Young woman with laptop at a table smiling.

Tips for Designing an Employee Benefits Package

In this Benefit Strategies blog post we’ll offer some guidelines on how to design an employee benefits program that attracts great employees and won’t break the bank.

As a business owner, you often have to put so much on the line when it comes to attracting, hiring, and retaining talented employees. And, when it comes to compensation and perks, today’s employees expect a lot. That said, your employee benefits package doesn’t necessarily have to be your biggest business expense.

In this article, we will show you how to take a more strategic approach to designing an employee benefits package including:

  • Having clearly defined goals that are specific, relevant, attainable, and measurable
  • Remaining competitive as well as financially viable
  • Differentiating between required and optional benefits
  • Communicating additional perks and advantages to employees (and potential employees)

Have Clearly Defined Goals

You must know what your goals are and what will fit within your budget when designing an employee benefits package. Do you have a clear “why” in wanting to offer employee benefits? Are you trying to attract highly qualified talent? Do you know what benefits your competitors are offering and why potential employees may choose them over your company? The more focused and realistic you can be the better.

Be Competitive but Also Financially Viable

Do you know how much you can spend? Are you clear on how to design an employee benefits program that is both affordable and competitive? You can only pay what you can afford so to remain competitive you may have to find other perks that you can offer that your competitors can’t. For more on how to budget appropriately, check out this Canadian Business article entitled, “How Much Should Your Company Spend on Employee Benefits

Understand Required Vs Optional Employee Benefits

Some employee benefits (worker’s compensation for instance) may be required by federal and/or provincial law. It’s best if you also include the cost of these “required” benefits in your overall budget. Optional employee benefits like health insurance, life insurance, and disability insurance may be chosen based on cost and the needs of the talent you are trying to attract and retain. Your employee benefits broker can help you understand and choose which optional benefits are best for your circumstances.

Communicate Additional Perks

Health, life, and disability insurance are the common types of optional employee benefits. However, many smaller businesses may be able to offer additional perks that their larger competitors may have overlooked or simply don’t offer. These might be the kinds of benefits the employees need that makes them feel your company may be a better place to work at.

Maybe you can offer a flexible work schedule or allow your employees to telecommute. Perhaps you can contribute to a health spending account on the employee’s behalf or offer paid time off for things like volunteer work. Make sure these potential perks are communicated clearly to existing employees and especially to potential employees during the interview process.

Use Annual Statements to Summarize the Value of Your Benefits

As humans, we tend to believe what we see in writing. It’s a good policy to provide your employees with an annual statement that outlines not only their wages, but also the dollar value of all the benefits they are receiving. Let your employees see in writing that the value of their compensation is a lot higher than just their wages.

Learn More on How to Design an Employee Benefits Program

If you already have an employee benefits program but feel you need to explore other options, or if you need help designing a plan that better fits your budget and employee’s needs, give us a call.

Benefit Strategies Inc. is located in Edmonton Alberta and has be serving businesses throughout the Western Provinces, the Yukon, and the Northwest Territories for more than four decades.

If your business employs 10 or more employees and you want to learn more about how to design an employee benefits program that is affordable and competitive, please call our us at 1-780-437-5070 or send us an email.