Fringe Benefits: Keep Your Employees Happy

High turnover is a pain that all HR professionals work hard to avoid. Over the last few weeks, we’ve spent some time going over various causes for high employee turnover. As well, we have also detailed some signs to look out for when an employee may be considering leaving your company. Now, let’s take an even further step back and consider some prevention methods that could be put in place. One common practice for companies to attract and keep talent is by providing them with various fringe benefits. In this blog we’ll go over some fringe benefits that your company may already be providing, and more that we hope can inspire you to consider implementing!

What Are Fringe Benefits

So what exactly is considered a fringe benefit? Fringe benefits include everything employers provide to employees on top of their salary. The practice of offering fringe benefits can be traced back to the late 1800s. In 1875, the American Express railroad company began to develop and offer employee pension plans. The company would pay out a certain percentage of employee salaries and put it towards their pension plans. Retirement benefit plans remain a popular practice today in forms such as a pension and 401(k) in the U.S., and RSPs and TFSA accounts in Canada as it encourages long term savings and provide benefits to employees beyond their salary. However, fringe benefits that can be offered by companies do not end here.

Health & Wellness

Some other popular perks that companies offer relate to health and wellness. For health care, this can span from companies paying a portion of monthly premiums, to providing full coverage – including dental and vision care. OECD statistics show that the U.S. spends more on health care than any other country – with 16.9% of gross domestic product (GDP) spent on healthcare in 2018. This makes offering health benefits especially attractive to many employees as it may be unaffordable otherwise. Life insurance is another fringe benefit that companies can offer. For many that want to buy life insurance, the premiums can be too high to pay regularly. Therefore, having the option to take part in a group term life policy can help employees exponentially reduce their monthly costs and gain an extra sense of peace.

Depending on the nature of the job, unlimited Paid-Time Off (PTO) has also became increasingly popular in recent years. For example, many tech companies function on a project basis with specific deadlines. Rather than sticking to a rigid 9-5 structure, allowing employees to take time off whenever they like, as long as they are completing projects on time, can encourage employees to be more efficient when they are actually working. Rather than feeling unproductive at work, allowing employees to just take some time off and rejuvenate allows them to more quickly return to work in full force. At the end of the day, you want your employees to maximize productivity and efficiency. Unlimited PTO can provide a new structure of work that could potentially yield better results than you’d imagine. Just remember to encourage a culture of actually taking time off to recharge, rather than having your employees constantly worrying about whether they should take any time off because their team is perpetually busy.

Work-Life Balance

Employees are not robots that have no life outside of working. For example, approximately one third of the U.S. workforce – an estimated 50 million workers – has a child under 14 in their household. In the face of expensive childcare, many workers are forced to drop their career to take care of their children. Hence, another helpful benefit that can be offered by employers would be dependent assistance. This can come in forms ranging from subsidizing daycare costs to offering childcare savings accounts. This benefit should be offered to both male and female employees to give them equal opportunity to take care of their family.

Another fringe benefit that your company can consider offering is education assistance. It is estimated that 72% of candidates change jobs because of career advancement opportunities. If an employee feels like they are stagnating in their current role, they will eventually want to move on and reach for their potential elsewhere. This could be avoided by being flexible with work schedules and encouraging employees to seek further education while remaining in the company. This allows for the employee’s goal of self-advancement, while simultaneously upgrading your employee to be more efficient at their work. Education assistance can come in forms such as providing tuition reimbursement for all or part of the expenses.

Keep Your Employees Happy to Keep Your Employees

Studies have shown that the cost of employee turnover is on average around 40% of an employee’s salary. Although providing extra benefits may seem costly at first, but in the grand scheme of things, it will help your company save a lot more money and time. Other fringe benefits you can consider includes fitness memberships, meals and cafeteria plans, relocation assistance, and many more. Don’t wait until your top performers to hand in their resignation letter to begin considering how to keep them at your company longer!