Want to keep employees? Highlight your benefits and embrace 5 trends

With four out of 10 employees actively looking for a new job, there’s a renewed emphasis on retention. One way to remain the employer of choice is to highlight your company’s total value proposition for employees — including your significant investment in employer-sponsored health benefits.

Savvy employers have been using total compensation statements for about 20 years, and the newest approaches go beyond paper statements to web-based tools that provide on-demand information about your total investment in each employee.

Seeing is believing

There’s a strong link between how well employees understand their total rewards programs and their likelihood to believe it’s good, according to Aon Hewitt.

An added plus: Employees who believe their needs are being met are six times more likely to be engaged than others.

What to include? According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), total compensation statements typically highlight:

  • This includes the annual salary or hourly rate of pay plus commissions, bonuses, etc.
  • Health care. Employers generally pay 75 percent to 80 percent of employees’ health care benefit, or roughly $4,000 per employee, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
  • Wellness plans. This may include rewards for staying healthy, gym memberships, fitness discounts and more.
  • Spending accounts. This includes including flex spending plans, health savings accounts, health reimbursement accounts and dependent care accounts.
  • Paid leave, vacation time and sick time top the list. Also be sure to include holidays, personal days, parental leave, bereavement, military pay, jury duty, etc.
  • Life insurance and disability insurance are rarely top-of-mind but provide important safety nets for employees.
  • Employee assistance programs help your staff with personal problems and/or work-related issues.
  • Retirement contributions. Highlight your 401(k) or 403(b) plan and use this opportunity to encourage participation, especially if your company offers a contribution match. A fortunate few employees are also eligible for pension plans or other defined retirement benefits.
  • Educational support. This may be an educational reimbursement program or opportunities to attend seminars or participate in onsite training.

Companies that cannot afford to implement customized statements would be wise to get creative: Highlight the financial value of employee benefits during operational meetings or create quizzes and contests that encourage employees to understand your investments in their benefits.

Trends to tip the scale

How times have changed. While your parents may have worked 40 years for one company, typical Millennials will have 15-20 jobs throughout their careers. This creates a costly nightmare for employers in terms of recruitment, productivity and corporate culture.

Providing up-to-date benefits can tip the balance in your favor. Consider these trends:

  1. Expanded wellness programs. Think beyond flu shots and health screenings. Some of the newest trends in wellness include free (or cheap) fitness tracking devices, themed dress-up days, game leagues, and innovative workplaces (like collaborative work spaces and standing/treadmill desks), according to the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.
  2. Total well-being programs. This new take on wellness helps employees manage stress, improve resiliency and conquer financial challenges. The 2015 World at Work survey found that nearly 75 percent of employers will increase expenditures on well-being programs over the next two years.
  3. Holistic care. Americans are spending nearly $34 billion out-of-pocket on complementary care. Consider extending employees’ coverage to acupuncture and massage – favorites of younger, non-traditional employees.
  4. Consumerism. Today’s employees aren’t passive consumers of health services. They expect anytime/anywhere access to care (via telehealth and retail-center health care), transparency tools with price and quality information, and rewards for health lifestyles.
  5. New perks. Many millennial business owners are offering flex time, free food, telecommuting, laundry services, onsite daycare and nap rooms, according to The Principal FinancialSM Well-being Index
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