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0 Comments | Apr 19, 2010

Benefits: Leverage the Power of Perception

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More than in any other employment program arena, perceived value plays an important role in the degree of positive impact your employee benefits program has on employee productivity and retention. It’s a phenomenon you can leverage to generate goodwill and improve motivation among your staff, with just a little effort.

There’s no shortage of benefit offerings. Pet insurance, supplemental insurance, flexible work hours, telecommute options, and Vacation Wellness™ programs are just a sampling of the wide array of available employee benefit options. While only a few employee benefits can be directly tied to a tangible business benefit (such as retention and healthcare cost reduction), all of your benefits become a strategic investment when you take the time to learn which programs have a high perceived value among your staff.

Some answers are obvious – discount monster truck tickets might not resonate at a maternity business – but you’ll never know which benefits are important to your employees unless you ask, and you shouldn’t ask until you’re ready to take action on the answers you get. If you’re ready to reevaluate your strategic investment in employee benefits, you might as well get the most bang for your buck.

Here’s an example. A business owner recently rolled out our Vacation Wellness™ program to his employees, with a dramatic response (his staff literally cheered and jumped up and down). This is a terrific example of the benefit’s perceived value among employees far exceeding its cost. If he had told his employees that he was giving them a raise in the amount that the Vacation Wellness™ program cost, his employees would have either rioted or laughed him off the stage – the raise would have seemed so small as to be insulting. But because he had taken the time to discover what was important to his staff, he was able to generate enormous goodwill with a very simple and inexpensive benefit program.

Employee benefits don’t have to be difficult, complicated, or expensive. They just have to be valuable to your staff. A little extra effort can go a long way toward making employee benefits a strategic retention and productivity investment. We’ve explored the impact of benefits on turnover in a recent white paper – take a look here.

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