In our previous post about employee benefits, we wrote about the changing benefits landscape and the constituents of compelling packages. In response to these requirements, companies have gone above and beyond to design innovative benefits programs. Google is a notable example; their employees are encouraged to unwind with free massages and art classes!

An attractive package doesn’t necessarily need fancy perks, though.

More paid leaves are one of the most valued benefits that employers can offer, at almost no extra cost to the company. Mammoth HR (now called Mineral) went a step ahead, introducing an unlimited time off policy. Interestingly, after the policy was introduced, employees didn’t take more leaves than they’d taken previously – that number stayed nearly the same.

What the policy conveyed was the message that the company trusted its people, and saw them as individuals rather than just as a workforce. The article acknowledges the different circumstances employees live through, and how that may alter the number of leaves required in a year. Aside from relieving employee stress, this policy also has direct benefits for the company. In the USA, businesses spend billions of dollars compensating employees for unused vacation days, typically at the end of the year. But when the leaves offered are unlimited, the concept of “unused” days off no longer exists, removing the need for compensation and thus saving companies money!

Provision of benefits is important, but so is their usage!

It’s crucial to ensure that employees are aware of the perks they have, as well as confirm that they are comfortable using them freely. According to this study, only 57% of employees feel at ease asking for time off, and 18% feel outright discomfort at the notion.

Relaxation is necessary to avoid burnout and stay productive long-term – consulting firm HR Strategy Group in Ellicott City recognizes this. Donna Miracle, the Chief Operating Officer, points out how companies can follow up on employees (as well as their managers) who aren’t making full use of the benefits offered to verify that nothing is amiss. With the assurance that the company stands by their decisions, employees can feel at home within the office community and take breaks from hectic schedules without feeling pressured to do otherwise.

Offsetting the costs through improved efficiency

While some benefits might not eat into the business’s budgets, some others do add to the company’s costs. Insurance policies, free classes and memberships, etc. are some of the pricier yet ever-popular provisions that many companies have begun to roll out. And while rolling out such attractive perks, businesses are also trying to find ways to mitigate the associated increase in costs.

For instance, during the pandemic, wages increased by 3% for new hires at Gray Builders, adding to the business’s financial pressures. While the company could have passed on the costs to customers, a viable solution in the long-term needed a different approach. This involved making all aspects of their operations cost-efficient, to optimize spends.

For Craft Coast Brewery, the solution lay in boosting employee productivity, through better process automation, to match the increased minimum wage requirement. They reasoned that a higher starting wage warranted higher efficiency and invested in training their employees to raise their skill level, setting the direction for improved output.

The varied company responses to the benefits package conundrum and their subsequent successes show the importance of having diverse yet flexible approaches to creating attractive and practical policies. Examining both the employer’s and the employee’s perspectives, in the process, might open the door to a simple, yet creative solution.

Leave a Reply