How to create an employee benefits package your staff will love.

Does your company offer its employees free ski resort passes? Bi-monthly massages? How about pet insurance? If not, it might have to start in order to maintain a vibrant and productive workforce. Those perks might sound unbelievable, but they are legitimately included in the employee benefits packages of real companies that are trying to stay competitive and attract star talent. It’s no longer enough to provide health coverage and two weeks’ paid vacation. The job market is incredibly competitive, especially for millennials who have come to expect benefits like free gym memberships, so every perk counts. Here’s some advice to help you design a more relevant and appealing benefits package for your current and prospective employees.

  • Ask your staff what they want. This may seem like a no-brainer, especially to start-ups, but many organizations neglect this step. It doesn’t have to be difficult—simply sending out a quick email survey with lots of open-ended questions will reveal the things that matter most to your people. Not only is it an efficient way of learning which benefits you should include, but it also makes your staff feel better connected to your company.
  • Offer benefits that reflect your operations and values. Chances are if your employees are working at your organization, they’re actually interested in what the organization does and the values it stands for. This is a huge clue about the kinds of benefits you should offer. Retail companies and theatres are masters at this. For them offering employee discounts and free tickets is the norm. Corporations can do this easily, too. For instance, telecommunications companies can bundle free roaming time with vacation deals to corresponding destinations. Health and wellness companies can partner with sporting goods stores to offer discounts on merchandise and apparel. The opportunities are endless.
  • Track usage to maximize impact. Your work doesn’t end once you’ve decided on the benefits you’ll offer. Putting a chocolate fountain in the lobby isn’t enough; you need to conduct ongoing analyses on who is enjoying the fountain, who isn’t, and why. Don’t assume that the people who haven’t used it hate chocolate. They might be allergic, or perhaps their desk is too far away from the lobby. Not only will these insights enable you to provide the exact benefits your employees want and can use, but it will also save your organization precious time and money offering redundant benefits.
  • Do it from the heart. Many companies boast ping-pong tables and overflowing snack bars solely to attract top talent. They’re concerned with how outsiders perceive them and use these perks as bait. This is a dangerous strategy because your employees will be able to tell immediately if you’re providing perks disingenuously. It should be obvious to them that your benefits package is just one of many ways your organization demonstrates its commitment to the well-being of your staff.

More ways to prioritize employee well-being

Of course all this takes a bit of planning, but it’s definitely worth it in the long run. For more tips on keeping your staff engaged and productive, click here.