Offering a great company benefits package is great way to attract talent to your organization, and an innovative employee retention strategy worth implementing in 2023. Giving your employees what they truly want, and showing that you care about their personal and professional development and well-being fosters a healthy company culture and can improve productivity.
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The goal of a company benefits package is to provide employees with the support they need to live healthy, happy lives. Employees who feel as though they're being taken care of are often more productive at work, and among top job satisfaction factors, good--or at least suitable-- company benefits packages are highly sought by employees across all sectors. For many people, a decent and attractive benefits package could mean that they have access to health insurance or retirement planning tools that help them save for the future, but, it could also mean wellness spending options, academic consulting and support, and other unique benefits that can help improve their lives both in and outside of work.
Why Offer A Company Benefits Package?
Offering benefits is not only one of the best employee recruitment strategies, but is also considered to be one of the top employee retention strategies.
Benefits are an important part of keeping your team happy, engaged and motivated at work. In addition to being a talent acquisition and retention strategy, offering a great company benefits package can help boost company morale and can compliment your company culture and values.
Company culture and the company benefits you offer must align. It's important that what you preach and value as an organization is reflected in what you offer your employees, and what type of lifestyle and work/life balance you encourage them to have. The benefits you offer should be tailored to your company culture and the needs of your employees. This will help ensure that your benefits are not only valuable, but also effective in attracting top talent to work for you.
Offering useful benefits that align with your company culture is a good idea because it shows you care about what matters most to your employees. If you aren’t sure what your employees want, what matters to them, or what they value, your best course of action would be to ask them during your performance reviews, meetings, or simply, send out an email or survey and ask for genuine feedback! Most often, employees value and desire flexibility, coverage for basic needs like health, dental and vision, financial investment options, wellness perks, and anything else that will help them—and their families/children—such as family planning, academic consulting, and childcare reimbursement.
What Company Benefits Package Should I Offer My Employees?
What your company benefits package is comprised up is entirely up to you and the other leaders at your business, however, your package should be curated with your employee’s needs and best interests in mind! Make sure you are offering valuable perks and benefits, and if you feel your employees all have very different needs—for example, if you have a handful of young employees and several seniors—you may wish to offer flexible benefits packages where employees can pick or choose or, decide which options they would like. As a baseline, you should consider offering a few, if not all, of the following:
The Basics: Health, Dental, and Vision
Health, dental, and vision insurance are considered the "basics" among most companies, rather than a unique employee benefit, as most employees are expecting coverage for their basic medical and dental needs! These three coverages can be expensive for employees to purchase on their own, so it's good for your company to offer them at no cost, as a part of an employee's salary, or, for a small amount that is decreased from each individual's paycheque each month.
Health insurance is intended to help with medical costs like doctor visits and hospital stays, as well as for medication, certain medical equipment and aids, as well as for services like psychotherapy, physiotherapy, chiropractic, and more. Dental insurance helps pay for oral care services such as regular checkups, cleanings, and fillings. Vision coverage helps cover eye exams, glasses, and contacts for those who need them. The percentage covered per service/visit, as well as annual maximums, vary between insurance companies and plans, but generally, your employees should be able to be reimbursed--or an insurance company immediately billed-- for a number of health, dental, and vision-related services.
You'll want to make sure that you choose a quality plan from a reputable company when choosing your basic benefits package; otherwise you may end up paying more than necessary in premiums while getting less coverage than you bargained for!
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Paid Leave, Personal Days and Flexible Work Models
Employees will typically perform better if they have a great work/life balance, and will be especially productive and happy if their employer supports this notion. Employees crave flexibility, and having an employer offer it to them is certainly a benefit (and a perk)!
Paid leave is a great benefit because it allows your employees to take time off to restore their energy and look after their mental and physical health, travel, and/or spend time with their families without having to worry about how they'll pay their bills or where the money will come from. It also promotes balance, which is an important component of many modern company cultures, and this can improve employee retention and moral and retention.
Companies offer paid vacation days and sick days, as well as parental leave and bereavement days because it is the law to do so. This varies between provinces, states and countries of course, but employees are entitled to at least the bare minimum amount of time off that is outlined in provincial/state documents. However, as a part of your benefits package, you may opt to offer unique options such as extended paid leave or personal days. For example, you may offer 4 weeks paid vacation whereas the minimum amount legally required is 2, and you may offer 5 personal days or mental health days, in addition to regular sick days. This is not only one of many creative ways to attract employees, but also a great strategy to retain the employees you already have on board! Of course, employees may be limited as to when they can utilize their days off, for example, you may have 'blackout' periods where time off cannot be awarded, or, employees may not take 3 consecutive weeks off, but that is up to each individual business owner and company, and employees will still be able to enjoy several days and weeks off each year, which promotes a healthy work/life balance and flexibility and allows them ample time off to rest and rejuvenate, or spend time with family and friends.
