Top Employee Benefits & Compensation Ideas for a Diverse Workforce

Posted by Shreya Dutta
August 23, 2018

Employees are a company’s most valuable asset. As a manager, do you actually believe that or just pay lip service?

We’ll assume you do believe. So, what are you doing to appreciate your employees?

Employees love benefits. They want appreciation and recognition for their hard work. Not to forget that many employees apply for organizations depending on the perks and benefits offered by that company.

Business Dictionary defines Employee Benefits as the

Indirect and non-cash compensation paid to an employee. These are benefits given over and above salaries and wages.

Also called fringe benefits, these are non-monetary benefits offered to attract and retain employees.

But they also want benefits which haven’t already been done and dusted and actually make sense.

Employee Benefits like unlimited vacation and work-from-home privileges are things of the past now. Research shows employee job satisfaction has declined dramatically in the last 20 years.

Job satisfaction is directly tied up with employee satisfaction. And a downfall of employee satisfaction will ultimately lead to decrease of commitment. Thereby causing lack of motivation, efficiency and finally, productivity.

While there are many factors which may cause this, one of the main reasons is repetitive and tedious benefits.

Employees Prefer Benefits Over Pay Raise

Glassdoor's Employee Engagement Survey

Similarly, 89% of younger employees aged 18-34 and 84% employees aged 35-44 favor benefits to pay raises.

So, what non-monetary benefits can you provide to retain these employees?

Below listed are some employee benefits which employees feel are better than pay raises:

Health Insurance

The organization pays certain amounts of money to cover for an employee’s medical care. These include insurance for losses from accidents, disability, sudden death, dismemberment. Other types of medical care involve dental checkups, biometric screening, etc.

Disability Insurance

The employer pays for the worker’s salary if the worker becomes disabled or is unable to work. An employer can provide either short-term or long-term disability insurance depending on the needs of the employee.

Short-term covers for the employee for up to 6 months while long-term covers a worker’s lifetime’s salary.

Tuition Reimbursement

Organisations offering employees to pay back for their education expenses is a great employee benefits idea. Employees have to pay on their own before taking up a course. But once the course gets over, the employer decides to pay either a part or the full amount for the course.

Corporate Discounts

Refers to the discounts offered to employees on the original price of goods or services by the employer. These are discounts that are developed exclusively for corporate employees. Companies also use this method to test their products internally before launching it to the market.

Paid Vacation

As the name suggests, these are benefits where an employee is paid even when he takes time off from work. An extension of this benefit is providing unlimited vacation. Many companies providing this benefit have seen it be the most popular benefit among their employees. And employees also tend to take almost the same amount of vacations as they used to earlier.

Retirement Plans

A great employee benefits idea is providing your employees with financial security. These are done through various methods like pension schemes, 401(k)s and more.

Paid Sick Leaves

Taking care of your health is important. When employees will be weak but still have to work, it will directly affect their productivity and efficiency. So creating a policy where they can avail paid sick leaves is a great way to show that you care for your employees’ well being.

Performance Bonus

Everyone wants to and loves being appreciated. And when you appreciate employees for their hard work and achievements, they continue to perform well. Rewarding them for their performance motivates and encourages them to achieve goals more effectively.

Office Perks

Organisations now try to merge both work and life together. They give out perks designed to make office fun and joyous. Some of these perks involve having board games at work, nap rooms, free food.

Stock Options

The company offers the employee the right to buy some shares in the company at an agreed upon price (generally lower than the market) by a particular date. This helps employees have ownership over something that they are working to build too. It makes them feel as one with the organization.

Paid Parental Leaves

It’s providing paid time off to employees to take care of their child or a family member. Parental leaves can be in the form of paternity leaves, maternity leaves or even adoption.

Childcare Facilities

It is a type of child care sponsored or managed by an employer. The employer usually provides working parents the privilege to find work-life balance. Some ways are through company provided child care spaces, covering or sharing the expenses of the child with the parents.

