A Strategic Approach to Crafting Employee Benefits That Matter

Creating a successful employee benefits package in today’s competitive job market requires a strategic approach:

  • actively listen to employees
  • understand employee motivations
  • overcome perceived cost barriers

A recent survey highlights the importance of ongoing evaluation and consultation with benefits advisers to align offerings with employee priorities, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive and flexible benefits package to attract and retain top talent.


Listen to Your Employees


The foundation of a successful benefits program begins with understanding employee needs. A recent survey by Principal reveals that while 46% of employers are considering additional benefits, a staggering 72% of employees support such enhancements. The key is to bridge the gap by actively asking for employee input. Conduct regular surveys or hold discussions to learn employee preferences and identify any gaps in the existing benefits offerings. This not only demonstrates a commitment to employee well-being but also helps in tailoring benefits to align with actual needs.

Understand Motivations


Employers should invest time in understanding what motivates their employees. For example, a flexible schedule might hold as much value as a more costly benefit like childcare support. By identifying these motivators, organizations can design benefits that resonate with employees without straining the budget. The one-size-fits-all approach needs to be updated; instead, focus on offering benefits that truly make a difference to individual employees.

Overcome Perceived Cost Barriers


Many employers overestimate the cost of providing additional benefits, particularly when health insurance serves as a reference point. It’s crucial to break away from this misconception and explore cost-effective alternatives. The benefits landscape is diverse, and by understanding the actual costs, employers can make informed decisions that contribute to a healthier and more secure workplace. Be open to adjusting benefits based on changing employee values and organizational financial health.

Add Access as a Benefit


If there’s a desired benefit outside the budget, consider offering access instead of shouldering the entire cost. This approach allows for flexibility—employers can contribute partially or not at all, making sought-after benefits more accessible to employees willing to share the expense. By providing options and making benefits more customizable, organizations can create a tailored benefits experience that meets employees where they are.

Addressing the Gap: Insights from a Recent Survey


A survey of more than 1,800 employers uncovered significant disparities between the benefits employees consider important and what employers offer. The need for health insurance, 401(k) retirement plans, life insurance, and wellness programs were among the areas where the gaps were particularly pronounced.

This data emphasizes the importance of ongoing evaluation and consultation with benefits advisers to align offerings with employee priorities. Particularly in a competitive job market, employers must recognize the value of a comprehensive benefits package in attracting and retaining top talent.

To navigate the evolving landscape of employee benefits successfully, employers will need a proactive and flexible approach. By actively listening to employee needs, understanding motivations, looking beyond cost, and adding accessible options, businesses can create a benefits package that not only supports their bottom line but also fosters a workplace where employees feel heard, valued, and motivated to contribute their best.