Are Your Employee Benefits Competitive? Ask Yourself These 3 Questions

September 8, 2014

It’s no longer just a question of salary. Employees these days are scrutinizing your benefits package like never before.

In any economic environment and any industry, attracting and retaining the most qualified, dedicated, and loyal employees is always a challenge. Savvy entrepreneurs and small to mid-sized business owners recognize that their employees are their most valuable assets. 

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Today, though, competitive salaries alone aren’t enough to entice the very best prospects to join your team and stay with you long enough to maximize their contributions. A comprehensive benefits package that includes the most-desired options is the key to finding and retaining top employees. 

How do your benefits stack up? Here are three essential questions you need to ask today:

What benefits do my competitors offer?

Look at a list of your current employee benefits for the positions that are crucial to your success. With that list in hand, visit the employment opportunities pages on your competitor’s websites and examine their offerings. If your benefits don’t measure up, your competitors may be hiring the very people you need. 

Even if your benefits are on par with the competition, additional benefits in your compensation package could give you an edge. Surprisingly, you may find that some of those benefits have little impact on your employee costs.

What additional benefits do my employees want?

You’re probably already providing a standard set of benefits, like health and life insurance, a retirement investment program, and time-off options. 

MST blog 092414 image 2Beyond those, though, there are many benefits that can add value to your job offerings. Survey your current employees. Ask them what additional benefits would be most important to them. They’ll appreciate your interest, and you’re likely to hear that they’d welcome some of these extras:

  • Vision care
  • Flexible hours and schedules
  • Off-site work opportunities
  • Telecommuting
  • Job sharing
  • Flexible unpaid leave options
  • Education and training benefits
  • Fitness benefits
  • Long-term disability insurance

How much will additional benefits cost?

Some extra benefits, like flexible hours, telecommuting, unpaid leave, and others come without any serious additional cost to you. In fact, increased employee satisfaction due to them may mean gains in productivity

Other extras, of course, will affect your staffing costs. Get together with your accounting firm and have them run the numbers for different options. Weigh costs against the benefits of improving the quality and productivity of your team through hiring and retaining the best possible employees. 

Reaping the Rewards of Outstanding Employee Benefits

Gone are the days when workers were happy with a respectable salary. The baby boomers and the generations that followed entered the workforce with an understanding of the value of benefits, of employer flexibility, and of more creative compensation. They perhaps are more cognizant of their quality of life than the less-entitled generations that preceded them.

Attracting the best prospects and keeping them is a proven way to boost productivity and increase revenues. So if you’re seeing your best employee prospects opting for your competitors’ teams, or your current highly-valued employees are sending out resumes, a benefits package retooling may be in order.

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