More and more I’m seeing new ‘out of the box’ benefits being offered to employees; things like flex schedules, tuition assistance, child care allowance, gym memberships and more. These types of benefits are very attractive when you compare them to traditional perks of the job, mainly because they seem to be few and far between. Think about it though, what does your company offer in terms of employee benefits? Are you meeting your mark with your employee demographic? What I mean by that is if you have an office full of Millennials and Generation Y, offering more non-traditional voluntary benefits will be more attractive to your employees and your recruiting process. However, if you have mostly Baby Boomers and Generation X they might value traditional benefits more than offering pet insurance or adoption assistance. It all falls on knowing your employees needs and wants.
Find the Majority
As I mentioned in my opening, your employee demographic is the real driver in developing effective benefit offerings. If you don’t know your employees, you won’t be able to meet their needs. Take the time to find out who the majority is in your office then you can begin throwing ideas around. If there isn’t a clear cut winner, include options for various generations and lifestyles to be respectful of everyone’s desires and create a more complete selection.
Building Benefits Your Employees Want
If you’re serious about offering benefits your employees actually want, the best way to do this is to survey them. Keep in mind not everyone will agree, surprising I know, but this is a great way to find out what is important to your workforce. Throw out a dozen or so ideas that you believe your workforce would enjoy and let them vote on it. That way the hard decisions are made for you and everyone wins. A Metlife study concluded that employee satisfaction is at its highest at companies offering 11 or more benefits.
Don’t Completely Cut Out the Traditional Benefits
Even if your employee base is mostly Generation Y, you want to be mindful of the ‘veterans’ in your office so to speak. Don’t completely do away with their term life insurance or critical illness insurance, offer these (or other well-utilized traditional benefits) along with more non-traditional benefits. If you’re only offering one or the other you’re missing the mark. Note that above I mentioned employee satisfaction being highest when there are 11 or more benefit offerings; this statistic clearly shows you have room for both traditional and nontraditional benefits.