0 Comments | May 06, 2010

Top 5 Employee Benefit Package Tips

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Human resources employee benefits folks have a difficult problem at the moment: how to optimize employee benefit packages to take advantage of best practices for employee retention, maximize employee wellness benefit programs investment returns, and lower employment costs at the same time.

The CFO isn’t asking for much, right?

Happily, the problem isn’t as daunting as it might seem at first. But like all other things in life, you can rarely reap value without spending something in return. You’re going to have to spend a little bit of money on your employee benefit package in order to make a lot of money in return.

So do it smartly.

  1. Invest in employee health and wellness programs. Healthcare costs are expected to double over the next six years, and there’s nobody around who thinks recent healthcare legislation will do anything but accelerate that expense increase. Saving a ton on healthcare requires spending a little money on effective employee wellness benefit programs. The good news is that the good ones have a high return on your investment.
  2. Invest in employee retention wellness programs. What is that? Quite simply, if your talent doesn’t like your employee benefits related to health/wellness, they are four times more likely to leave your company. And we’ve found that voluntary turnover already costs the average 100-person professional firm between $3M and $4.5M per year.
  3. Follow best practices for employee retention in your employee benefit plan. It’s relatively easy to figure out what’s important to your staff – you just have to ask – but you must be prepared to spend the money when they tell you what they want. Don’t be afraid to spend a little cash here. Convincing just one $80K/year employee to stay with you can save you over $240K in replacement costs. How much would you spend to save $240K? That $20K/year benefit doesn’t seem so costly in that light.
  4. Think nontraditionally. In lean times, businesses tighten belts and withdraw benefit offerings. You can easily stand out from competitors without spending much money at all. In fact, you should consider differentiating your firm’s employee benefit package from the competition’s offering as one of your primary employee retention techniques. Offer unique programs such as wellness vacation benefits, flexible work hours, telecommute options, and the like.
  5. Do your homework – be sure you’re getting the most mileage out of your employee benefit dollar. For example, most employee health and wellness programs focus on the low end of the cost spectrum, and ignore the costliest employee health problems: stress and depression. If you’re looking for employee wellness program ideas that tackle stress and depression directly, consider Vacation Wellness.™ It’s an easy, inexpensive, and powerful way to influence positive outcomes.

Don’t be afraid to spend money to save it. While everyone else is huddled in fear waiting for more bad news, you can seize the opportunity to make your firm’s employee benefit package among the most competitive in your industry – for very little money.