Benefits significantly influence employees’ decisions to join, stay, or leave an organization, as well as their level of satisfaction and engagement at work. To remain competitive in 2024 and beyond, HR Managers and employers need to pay close attention to what their employees’ value in terms of benefit offerings.
But how do employers and HR Managers or Payroll Managers know if they are offering the right benefits to their employees? How do they measure the effectiveness and value of their benefits package? And how do they compare with other employers in their industry and region?
These are a just few of the questions that a recent survey by Morneau Shepell, a leader in HR reporting, aimed to answer. The survey, as reported on by HR Reporter, revealed some interesting insights and trends about the benefits landscape in Canada.
The top five benefits that employees value the most
According to the survey, the top five benefits that Canadian employees value the most are:
- Paid time off
- A retirement savings plan
- Life Insurance
- Dental Insurance
- Extended Health Coverage
These benefits reflect the basic and universal needs of employees, such as physical and mental health, financial security, and work-life balance. They also align with the most common benefits that employers offer, either partially or fully, to their employees.
In fact, the survey found that around 75% of employers currently provide these benefits to their employees, indicating that most Canadian companies are meeting the expectations and preferences of their workforce when it comes to the benefits that they are offering.
The gaps and opportunities for improvement
However, there are also some gaps and opportunities for improvement in terms of the benefit offerings of Canadian employers. For instance, employees are becoming more likely to value benefits that support their mental health, such as counselling, wellness programs, and stress management. This suggests that employers can do more to address the mental health challenges and needs of their employees.
The survey showed that employees are also becoming more interested in benefits that enhance their work-life balance, such as paid sick leave, personal days, and childcare subsidies. This indicates that employers can do more to accommodate the diverse and changing needs of their employees, such as working parents, caregivers, and remote workers, who may require more flexibility and support in managing their personal and professional responsibilities.
Studies have shown that employees are more likely to value benefits that are tailored to their individual needs and preferences, such as education and training, fitness and recreation, and travel and entertainment. This implies that employers can do more to personalize and customize their benefit packages to suit the different profiles and preferences of their diverse employees.
The benefits of offering good benefits
By offering benefits that match the preferences and priorities of their employees, employers can reap many benefits for their organization.
More specifically, offering good benefits can help employers:
- Attract and retain top talent in a competitive market.
- Enhance their employer brand and reputation.
- Boost their employee engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty.
- Improve their employee performance, productivity, and innovation.
- Reduce their employee turnover, absenteeism, and presenteeism.
- Save costs on recruitment, training, and health care.
In other words, benefits are not only a cost for employers, but also an investment in their most valuable asset: their human capital. By investing in benefits that matter to their employees, employers can create a win-win situation for both parties and foster a positive and productive work environment.
How to create an attractive benefits package
If you are an employer who wants to improve your benefits package and align it with the needs and wants of your employees, here are some steps that you can take in 2024 and beyond:
Conduct a survey or a focus group with your employees to understand their preferences and priorities when it comes to benefits. You can also use external sources, such as industry benchmarks, best practices, and market trends, to compare your benefits package with other employers in your sector and region.
Review your current benefits package and identify the strengths and weaknesses, the gaps and opportunities, and the costs and benefits of your benefits offerings. You can also solicit feedback from your employees, your HR team, and your benefits provider to evaluate the effectiveness and value of your benefits package.
Design and implement a new or updated benefits package that meets the needs and wants of your employees, as well as your organizational goals and budget. You can also consider offering different options or levels of benefits to suit the different needs and preferences of your employees, such as core, optional, or flexible benefits. You can also leverage technology, such as online platforms, apps, and portals, to streamline and simplify the administration and communication of your benefits package.
Monitor and measure the impact and outcomes of your benefits package on your organization and your employees. You can use various indicators, such as employee satisfaction, engagement, retention, performance, and health, to assess the return on investment of your benefits package. You can also collect feedback from your employees, your HR team, and your benefits provider to identify any issues or areas for improvement in your benefits package.
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