Employee Benefits that Improve Hiring and Retention
A new benefit survey of human resource professionals found that around a third of companies had more trouble hiring and retaining employees at all levels in 2014 than the two previous years. Some 29 percent of businesses leveraged their incentive packages to gain new staffers while 25 percent utilized them to retain current team members during the previous 12 months.
Health Insurance Tops the List
To overcome recruitment and retention hurdles, 85 percent of companies relied mostly on health insurance to attract new hires while 74 percent used that perk to retain existing workers. Retirement savings and planning programs came in second with 72 percent promoting those rewards to hire personnel and 62 percent offering those enticements to keep present employees. In third place, 51 percent of organizations used leave benefits to hold onto their best staffers.
As businesses compete for top candidates, employers are distinguishing their advantages by emphasizing employee motivators. With 56 percent of companies struggling to attract highly skilled recruits, 32 percent publicized incentives to draw in talent. But just 9 percent reported that their workforces have significant knowledge about their employers’ available perks. And 22 percent agreed strongly that their communication efforts relate reward information to their staffers very effectively.
More than 50 percent of respondents noted which fringe benefits they thought would become more important in their employee retention efforts during the next three to five years. Retirement planning and savings came in at 67 percent, health care at 58 percent, wellness and preventive health at 57 percent, flexible work schedules at 54 percent, and career and professional development at 51 percent.
Employer Communications Need Improvement
Some 83 percent of companies provided online or printed benefit enrollment forms, and 70 percent held group sessions with organizational representatives who explained options to employees. Just 4 percent shared perk information with staffers through social media. The surveyors noted that HR communication is vital because previous research shows that benefits are important contributors to workforce job satisfaction. But personnel won’t value extra packages without adequate employer notifications.
If these issues are overwhelming you, outsourcing your incentive management and promotions will keep employees up to date on their total reward packages. National PEO offers extensive benefit administration services including plan election and registration, staff communication materials, vendor payments, payroll deductions, customer service, claims support, and annual renewals. Our expert financial advisors administer, manage, and process various retirement planning options including IRAs, 401(k) plans with and without company matching, and pension plans.
HR experts believe that employees might misunderstand their benefits in these six areas:
- Awareness of available company-sponsored perks: Only 9 percent of respondents rated their workers as very knowledgeable about their benefits while 73 percent were somewhat knowledgeable.
- Companies’ compensation disclosure effectiveness: Some 22 percent of HR pros agreed strongly that their firms conveyed their employee reward information very effectively while 58 percent agreed somewhat.
- Perk communication budget changes: Respondents reported that 32 percent of employers upped their benefit explanation funds for 2014, compared to 2013. But 9 percent decreased that budget.
- Employee resource material changes: According to HR staffers, 63 percent of organizations revised their reward materials during the previous 12 months. Throughout 2014, 70 percent of employers scheduled meetings with organization group representatives to announce benefit details, compared to 62 percent in 2013. Companies using online or printed newsletters went up from 34 percent in 2013 to 41 percent in 2014.
- HR disclosure approaches: The two top ways organizations offered benefits to workers were online or printed enrollment forms at 83 percent and/or staff meetings with organizational reps at 70 percent. Some 52 percent of businesses offered private sessions with reps while 46 percent posted details on company intranet sites.
- Social media communications: Just 4 percent of respondents disseminated benefit information via social media. Among the rest, 8 percent planned to initiate social media announcements during the next year.
Upgrading Benefit Information
The survey report included three recommendations to increase workforce knowledge:
- Allocate funds for your employee resource disclosure program: Understanding overall compensations better can boost job satisfaction, so budget ways to explain available perks’ values.
- Revisit your reward promotion efforts routinely: Because changing laws, strategies, and costs keep the benefit landscape in flux constantly, reviewing your strategies and communications regularly is vital.
- Explore social media usage: Consider using multiple social media avenues to reach and increase employee benefit awareness.