarten. Obviously, it’s an inconvenience for the company’s management. However, with a change of perspective, you’ll not only help Adam and assure his loyalty to the company, but you’ll also increase his productivity. The feeling of security and happiness makes one more able to deal with the working tasks. That’s why it’s profitable for the company to allow Adam a flexible schedule and even offer help with childcaring.

Obligatory employee benefits

They differ from state to state and change yearly, so you need to check the current requirements. However, the basic set of legally mandatory benefits include:

  • Medical insurance and FICA, a tax for Social Security and Medicare.
  • Unemployment insurance.
  • Family and medical leave.
  • Compensation for workers.

The HR team must be skilled to adjust the benefits plan for every legal requirement, taking into account variables like full-time and part-time employees, the number of workers in the company, and a state’s demands.

Optional employee benefits

These include the mentioned above childcare and various kinds of insurances like dental, vision, or life protection. Due to the periodically announced lockdowns and strict health measures, telehealth became a priority of choice. Moreover, according to the 2020 Mercer report, around 65% of employees seek financial wellness education.

Whatever the age and nationality, the key priority now is security and confidence in the future day. And yet, there are different paths to reach this sureness, so the company should leave a space for choosing.

The solution instead of the conclusion

A solid benefits package is your advantage in the competitive sphere. Show your readiness to offer the foundational optional benefits that provide security and correspond to the time’s challenges.

But most importantly – make flexibility your core feature. Give employees a choice to select and manage their benefits packages. However, don’t forget that improperly administered employee benefits are a source of potential financial leakage, which can cost hundreds of thousands for the company in benefit write-offs. Nowadays, Digital platforms like Tabulera streamline benefits administration and create standardized processes inside the HR and finance departments that are easy to follow and leave an audit trail.

Thus, benefits are a lucrative tool for working with employees. Instead of seeing them as a burden, turn them into the power for employees’ retainment.