Employee Benefits – Why They Matter
Employee benefits may include a very wide range of possibilities. These are benefits which are provided to employees other than wages, and may often include a full suite of strong positives for current and prospective employees.
These benefits are integral to attracting the very best employees and retaining those employees. Many employers, in fact, regularly review and upgrade benefits to improve their competitive edge for both hiring and employee retention.
Practical values of employee benefits
Employee benefits deliver a very respectable range of excellent values for employers:
- Strong direct incentives for employees from the recruitment stage and during employment: Many benefits packages offer exceptionally good packages which can be measured in both dollar terms and conditions of employment.
- Meaningful additional values for employees: Some of the classic employee benefits packages include childcare, medical, dental, and similar practical values for employees and their families. These packages can be worth many thousands of dollars over time.
- “Custom” employee benefits can cover a wide range of options: At higher and professional levels, negotiated or “custom” employee benefits packages can be tailored to specific employees. An academic package, for example, may include research and use of employer facilities options, like the famous Google employee packages.
- Travel discount benefits and paid time off as practical work/life package options: These employee packages can look very like “dream job” benefits, and they are extremely popular. These packages are prized for their high values to employees, meeting a wide range of types of work and lifestyle needs.
Employee benefits building a better business
The major strength of employee benefits in terms of the conduct of business is simple in theory. It’s based on the creation of a much more resilient and more highly motivated workforce. Highly competitive businesses invariably have better employee benefits, and that’s no coincidence.
Everyone knows that “churnover” is highly expensive and counterproductive. High staff turnover instantly affects competitive capacity. Loss of experienced staff and their knowledge is an undisputed own goal. One of the main drivers, in fact, behind the new wave of employee benefits packages is managing these issues.
There’s no arguing with the realities. It’s very widely documented that well-structured employee benefits packages can reduce staff turnover drastically. Employees naturally move to better jobs with better conditions. The incontrovertible fact is that good employee packages are powerful attractors to the very best employees.
The equation is that better employees produce better business. That fact applies across the board, from highly skilled professionals to core business functions, sales and management. For a better business, all you need to do is create a better employee benefits scheme.
New types of employee benefit making a big difference
In recent times, new employee benefits have started to reshape the conventional employee benefits into a more tailored form, even at baseline levels. These benefits may include:
- Retirement benefits: The upgrading and diversification of these benefits may include higher payouts and employee self-service, offering a meaningful level of financial support. These benefits also directly relate to any employer obligations for payment of superannuation, another important factor in employee benefits package design costing.
- Structured, flexible rewards: The big change in generational employment has been a fascinating working study for employment experts. Their findings so far are that the Millennial generation, in particular, may require a quite different type of reward/benefits package to their parents and grandparents. This evolutionary process is a common factor in employee packages. In effect, the new employee benefits must deliver the required values to attract the employees.
- Perceived values of benefits vs actual cost: One of the more interesting aspects of employee benefits is based more on the perception of value than the actual cost. A benefit like childcare, for example, can be extremely and sometimes prohibitively expensive, if the employee has to pay for it themselves. As an employee benefit provided by the employer, however, the net cost to the employer is significantly less. This common scenario is very much a win-win for employer and employee.
- New life/work structured benefits: The modern workforce lives in a demanding world, as well as a sometimes complex employment environment. Life/work balance is a genuine practical issue for most employees. Young families, people with life and external time commitments and similar situations do in fact need a dependable, secure life/work balance. Many employee benefits reflect this need in different ways from rostered days off to working at home, or other time/life/work arrangements. These structured packages work extremely effectively and are highly valued by employees.
Why employee benefits matter so much?
Decades ago, employee benefits were considered luxuries. That really was a totally different world. Now, employee benefits cover a vast spectrum of business and employee needs and do so very efficiently. The evolution of employee benefits from novelties to essentials has been very fast in recent years.
It is now possible for employers to offer truly excellent benefits on a fully costed basis. This really is a better business, too, with employers attracting and retaining the best employees in the most effective structures which work for both parties. This very practical approach pays off well and is the key catalyst for high productivity in employee performance.
It’s worth noting that the world’s top employers were very quick to offer absolute top quality employee benefits. Google, the global benchmark employer, stunned the employment sector of the late 1990s with the perceived generosity of its early employee benefits packages. These employee benefits generated outstanding corporate performance across a huge range of business ventures. Now, their original 1990s packages are considered standard best practice.
A notable fact about employee benefits is the way in which working for a top employer as measured by benefits affects professional status. A Google employee has a high professional status, backed up by a virtual library of statistics in terms of employer achievements. You can see how attracting the best people with the best packages creates a strong business.
This approach to employment is clearly the way of the future, and it’s relentlessly successful. If you’re currently looking at employee benefits, either as an employer or employee, watch the new employee benefits packages. You’ll see the secret of the success of many businesses and their employees.
To learn more about The Aicila Group and what we can do for your business, please click here www.aicila.com
Alicia Keenan is the Managing Director at The Aicila Group – a globally active and highly specialised animal health/nutrition and animal production recruitment and consulting company with HQ in Australia.
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