benefits

A truly impactful employee compensation package goes beyond medical coverage.

By Lidia Staron

Benefit advisers, brokers, agents and consultants should pay more attention to the current needs of jobseekers when comparing benefits packages for their employer clients. Many job seekers these days don’t just look at their salary. They also consider the different kinds of benefits offered by a certain employer.

Employee benefits brokers have the major role and responsibility of connecting a business with the right plan for their workers. Basically, how well they know the employee benefits broker market impacts their success of bringing the best corporate benefits package to the client’s table.

What do employees want?

When people talk about employee benefit packages, the number one thing that comes to their mind is HMO or healthcare coverage. But a truly impactful employer benefits package goes beyond this. There are some more benefits that help with employee retention, engagement, and productivity.

While medical care is at the core of any employer benefit package, there are certainly some more compensation programs that are expected to attract more job seekers this 2018.

How to Compare Employer Benefits Packages in 2018

Employees’ overall happiness level at work influence their behavior and make them contribute more to the success of the organization. That’s why according to research, 75% of employers are considering reviewing compensation packages for their employees in the hope of increasing their productivity, health and well-being.

1. Comprehensive Healthcare Coverage

This 2018, the trends in employer benefits have greatly shifted for the better – rewarding employees with quality health services. These include reimbursement arrangements that are employer-funded. Meaning, employees can reimburse for their out-of-pocket medical expenses, including lab tests, eye exams, and even prescriptions. Zappos, Twitter, and Boston Consulting Group are among the Fortune companies that offer 100% healthcare coverage.

2. Employee Wellness Programs

Prevention is better than cure. With the rising number of mental health issues such as depression and stress disorder, obesity, and other health concerns, wellness programs have become a huge incentive for people in the workforce. Wellness programs, which usually include access to gyms, weight loss incentives, reward points that can be converted to wellness gears, sporting events, and mental health coaching services. Even Google understands the importance of employee wellness. Apart from the free healthy food, they also offer “massage credits” for a job well done on projects as well as free fitness classes.

3. Student Loan Assistance

Student loans are a major stressor for workers. While the number of companies offering this benefit is still relatively small, it’s expected to grow this 2018 especially now that employers are given tax credit for providing cash advances and other forms of loan assistance to allow workers pay for their education (in case they are still studying or taking up a second degree) or the education of their children. In some companies, employers offer automatic payroll deductions to workers with college-bound children that go directly to their college savings account. Companies like Chegg, PwC, Aetna and First Republic make student loan assistance a workplace benefit.

4. Retirement Plans

More and more businesses are providing extra opportunities for employees to save or invest money through their workplace which are different than traditional methods like the company pension scheme. Saving for the future is every worker’s goal for securing a job. One of the major benefit programs you should consider when evaluating employee benefits packages is the retirement plan. While there is one given by the government (such as the 401K), some companies offer additional retirement benefits. These include individual retirement account (IRA) wherein the employers may also match their contributions. Google, known for offering what might be the “best perks” in the world, matches 100% of their employee contributions up to $3,000.

5. Life Insurance

Did you know that about two-thirds of employees are given life insurance at work? It’s one of the most popular employee compensation benefits, and 97% of employees take advantage of it. Find out how much the company you’re applying at pays for the policy and what it covers, and if you can upgrade it at a discounted rate. Disability benefits are crucial especially in high-risk jobs. Companies with more than a hundred employees usually have some sort of disability benefit but most are short-term.

6. Work-Life Balance Programs

A less-worried mom is a better performer. Traditionally, employees are given about two weeks of paid vacation leave. A job offer that includes more than this might be worth considering. Some companies even offer “paid time off” to encourage employees to take their much-needed break from work and revitalize their physical and mental health. Furthermore, company-sponsored daycare is becoming popular these days and have been proven to increase employee retention and productivity.

The best brokers in the business provide wide-ranging services for both clients and insurers. They do this by understanding the latest trends in employer benefits and matching these plans to the needs of the company.

Lidia Staron is a part of Content and Marketing team at OpenLoans.com. She contributes articles about the role of finance in the strategic-planning and decision-making process. You can find really professional insights in her writings.

Benefits stock photo by yanatul/Shutterstock