Manage Benefits as a Business Strategy
Traditionally, employee benefits have been viewed as one-size-fits-all and a fixed expense for employers. But as the workplace evolves, the type of benefits employees seek has changed as well.
The current landscape calls for further shifts in the way employers view benefits offerings, according to MetLife’s Eighth Annual Employee Benefit Trends study, as reported in Benefits Quarterly.
This shift in perspective creates a framework that helps companies strengthen employee engagement and satisfaction, in turn driving employee attraction, retention and productivity.
To shift a company's focus from benefits as an expense to benefits as strategic business drivers, employers must move away from the traditional notion of benefits such as medical coverage, retirement accounts, and time-off policies. Thinking needs to shift toward the key strategies of health and wellness, financial security, and life balance.
Conversations about benefits programs typically start one of two ways: Management provides a predetermined budget for benefits, or HR provides a list of specific plan offerings for consideration. Either way, it’s often a reactive process. As a result, many employers miss opportunities to align benefits with their overall business strategy.
Benefits should be viewed as an investment delivering critical returns in two categories:
To create a benefits package that delivers these returns requires a paradigm shift in four key areas.
Overall, the most critical step in establishing a high-quality benefits experience is effective communication. Information about benefits must be clear and concise. Also consider the channel through which you communicate. Whether it’s via e-mail, traditional mail, or text messages, employers need to understand employee preferences and deliver messages accordingly.
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