Offering additional time off is certainly a non-traditional employee benefit that you may wish to consider including as a component of your company benefits package, and along with this you should consider a flexible working model. Many companies allow for hybrid or remote work, and this is often something that is widely desired by employees. Not having to commute to an office daily allows employees, in most cases, to achieve an optimal work/life balance. Hybrid models are a great option for employees who still want to work from an office, but might not necessarily be required to do so daily. Flexible work options do require a bit of careful planning, organization and execution but are generally well received by employees. Some companies (whether remote or not) also give the option for 4-day work weeks or ‘flex’ days, where employees can choose a day each week where they’ll be paid, but will be allowed to craft their own schedule, or take the day off, should they feel they’ve gotten enough work done. Whatever you choose, the Monday-to-Friday ‘9-5’ in-office job is, for many, a thing of the past, so depending what kinds of employees you are looking to attract, flexible working models are an important benefit to keep in mind!
Financial Assistance: Advising, 401(k) Plan and Retirement Plan
A 401(k) plan is a type of retirement savings plan. Employees can contribute to this plan through payroll deductions and this is a great future-forward benefit to offer to your employees.
With 401(k) and other retirement savings plans, employees will invest the money in a variety of investment options and will not be taxed on the contributions until they withdraw them in retirement. A retirement plan is one of the most important benefits employees can have in their benefit package, since it offers them the opportunity to save for their future and it gives them incentive to continue to work hard and stay committed to your company. When an employer offers a retirement plan, they will sometimes match their employee’s contributions. In some cases, employees may be able to contribute their pre-tax earnings into your 401(k) account or profit-sharing account.
Along with retirement savings, offering financial advising through your company or an organization associated and vetted by you can be a great way to attract and appeal to younger employee’s who may not have their sights set on retirement savings, but rather, investing in stocks or saving for a home. These types of benefits can help reduce a lot of stress and give your employees a sense of security, which could, in turn, lead to a more productive and relaxed team.
Additional Wellness and Personal/Family Benefits
By giving employees access to additional wellness benefits, you're able to align your company with healthy lifestyle choices. For example, if your employees are excited about yoga and want a way to get involved in the community, creating a plan that allows them to attend local classes on the company's dime is a great way for them to show their passion for health and wellness.
Additionally, providing gym memberships or discounted gym passes can help encourage healthy lifestyles. Wellness benefits are not restricted to physical health, but mental as well. Counseling and mental health services or apps are a great way to promote self-care and show that your company values mental health and mindfulness.
Finally, personal/family benefits that you may wish to offer can include things like daycare reimbursement, family planning coverage for fertility treatments, and even a combination of wellness benefits that each employee’s dependents would have equal access to—such as gym memberships for the whole family—or mental health apps for several users.
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Professional Development, Academic Consulting, and Tuition Reimbursement
Many employees want to know what their growth plan is and what kind of career path they’re on, and, they want to know how they’ll get there. Employees interested in pursuing a relevant qualification (such as an MBA) or qualification update that was pre-approved by management would likely be thrilled to have your company offer tuition reimbursement for of some or all of the costs associated with obtaining the qualification that will amplify and enhance their job-specific skills. The amount of reimbursement will vary from company to company, but typically is either full or partial depending on the time period that has passed since your last qualification update and what level within the organisation you work at. Additionally, employees must agree to remain employed with your company for a predetermined amount of time should you contribute to their education—typically this is a 5-year binding contract—if an employee were to break it, they’d simply have to repay you the tuition fee.
In addition to professional development and tuition reimbursement, a very important addition to your company benefits package could be access to academic consulting services. This is something that would be useful to any employee wishing to return to academia as a mature student, and/or, their dependants who are looking to attend post secondary.
