Benefits are profitable for employers and employees. Former recruit best talents and retain human capital, while later secure the future with professional and personal growth. However, without a well-design benefits strategy, all efforts and opportunities for fostering a connection with workers will be lost. Moreover, neglecting enough time for planning a benefits strategy will result in a loss of thousands of dollars for both a company and its workers.
We provide a detailed guide to discuss five crucial steps in benefits administration. But before getting down to business, let’s settle on the terms.
Benefits in a word
Employee benefits are non-wage compensations that a company provides to its workers. They are roughly divided into ones mandated by the law and optional ones that an employer can choose. However, each category’s boundaries fluctuate with time and in reaction to current issues, which demands a thorough understanding of the benefits policy.
Benefits administration is the process when a company designs and implements its benefits strategy to create a specific image of itself on the market. Without a doubt, benefits help in talent retainment, but they also attract the most suitable candidates. The right chosen benefits are a sure way for keeping the needed people in the company.
The obligatory benefits usually include:
- Social security and Medicare
- Pay for overtime working
- Workers’ compensation in the case of an injury
- Unemployment insurance
- Coronavirus leave
Voluntary benefits range drastically from various health insurances to discounts on food delivery. The top ones during the pandemia include help with childcare and financial wellness education. The company is responsible for keeping track of contemporary challenges to provide its employees with actual offers.
5 aspects of a compelling benefits package
These directions will guide you on the path of benefits planning and aid in comprising a solid strategy in employees’ interest.
1. Prepare the foundation – a knowledgeable HR team
An HR department must take all the burden of entangled benefits intricacies. The team will be responsible for managing numerous employees’ private lives, complying with the law, and ensuring the productivity of the strategy in the constantly changing environment. Such tasks require thorough education in the legal sphere and comprehensive knowledge in various aspects that benefits may touch. A possible solution for administration is to hire a professional like a benefits broker whose sole job is to tackle benefits management issues.
Additional tasks may include:
Quick reaction to the world’ shifts
One of the most required services during pandemia is access to mental health counseling. However, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation 2020 survey, only 22% of employers are satisfied with mental health providers’ availability in their provider networks. Such challenges will demand from the HR team innovative approaches to find needed services elsewhere.
Transparent communication with employees
Apart from the apparent need for talking about benefits plans, the HR department is also legally liable to inform workers of their rights. The government provides a collection of free-to-access posters for fostering better understanding among employees of their legally bound opportunities.
2. Design a benefits package to withstand the competition
Offering the same list of benefits year after year will harm the company’s reputation and lead the best candidates to better-prepared competitors. There is tough competition in the job market, and an adequate benefits strategy is a sure weapon to defeat the rivals. However, a close look at the field may provide great answers for tailoring own benefits package. Here are some features to pay attention to during the planning session:
Data from social science
Differences in generation and culture of employees highly influence the benefits preferences. Generation Z tends to seek flexible working hours, and some nationalities depend on a rigid hierarchy that doesn’t allow direct feedback. These nuances change the scene of communication about benefits and must be taken into account.
Research the market
You shouldn’t copy others’ benefits strategy, but an analysis of the field will give a perspective on fundamental benefits that employees anticipate to receive.
According to the 2019 SHRM survey, the most significant increase in any wellness benefit over the past five years has been purchasing standing desks. With an increase in working from home and forced isolation, people seek ways to stay fit and return to a healthy and active lifestyle. If employers react positively to such inclinations, they will boost employees’ productivity and strengthen the company’s bond.
3. Find balance in the benefits budget
One of the ways for better benefits administration is to seek ways to reduce costs. For example, 52% of midsize employers direct their employees to a specialty pharmacy because it conducts some drug therapies that can be administered at home at less cost and greater convenience for the patient and family. Some other variants to save money include:
- Consultations with tax advisors and health care broker that reveal hidden pitfalls of legal requirements.
- Considering non-monetary benefits like flexible working hours.
- Including forecasting in your HR strategy session, predictions from which will help prepare benefits supervision to possible threats.
4. Complete control in benefits management
This step includes two sides – a sole source and a digital solution. Firstly, all information concerning benefits administration should be kept collectively in an easy-to-access space. A possible solution will be a shared Google drive with all necessary folders for a company with a small number of employees. However, for better control and transparency, consider using a cloud platform for benefits administration that eliminates redundant paperwork and allows employees direct access to their benefits plans.
5. Improve education on employee benefits
Without proper knowledge of the benefits’ functions, workers won’t be able to use their opportunities to their fullest. The HR team is responsible for organizing a series of regular training for employees who should learn how to manage their benefits plans on current cases. Workshops and infographics on the office walls may become handy.
Any competitive strategy needs detailed planning. To avoid legal problems and miscommunication with employees, integrate digital platforms like Tabulera into your benefits administration. Transparency and direct access to one’s benefits plans will empower employees and create better ways of using provided resources.