The best employee benefits go a long way in keeping your team happy, but what exactly are those benefits?
When you hire new employees, you want to attract the best people you can. Hiring and training someone is an investment in your company, and like any smart business person, you want a healthy ROI. That means you don’t have to just recruit the right people, you also have to give them an incentive to stick around.
A competitive salary is only one part of the equation, though. Good employees want to be paid fairly, yes, but it’s often the benefits package that helps attract and retain people. Quality health insurance and a generous vacation package are only the beginning. The best employee benefits programs go far beyond the expected and play an important role in employee satisfaction.
Those traditional benefits are still highly desired, though. Glassdoor points to a survey ranking health insurance, vacation time, a pension plan, and a 401(k) plan as the four best employee benefits, so don’t dump the basics just yet.
As vital as the traditional benefits are, however, there isn’t always much to differentiate one benefits package from another. So what is it that keeps employees happy at their jobs?
5 of the Best Employee Benefits
1. Parental leave
David Seidman, a security engineering manager at Google, says that “Absolutely nothing compares to being able to spend time with your baby. You'll never get a second chance. I'm incredibly grateful that Google gave me three full months of paid leave to spend with my newborn son this year. No other benefit even comes close.”
2. Flexible schedule
Erin Ollila is a business owner who helps brands develop content to build relationships with clients and customers. “My favorite part about running my own business is that I can work at any point throughout the day. This allows me to juggle work, parenting, and other relationships in a seamless manner. If I prioritize my days, I'm able to show up as my best self in all areas of my life.” Offering a flexible schedule isn’t just for business owners, either. PR Newswire points out that 54% of full-time employees consider a flexible schedule “the perk that matters most to their job satisfaction.”
3. Accommodating other interests
Alane Spinney works at Ellie’s Bakery, in Providence, Rhode Island, but she’s also an artist, and she runs a soup kitchen on Tuesday afternoons. “Ellen [owner of Ellie’s] makes sure that I can keep my gig at the City Meal Site feeding the hungry … every Tuesday. Likewise, when I was awarded an artist’s residency to work in Maine, the time off was there with [her] blessings.”
Your employees want to learn and grow in their jobs, and a positive mentorship can foster that growth. Executive coach Severin Sorensen points out that mentors can help “employees identify their talents and aspirational interests.”
5. Immediate benefits
If there’s one thing employees like, it’s not having to wait for benefits to kick in. Time tracking software company TSheets gets 4.9 stars out of 5 on Glassdoor for their 401(k) program that not only matches employee contributions up to 6%, but also “goes into effect immediately upon hiring.”
Benefits + Perks ≠ Company Culture
Don’t mistake benefits and perks for company culture. If you’ve spent any time looking through job listings, many up-and-coming companies offer perks and benefits designed to attract the best talent. Ping pong tables, catered lunches, and bring-your-dog-to-work day are nice. A refrigerator stocked with soda, a free Fitbit, and movie nights are lovely perks, too. Those perks don’t, however, make up for poor management, long hours, or sinking morale.
The best employee benefits take into account the reality that employees face in their lives outside of work. A poll published by Gallup notes that over half of employees want a retirement plan, flextime, and bonuses, while 35% of employees would change jobs to have the ability to work off-site full time.
People also love working for companies that offer student loan debt assistance. In fact, the PricewaterhouseCoopers benefits package gets a 4-star rating on Glassdoor with over 1,100 reviews, and student debt paydown assistance is mentioned frequently.
And though people enjoy the catered lunches that so many companies now offer, free snacks and food came in at number 16 (out of 50) in one survey of the best employee benefits. In another study, free snacks ranked 12th (out of 17) for the most important benefits a company can offer.
So if you want to keep your employees happy (and you do because it’s good for your business), treat people well and don’t try to replace real benefits with perks that offer minimal true value to the people you work with.
Are you trying to find a benefits package that works for your business? Get in touch with your Pekin Insurance agent today and find out more about our employee benefits products.