Wellness Programs

These are programs initiated by the company to encourage employees to maintain a healthy lifestyle. These include programs such as gym memberships, weight-loss competition, smoking cessation, health screenings.

Employee Training

Another great way to retain talented employees is by letting them grow. Provide them with the resources and the capital required to undertake training courses. You can also do the same for new employees to enhance their skills. Some ways are by paying them to attend lectures and conferences, e-learning methods and more.

Profit Sharing

It is a compensation program to award eligible employees a share of the company’s profits. The company contributes a portion of its pre-tax profits to a pool that gets distributed among eligible employees. This motivates employees to work towards increasing the profitability of the company. It also enhances commitment to organizational goals.

Some more unconventional employee benefits are :

  • Pet-Friendly Office
  • Free Food and Beverages
  • Movie, Concert and Match Tickets
  • Free Library Membership
  • Paid time off to Volunteer
  • Clubs- photography, board game, music clubs

Top 7 Benefits Millennials Want

A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work anymore. With the rise of millennials and diversity in the workforce, the need to implement various employee benefits packages is high.

Millennials now take up almost 35% of the workforce. They are smart, ambitious, energetic and will not conform to the traditional norms. And they are good at their work.

So, what do you do?

Well, you give them what they want. The benefits they need and try your best to fulfill their expectations.

Below mentioned are 7 most sought-after benefits for millennials:

Employee Benefits for Millennials

Student Loan Assistance

Education loan is the one of the biggest cause of stress among millennials. Millennials seek employers who help them pay off their student loans. This might also be one of the best ways to attract and retain the best minds of this generation.

State-of-the-art Technology

Millennials have grown up with everything available to them at all times. Information has forever been at the tip of their fingers. And they expect the same at work. Equip these digital natives with the best and latest technological devices for excellent job performance. That’s how they’ve always functioned.

Bonuses through Time-Off

Millennials are more focused on creating a fulfilling lifestyle than a fulfilling work-life. And they work hard to create this lifestyle. But research has shown that 25% of millennials feel nervous when requesting for time off. But employers are trying to change this. They are moving from traditional monetary bonuses to providing paid weekend getaways.

Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives

This is a generation which wants to work and give back to society. Their engagement in philanthropic causes has been seen to be constantly increasing. With employers looking for ways to engage these millennials, the best way would be to involve them with NGOs, red cross societies, and other such organizations.

Remove The 9-5 System

These are employees who don’t believe in conforming to the traditional workforce norms. They don’t think that working 9-5 is the only way to be productive. Reports also show that 45% of employees would prefer flexible scheduling over pay. The rise of the gig economy and self-employment is another reason to change the 9-5 system at your workplace.

Remote Working

Remote working or work from home opportunities is the ultimate way to seal the deal. Millennials love working at places where they don’t have to be constantly and physically present to do their job. Almost 92% of millennials have desired the option to work from home, even if for only once a week.

Personal growth development

Giving millennials the means and the time to pursue their hobbies is another great way to engage them. One way to do this is paying for their hobbies. Another way is by setting up diverse clubs as per the interests of the employees. These clubs may include book clubs, photography clubs, drama clubs, etc.

Some more benefits sought by millennials are napping areas, event passes, co-working spaces, free food, and snacks.

Low-Cost Benefits for Employees

Not all businesses have the resources or the means available to provide hefty benefits to their employees. But, providing benefits helps motivate and encourage employees.

But since employee benefits are non-monetary, there’s a lot you can do without burning a hole in your pocket.

Listed below are 11 benefits offered by small businesses that require little or no budget:

  • Flexible Schedule
  • Free Snacks
  • Casual Dress Code
  • Event Tickets
  • Telecommuting
  • Bring Your Pet to Work Days
  • Paid Time Off to Volunteer
  • Maternity and Paternity Leave
  • New Hire Welcome Packages
  • Movie Nights
  • Benefits at work – office Olympics, library

Why you need to implement these ASAP

Engagement surveys show that 50% of employees would leave their job for better benefits.

