More than money: How to use benefits to get and keep good people
The current job market is nothing short of chaotic. Employees used the pandemic to reassess their career goals, and many are taking a hard look at what balance between work and life means. While the outlook for employees is positive and encouraging, it’s presenting great challenges for employers.
Resignation numbers are soaring to never-seen-before heights, creating a top workplace challenge of retaining talent.
Almost half, or 44%, of public schools report having full- or part-time teacher vacancies, in a nationally representative survey of 670 public schools conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics.1
Retaining and recruiting, while related, are two distinctly different things. Retaining is all about continued satisfaction. Recruiting is all about attraction and focus. To make a difference in retaining and recruiting, organizations need to change the way they approach both and make a significant commitment to doing things differently.
One area that’s often overlooked as part of retaining and recruiting is communicating total compensation including benefits.
Total Compensation Matters
The right mix of benefits can be a critical component in a successful long-term plan for attracting and retaining employees. Benefits can offer the competitive advantage employers need to help them succeed in a challenging environment.
It’s not all about salary, however. Total compensation matters. But often employers don’t have the time or resources to help employees individually understand their total comp.
How would retention be impacted if each of your employees knew their total value?
Get Out of Boring Benefits
An important step to making your benefits program attractive is to shake up the status quo. You likely offer medical benefits, but what else is your organization doing in the benefits space to help get and keep good people?
Things like on-site childcare, wellness incentives or reimbursements, employee assistance programs (EAP), and telehealth options can really boost employee satisfaction and engagement in the workplace.
And, with an emphasis on mental wellbeing, you can show support towards your employees by cultivating a positive work environment, providing mental health resources, and offering and promoting a robust employee assistance program (EAP).
Finally, layer on incentives. There are multiple ways you can incentivize your people without breaking the bank.
This article on overcoming teacher shortages offers some creative incentives for:
- Bus driver incentives
- Substitute incentives
- Teacher and staff incentives
- Incentives for your budget
Hold Employees’ Hands
Employers spend up to 30% of employee compensation on benefits,2 yet rarely allocate resources to make sure their employees understand and value the benefits they are offered. While a strong benefits package may help enhance your overall compensation package, explaining it in a medium your employees understand or prefer is key.
Understanding the generations and how they prefer to receive benefits communications can mean the difference between retaining talented employees and losing out on some of the top candidates. Enrollment education is an indispensable way to create benefit selection confidence and optimal understanding.
5 Tips to Nailing Your Communications
- Keep messaging simple – if people perceive that it’s too difficult, they won’t do it. Show them what they’ll get out of it. For example, if you want people to participate in open enrollment, make it easy for them. Incentivize participation.
- Know your audience – if you’re employees are mostly millennials and you’re trying to communicate by email or letter, consider a text or social post instead.
- Be creative – nobody likes dull. Use captivating, concise messaging when creating collateral and a creative combination of tools. Maybe you combine email with social media and postcards? Perhaps you use email, text messaging and a flyer?
- Be consistent – people skip a message the first time. Creating a cadence that supports ongoing communication is a great way to keep your people engaged.
- Don’t remove the human – benefits are confusing. Don’t rely on technology alone and expect that your people will understand your plans.
Inspire Loyalty with Your Benefits
Benefits can offer the security that inspires greater loyalty. And the right mix can also drive satisfaction. In the end, if employees feel they have wonderful benefits and they’re happy with their compensation, all is well.
This blog is up to date as of May 2022 and has not been updated for changes in the law, administration or current events.