A well-designed employee benefit strategy can help build a significant advantage for any company seeking to grow through the acquisition and retention of key talent. The inability to hire and retain a strong workforce will affect an organization’s performance and inhibit its ability to achieve corporate goals and objectives. The ability to understand employee needs and craft a customized strategy is one of the more critical components of successful human resource management.
The following five steps will aid in the development of a successful benefit design strategy.
- Be Sure to Develop a Benefit Strategy that Aligns with the Company Mission Statement…A company’s benefit strategy should not be thought of as distinct and unrelated to the long term business goals of the company, but should instead compliment the ideological philosophies the business was built on.
2. Set Benefit Plan Goals and Budget…Establishing objectives for the company benefit program will enable decision makers to select the right plans, plan designs and services to round out their overall portfolio. As a general guideline, an employee’s benefits cost is approximately 30% of their overall compensation.
3. Analyze Employee Demographics and Benefit Needs…Benefit portfolios should be relevant and match the specific demographics and needs of each company’s diverse workforce
4. Choose Plans and Providers that Match the Above Criteria… With the help of a benefits broker or consultant, create a benefit portfolio based on the established strategy, budget and needs of the company.
5. Develop an Effective Communication Strategy…An effective communication strategy, involving a variety of media formats, allows employees to take full advantage of the benefits provided. Communication should extend beyond open enrollment periods and provide updates, reminders and education throughout the plan year.
Once the strategy has been developed, plans chosen and employees enrolled, company leaders should analyze and review the program on a regular basis and be prepared to modify the strategy and its components as needed. Employee feedback can be a valuable resource for this process. A sound benefit strategy should not be carved in stone but should be fluid, adapting to evolving needs, company development and any changes to the business environment and socio-economic conditions.