So, benefits are definitely important. I have listed down some points highlighting the importance of employee benefits:

Importance of Employee Benefits

Increases Productivity

For employees to perform their best, they need to be completely focused. Most of the times they can’t focus because they are worried about things at home. These include paying medical bills, giving their children the best facilities and more.

20% of employees perform better when provided benefits.

Offering benefits to employees helps relieve their stress. When they know that things back at home are being taken care of, they sleep better and perform better.

Increases Loyalty

A manager who cares about his employees will surely build a more loyal employee base than others. When your employees’ personal and professional lives are being cared for, they will want to build their career in your company.

60% employees say benefits are very important for their loyalty.

Building a benefits package that advances both their personal and professional development is important. It makes employees more engaged and doesn’t make them leave.

Lowers Absenteeism

Some of the main causes of absenteeism are – health issues, low workplace morale, stress, childcare issues, disengagement.  Absenteeism makes employees demotivated, pushes back deadlines and decreases their overall productivity.

43% of employees agree that having benefits helps them take lesser leaves.

Employees are less likely to take leaves for their health issues if your company can offer them medical insurance. Similarly for tuition classes, family issues, parenting problems and other issues faced by employees.

Improves Recruiting

Considering the benefits package of a company before applying for a job is a real practice done by employees. Even to the extent that 55% of employees would do a job that pays less but has amazing benefits packages.

57% employees say benefits are their top considerations while applying for a job.

Therefore, the benefits you provide can help you greatly to attract and retain skilled employees. Give them the benefits they need in order to get the best out of them.

Increases Retention

Employee retention refers to the ability of the employer to hold on to his employees. And one of the best and easiest way to retain your best employees is providing them the best benefits.

51% of employees are planning to leave their jobs.

In order to stay at a company, employees need to be happy. And providing them the right benefits will surely make them feel valued and want to remain at the company.

Some Companies Offering Amazing Benefits

Listed below are 10 companies with the best and most appealing employee benefits :

STARBUCKS

Starbucks understands that education is important. They offer full tuition reimbursement to those taking or planning to take further education.

A former barista working here said,“they treat you like a human being.”

AIRBNB

Travelling is therapeutic. Airbnb offers its employees an annual $2000 stipend to travel and stay at an Airbnb place anywhere around the world.

GENENTECH

Helps you run errands easily. The company’s employee benefits include car washes, haircuts, spa treatments and even visits to the dentist.

NETFLIX

Netflix is famous for its parental programs. They offer unlimited parental leave and encourage all employees to take six weeks of vacation every year. Also, in the office, you get access to a 200-person onsite theatre that shows all Netflix series and movies.

REEBOK

Become fitter with Reebok’s employee benefits package. They provide an onsite gym which includes free Crossfit classes and encourages everyone to participate.

IKEA

Ikea helps new parents. They offer upto four months of paid parental leave to both full time and part time workers.

SPOTIFY

Spotify is another company providing amazing parenting benefits. The company covers egg freezing and fertility assistance which cost more than $10,000. Being a music streaming service, it also provides its employees free passes to famous concerts.

GOLDMAN SACHS

The multinational finance company offers some pretty amazing perks. They have made raising charity fun by turning it into an all-night scavenger hunt in New York City. Other perks involve tai-chi, five-day-a-week pilates.

GOOGLE

One of the best employee benefits is free food. And Google has performed this task amazingly well. They provide endless free food options from a wide range of cuisines. Employees can choose to eat every meal free at the campus restaurants and cafes.

FACEBOOK

Facebook takes care of it interns pretty well. It offers its interns free housing and healthcare coverage. Interns have also said that such benefits help them save more than $7000 per month.

Conclusion

Providing your employees with the right kind of benefits and perks is important. It is important to attract and hold on to your top talent. You can develop these benefits depending on the size of your company. Another way is by understanding the needs and interests of your employees.

But no matter how you do it, it is of utmost importance that you have a comprehensive and dynamic employee benefits plan.



About Shreya Dutta

Shreya Dutta is a content writer and marketer at Vantage Circle. She is passionate about all things literature and entrepreneurship. Connect with her on LinkedIn.