Services like BeMo Academic Consulting provide one-on-one preparatory consulting services to students of all ages, and in all fields, and can help them prepare materials for various applications, practice for interviews, as well as prepare for tests and essays that are a part of their specific application process. For instance, if your employee is opting to pursue an MBA after a few years of employment, then they will be considered a mature, non-traditional applicant to admissions and will face obstacles that undergraduate applicants won’t. Offering access to benefits and services like BeMo means that your employee can receive the assistance they require to be accepted to—and successful in—their chosen program, which will make them a valuable asset to your company
And, if your employee is not necessarily a mature student, but an individual working full time who is looking to return to the classroom, they may feel overwhelmed by the extensive application process and benefit from academic consulting. If your employees have children, they more than likely want only the best education and future for them. Young adults looking to attend various graduate programs and professional schools, including dentistry, medicine, law, and business, whether first generation students or not, will very likely benefit from additional preparatory consulting services, and it will give their parent (your employee!) peace of mind knowing their child’s education and future path is set out ahead of them and that they’re able to access a service that can help them achieve whatever they’ve set their mind to. BeMo offers admissions consulting for undergraduate students looking to enter college and/or university as well. Even if an employee’s dependent felt that they had their future educational path aligned, many programs require extensive testing, and students may require tutors or consultants who can help them prepare for tests and entrance exams, like the LSAT or the MCAT.
No matter what their post-secondary path is, development and consulting benefits being made available to families will be appealing to employees and encourage them to stay in their roles long-term. If employees know that they and their families educational/career needs will be met, because their workplace offers benefits and access to consulting services, like BeMo (along with other types of benefits) they’ll most likely remain in their role at your company and continue to be hardworking, happy and productive.
1. Do all workplaces offer company benefits packages?
Most workplaces do offer benefits to full time employees! This is because benefits are expected by today’s workforce and they help contribute to healthy livelihoods, reduce stress, and help families afford care and access services that can improve their wellbeing. Because of this, benefits are considered to be a recruitment and retention strategies, and company benefits packages can be tailored to meet your employee’s unique needs.
2. Why is it important to offer company benefits packages?
Offering at least health and dental benefits to your employees makes you a more appealing employer, and it may make employees more inclined to stay with your company for longer durations of time. Offering a great company benefits package to your team will increase productivity and retention and boost team morale. Offering additional services, like wellness perks and educational services, to your employees shows your company is eager to go above and beyond and support your employee’s and their families in several ways and contribute to a positive, healthy lifestyle and a great work/life balance.
3. Can benefits be monetary?
Not exactly. A company benefits package is a part of your employee’s total compensation, whereas monetary benefits and rewards, such as a raise, bonus, or commission payout, will be dependant on each individual employee’s performance, and may vary by role, too. Your employee’s will sign contracts knowing that they will make a pre-determined salary and have a certain benefits package included in their total compensation. Monetary perks, like bonuses, are subject to change and vary between departments, roles, and employers, if they are offered at all!
4. Do I cover the cost of my company benefits package? Or, does each employee pay?
It depends on your budget, and the package you select for your company. There are companies that offer complete benefit coverage as a part of each employees total compensation, but most often, a small percentage is deducted from each individual employee’s paycheque as a way to cover the cost of at least a portion of the benefits they are entitled to.
5. How do I know what company benefits package would suit my staff?
Do some research to see what kinds of packages and plans are available—and how much they cost in relation to your budget—and, figure out what your current and potential employees want! Don’t be afraid to ask them, or, even conduct a survey or poll where employees can provide feedback or select options that appeal to them the most.
6. What if all of my employees want something different?
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to please everybody. If you feel there is a divide in your staff, where a certain portion of people would benefit from one type of benefit over another, then you could always start off with basic benefits—health, dental, and vision—and offer each employee a selection of other options, for example, “choose either wellness, 401(k) or educational benefits” and allow them to change their mind in the coming years if their priorities shift.
Deciding on employee perks for small businesses can be especially challenging, however, it’s generally easier to offer different company benefits packages to each employee if you have a smaller team. If you’ve got a medium or large sized business, juggling between each individual person’s unique benefits selections may be a tedious HR task, and you should cater your package to the needs of the majority.
7. What should I offer with my company benefits package?
Offering things like partial or full coverage (up until a certain amount) for health, dental and vision care—for each employee, as well as their spouse and children—is a very basic company benefits package. Additional reimbursements and coverage for things like wellness services, psychotherapy, physiotherapy, gym memberships, and other services that contribute to a happy and healthy lifestyle is a great perk to offer. Along with this, financial assistance for things like investments, stocks, 401(k) and retirement plans will help employees plan for their future, as will family planning benefits, daycare or childminding reimbursements, and academic consulting services, like BeMo, which can help employee’s who return to class and/or their children prepare for each step of the admissions process.
8. I want to offer BeMo Academic Services as an employee benefit, where do I start?
If you’re interested in offering BeMo’s Academic Consulting Services to both your staff and their families as a benefit, you can contact us here to learn how to get started!
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