Benefits and Retention: Why Companies Must Go Beyond Retirement Plans and Insurance

Trevor Stout - Business Services Representative ·

Today, many companies are concerned about customer retention, but how many companies are concerned about employee retention? HR experts agree that both talent and customer retention are crucial to a company's sustainability; if the employee is happy, then the customer is more likely to be happy. For example, Cvent – a software-as-a-service company that specializes in meetings management technology – noticed that customer retention rates are 18% higher for companies where employees are highly engaged. For a closer look at talent retention, read this blog.

You might be asking yourself, what does retention have to do with employee benefits? Let me explain. With the growing number of millennials in the workforce, benefit customization is becoming increasingly important to employee retention and engagement. Interestingly, the 2017 Aflac happiness survey found that 26% of small-business employees would jump ship to a larger company if it meant better benefits offerings. Companies who invest in thoughtful, beneficial perks will prevent talent loss.

So, what are some of the unique benefits jobseekers are looking for and what benefits are employees jumping ship for? Let’s take a look at some of the most unique and sought-after benefits.

  • Onsite Medical Staff - We all hate taking off time to go to the doctor. Why not have this available at work? Some companies do!
  • Student Loan Repayment Assistance - Many progressive companies are helping employees reduce their student loan debt. A huge draw for jobseekers!
  • Flexible work time/Work-life balance - Thankfully, my company does a good job on this one. Studies show employees are more satisfied when companies offer flexibility.
  • Pet Insurance - With 65% of Americans now owning at least one pet, this is becoming an increasingly popular benefit.
  • Onsite Career Coaching - Career growth is often cited as one of the most important factors for millennial retention in the workplace. Providing career coaching to help employees stretch their skills or find their niche can be very advantageous to the employer and employee.
  • Extended Maternity/Paternity Leave - In “A Woman’s Nation,” Maria Shriver and the Center for American Progress note that women are the primary breadwinners in 4 out of 10 families. Furthermore, the first year of a baby’s life is critical for developing early attachments. Understandably, paternity leave has become even more crucial in the quest for work-life balance.

Does this mean that you need to start offering all of these benefits in order to attract talent or retain your current staff? No, these are just a few written policies/plans employers have in place to show their employees how much they care about them. For instance, I was working with a small employer who couldn’t necessarily afford larger benefits for their staff. But, the employer found other ways to show the staff appreciation. For instance, the owners of the company told me that they would often pick up the lunch tab for their staff even if it wasn’t a company outing or lunch. This went a long way to show the employees how important they were to the company.

In the title of this blog, I allude that insurance and 401ks aren’t important. I want to clarify that these are very important, but with the current state of the labor market and the fact that insurance benefits are now required for full-time staff, employers must do more to attract and retain the best workforce. Providing great benefits is only one of many ways to attain and retain employees. For a more comprehensive look at talent management, go here.

If you are interested in learning more about what your company can do to attract, train, and retain employees, consider taking The EDSI Talent Assessment.

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