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Employee Benefits

What Employee Benefits Do Your Workers Actually Want?

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What-Employee-Benefits-Do-Your-Workers-Actually-Want-1.jpgDo you hear your employees grumbling about their benefits packages? One of the reasons to offer employee benefits is to increase morale. But, if you’re overhearing lots of complaints, your plan may be having the opposite effect. When employees aren’t satisfied with their benefits, their morale can be affected. They may leave for another company that offers more desirable benefits.

To keep morale high, and to retain your employees, you may need to take a second look at your benefits plan. The plan should offer benefits that employees actually want. Here’s how to offer the employee benefits that your workers actually want.

Survey Your Employees about Benefits

Before you start making any changes to your benefits plan, you need to gather some data. This data should be specific to your employees and your company. If you research popular benefits online, you’ll find lists of benefits that other company’s employees want. Your employees may want the same things, but they may not.

You should find out exactly what your employees don’t like about your current plan. With this information, you can make strategic changes to your plan. Changing the plan without gathering accurate data first could make the plan even less attractive to employees.

To gather feedback about your benefits package, conduct an employee benefits survey. The survey should be confidential so employees feel comfortable giving you honest feedback. In the survey, ask questions to determine what employees don’t like about the current plan. You can also ask for input about potential benefits that you may offer in the future.

After everyone has completed the survey, analyze the results. You may notice that many employees dislike certain aspects of your benefits plan. Use this information to adjust your benefits offerings to make them more attractive. For example, if nearly everyone wants you to start covering vision care, try to find a way to offer it.

Offer Flexibility in Benefits

Today’s workforce is very diverse, so you may get a lot of conflicting responses from your survey. This can be a frustrating situation for employers. When one employee wants more dental coverage, but another doesn’t want any dental coverage at all, what can you do? The answer is flexible benefits.

Flexible benefits give employees the option to choose the benefits they want and will use. This helps increase employee engagement. You can offer employees a selection of possible benefits packages, and they can sign up for the ones they like the most. This increases the chances that everyone will find a plan they like.

Another option is to offer a health care spending account (HCSA). Employees can use these accounts to pay for any approved health expenses. A broad range of health expenses are approved, so employees can gain a lot of flexibility with this option.

How to Implement New Benefits

If your employees say they want new types of benefits, or flexible benefits, you probably want to offer them. However, you may be worried about the costs associated with new benefits. New types of benefits can mean more paperwork to fill out, and more compliance issues to keep track of. While you want to make your employees happy, you may not have the budget for more HR employees.

To control the costs of your new benefits, focus on streamlining benefits administration. Thanks to today’s technology, there’s no reason to spend time filling out paper forms or dealing with multiple spreadsheets. These tasks are tedious, and they can drive up your labour costs.

With a human resource information system (HRIS), small businesses can simplify HR processes. Your HR employees can work more efficiently. This lets you offer the benefits your employees want, without needing to increase your labour costs. You can fund an HRIS with your existing benefits dollars, making it an affordable option for small businesses.

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David Wright

David Wright

David is Senior Vice-President, Group Retirement Services of Apri Insurance Services Inc. He has almost 30 years of experience working with major global investment asset management firms. In addition to being an Apri partner, David plays a leadership role in the firm’s group pension and retirement consultant practice. He is responsible for sales and the development of wholesale sub advisory relationships. David is also active in his community as both a past director and board member of the Ojibway Club Pointe Au Baril, and the Toronto Golf Club.

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