“To be, or not to be, that is the question.” For many businesses, the decision to offer employee benefits is often a matter of adhering to relevant laws, like the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA), the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or other federal, state, or local rules and regulations. While following the law is mandatory, and we would never suggest that you shouldn’t, the reason that your company offers benefits should not rest on this alone. Why? Employee benefits can be a major factor in attracting and retaining top talent. To help you see the value of offering such benefits, we have comprised a list of six key reasons that will help you do exactly that. Here they are:
- Create Happy and Healthy Employees
Access to quality benefits, such as a comprehensive health insurance plan or onsite daycare benefits gives employees peace of mind, knowing that you have their best interests in mind. Furthermore, offering benefits like health insurance and on-site childcare will ensure that your employees can take good care of their health and that they have a nearby free or low-cost daycare, which reduces absenteeism and improves morale.
- Boost Employee Productivity
According to a recent study by MetLife, 60% of employers achieved higher productivity levels after they offered health insurance plans. Do you want your employees to be fully motivated and able to focus on their work? Providing health coverage takes a huge burden off their shoulders, allowing them to be more productive in the office.
- Attract & Retain Top Talent
The Society for Human Resources Management revealed in its 2016 Strategic Benefits Survey that “one-fifth (19%) of HR professionals indicated that in the past 12 months their organizations altered their benefits program to retain employees at all levels of the organization.” SHRM cited health insurance benefits as the most commonly improved benefits that employers offered. Employers leveraged better healthcare benefits to “retain (61%) and recruit (65%) employees at all levels of the organization” (November 13, 2016).
According to WillisTowersWatson, retirement plans can strongly influence employee behavior and attitudes, providing workers with a compelling reason to stay on the job longer. In turn, lower employee turnover reduces costs and improves productivity (How Do Retirement Plans Affect Employee Behavior? April 3, 2005).
- Healthier Workforce
According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), readily accessible benefits may lead to a healthier workforce, which could, in turn, reduce out-of-office time (Access to Health Services). For example, health insurance may increase the chances that an ill employee will seek treatment and get back to work faster. A healthier workforce means that you’re less likely to deal with missed workdays, scheduling issues, and other challenges; perhaps consider starting an employee wellness program. Also, access to benefits can help keep your employees healthier over time, which is a significant concern to the rapidly aging workforce.
- Better Employee Morale
Employee engagement and morale remain essential buzzwords this year. Media headlines report low levels of participation throughout organizations, leaving HR executives to ask what tools are available to them to increase employee morale. Offering benefits is one strategy to show that your company cares about its employees and wants to provide more value. When employees feel that your benefits plan shows that they are valued, and your plan is on par with what other top companies are offering, their performance will often improve as a result.
Companies that offer benefits attract top employees, may be viewed as more competitive regarding compensation, and generally may have more engaged and happier teams. As a result, evaluate your current benefits offerings and determine whether there is room for improvement.
- Make a Difference
Like a competitive salary, excellent benefits matter to your employees, and they can make or break their well-being at work and at home. The bottom line is that excellent benefits will allow your employees to live better lives, and when your employees feel like life is going great, they are likely to think that their jobs are going great. In fact, some may argue that the two are not mutually exclusive. That said, go ahead and make a difference in your employees’ lives by offering them a benefits package that allows them to live more productive, healthier, and less stress-free lives. They’ll pay you back ten-fold for having made a difference.
Offering employee benefits will inevitably cost more in the short-term, but the long-term ROI can significantly offset the costs. Fostering a safe, healthy, and caring culture that values and takes care of its employees will help your business stand apart from your industry rivals, and set it up for exponential growth and success now and well into the future.