Attracting and retaining employees by maximizing the competitive total rewards package

Michael Shedek PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

As attracting and retaining employees becomes more challenging due to a strong economy and a tight labor market fueled by competition for talent, it becomes increasingly important for organizations to review, leverage and update their compensation and total rewards programs to align with the market, and to be positioned to maintain a talented work pool.

Many organizations dedicate a substantial amount of time, effort and dollars to ensure they are providing a meaningful benefit packages to employees. However, a rapidly changing benefits environment and diverse needs from a multigenerational workforce have added complexities.

Successful organizations must strategically leverage their benefits programs to the demographics and generational needs of their employees to become an employer of choice. Baby boomers, Gen X and millennials form the majority of the workforce, but many organizations also employ members of the traditionalists generation and centennials as well.

Employees in different life stages might want and/and need different benefits. You might not always offer the best of every benefit, but you should not underinvest in the benefits that are most important to your employees. Successful organizations will allocate benefit dollars to the programs most meaningful to their employee population.

Employers need to understand the value different employee groups and populations place on benefits, decide on the total amount they are willing to spend on benefits and allocate the financial resources to where they will have the biggest impact on employees to maximize their total rewards environment.

As businesses evolve and new generations enter the workforce, organizations need to stay up-to-date on employee benefit wants and needs.

The big question is – where do we start? The diversity of available benefits options available today demonstrates that organizations understand they must be creative in allocating resources and selecting effective benefits packages.

Many organizations are offering a core benefits package including medical, dental, vision, life and disability. But to get the competitive edge, progressive companies are adding ancillary benefits that might be low cost, but high impact.

One tool organizations can use to gauge employee satisfaction and gain feedback on the quality and types of benefits offered is through an employee benefits satisfaction survey. The results can help to determine what benefits are truly important to employees and how the benefit package compares to comparable organizations.

You might find a substantial portion of your benefits spend is being allocated to a benefit that is underutilized and not impactful to employees. Those benefit dollars can be reallocated to a program or benefit that is more meaningful to employees.

In the past, job loyalty was expected. However, in today’s fluid environment employees have more opportunities and may expect more from their employers as a result.

Organizations must evaluate their strategies to attract, retain and reward employees. Understanding what employees want from a total rewards perspective is an important step in the right direction.