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August 5, 2022

5 Factors to consider when designing benefits plans your employees actually want

If you're like most business owners and HR professionals, you probably think of employee benefits as an important part of your company. After all, a good benefits plan can help you attract and retain the best talent on the market.

But what if your current plan isn't resonating with your staff? If that sounds familiar, here are five factors to consider when designing benefits plans your employees actually want.

1. OFFER PERSONALIZED "NON-CORE" PERKS

Employees today are looking for more than just the tried-and-true health and financial security benefits of the past; they want non-traditional perks that are personalized to their modern lifestyle and needs.

Examples of employee benefits people are searching for today include:

  • Pet insurance: Many Millennials and Gen-Zers in the workforce are forgoing the traditional route of having children. Instead, they're embracing their adopted "fur babies" in a way that's never been seen before. As such, they're increasingly looking for pet-friendly workplaces and benefits plans that will insure their "children" in a fair and equal way.
  • Student loan repayment: No generation in history has entered the workforce with more accumulated student debt than today's entry-level labor pool. If your benefits plan can help bear even a little bit of that financial burden, you'll not only attract the top talent but retain them for years to come.
  • Identify theft protection: In our increasingly digital world, identity theft is a major concern for many workers. Adding this type of coverage to your benefits plan can give your employees peace of mind and show that you're invested in their well-being. To learn more about this coverage, read our complete guide to cyber insurance in 2022.
  • Critical illness insurance: Thanks to social media, it's almost impossible to avoid the barrage of medical bill horror stories. Because of this, many workers are increasingly worried about being able to cover their medical bills in the event of a major illness or accident. This type of insurance can help alleviate those fears, allowing your employees to better focus on their work.

2. DON'T SACRIFICE THE CORE BENEFITS

While it's important to offer personalized perks, you shouldn't sacrifice your core health and financial security benefits in favor of them. Your employees may say they really want pet insurance, for example, but not if it must come at the expense of a good dental or vision plan. Employees still tend to value these types of benefits most, so they should remain a key part of your plan moving forward.

3. ANALYZE YOUR BENEFITS USAGE

If you want to know what's working (and what isn't) in your current benefits plan, it's important to analyze your current usage trends. This will give you a clear picture of which benefits are being used most often and which ones are being neglected.

For example, if you find that your employees are meeting their dental plan allowance each year, it could be a sign that you need to increase the amount offered. On the other hand, if they're barely using their dental or vision plans, you might want to consider scaling back on those benefits in lieu of something else.

4. EDUCATE YOUR EMPLOYEES

Your employees can't take advantage of benefits they don't know exist. That's why it's important to educate them on all the available options—including any new benefits you might be considering adding to the mix.

The best way to do this is by hosting regular benefit fairs or webinars where employees can learn about all the different options and how they can take advantage of them. You can also include detailed information on your benefits in your new hire onboarding process to ensure that everyone is on the same page from day one.

5. COMPARE YOUR BENEFITS OPTIONS

When designing your benefits plan, it's important to compare your options against industry benchmarks and other top companies in your space. This will help you get a better sense of what's a standard offering and what's generally considered "above and beyond."

For example, if you're in the tech industry, you might find that offering unlimited PTO is standard practice. But if you're in a more traditional industry like manufacturing, this could be seen as an unnecessary perk. The key is to find the right balance for your company so you don’t lose your best employees to your competitors.

When it comes to designing benefits plans, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. But by keeping these five factors in mind, you'll be well on your way to creating a benefits plan your employees will look forward to using.

STILL UNSURE OF THE BENEFITS YOUR EMPLOYEES WANT?

Unless you've suddenly developed the power to read minds, the best way to find out what your employees really want from their benefits plan is to simply ask them. If this advice sounds too easy, that's because it is.

You can do this through surveys, focus groups, or even one-on-one interviews. From there, you can use this feedback to design a benefits plan that meets the needs of your employees—and helps you attract and retain top talent in the process.

At Christensen group, we will help you find the right employee benefits strategy for your company, design a plan that works best for your entire team, and then actually help you implement it.

By bridging the gap between what large, national consulting firms offer with the flexibility and affordability of smaller, independent brokers, we are able to find the most creative solutions to the challenges faced in today's complex benefits landscape. Speak with one of our benefits strategy and design experts today so you can stay leaps ahead in the talent game.

About the author

Ben expertise spans fully insured, level funded, and self insured medical plans. His ancillary lines experience includes dental, Life/AD&D, STD, and LTD, voluntary worksite benefits, and ACA compliance. Ben has extensive experience with restaurants, home health care, construction, and manufacturing.

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