Employee Benefits to Offer Amid the Labor Crisis
According to the Department of Labor, 4.5 million American workers quit their jobs in November 2021. In fact, U.S. quit rates reached a record high at 3%. But some states have been hit harder than most. Hawaii for example, had a quit rate of 4.7% – the highest in the nation, according to the Chamber of Commerce. While employers struggle to find workers amid the labor shortage crisis, employees are taking advantage of better pay and benefits as companies compete for top talent.
What can employers do to win the talent war? When it comes to attracting and retaining talent, health insurance isn’t the only tool in an employer’s toolbox. There are other attractive benefits and rewards organizations can leverage to become an employer of choice amid a competitive landscape.
To help you out, ProService put together this glossary of employee benefits and perks employers can consider – everything from 401(k) to voluntary benefits. Let’s take a look.
Want more helpful info? Download our HR Glossary from A to Z, or one of our helpful guides, A Better Way to Reward Employees.
401(k) Retirement Plan:
A 401(k) retirement plan is a company-sponsored retirement account that employees can contribute to by agreeing to have a percentage of each paycheck paid directly into an investment account. Employers may also make matching contributions, although it’s not required.
Accident insurance is an extra layer of protection that pays you cash when employees suffer an unexpected, qualifying accident. It provides workers with money to cover any extra, out-of-pocket expenses associated with their injury.
On top of regular paid time off (PTO), some employers choose to offer their employees extra paid holidays each year like a paid birthday holiday that can be taken within a certain number of days of the actual date. This is one example of an easy benefit that makes employees feel good and appreciated.
Cancer insurance, also known as specified-disease insurance in some states, helps you pay for medical expenses like chemotherapy and non-medical expenses like travel and lodging, etc. to help keep life as normal as possible for you and your family.
Casual Dress Code:
Offering a casual dress code, or even “casual dress Fridays” can be an easy, low cost perk to offer certain, non-client facing employees and create a comfortable work environment.
Compensation is an overarching term that refers to all the types of payments an employee earns. Examples of compensation include salary and hourly wages, but also variable pay like bonuses, sales commissions, profit sharing etc.
Critical Illness Insurance:
Critical illness insurance provides additional coverage for medical emergencies like heart attacks, strokes, or cancer. Although not every disease is covered, a critical illness insurance policy will employees cover many of the most common and financially disruptive conditions.
Dependent Care Account:
A dependent care account is a pre-tax benefit account used to pay for eligible dependent (child/elder) care services, such as preschool, summer day camp, before or after school programs, and child or adult daycare. It is a voluntary benefit that employers can offer employees during open enrollment at little to no cost to the employer.
Employee Assistance Programs:
An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a work-based intervention program designed to help employees resolve personal programs that may be adversely affecting their performance. EAPs traditionally have assisted workers with issues like alcohol or substance abuse, however, most now cover a broad range of issues such as child or elder care, relationship challenges, financial or legal problems, wellness matters, and traumatic events like workplace violence. Programs are delivered at no cost to employees by stand-alone EAP vendors or providers who are part of comprehensive health insurance plans. Services are often delivered via phone, video-based counseling, online chatting, e-mail interactions, or face-to-face.
A floating holiday is a paid day off that each employee can decide when to take. A floating holiday is generally given in addition to the typical paid holidays that most employers provide as a benefit.
A flexible work schedule is an alternative to the traditional 9 to 5, 40-hour workweek. It allows employees to vary their arrival and/or departure times.
Flexible Spending Account:
A flexible spending account is a pre-tax benefit account used to pay for eligible health out-of-pocket costs. It can include things like acne treatments, orthodontic care, massage therapy, first aid supplies, etc. With an FSA, employees set aside pre-tax dollars during open enrollment which is then broken up and deducted evenly from each paycheck. Note: Whatever funds employees don’t use by the end of the plan gets forfeited so it’s important that they plan accordingly.
Hospital Confinement & Indemnity Insurance:
Hospital indemnity insurance is a supplemental insurance plan designed to pay for the costs of hospital admission that may not be covered by other insurance (e.g. someone who is admitted to a hospital or ICU for a covered sickness or injury). Payments can be used for any purpose, including medical copays, deductibles, or even regular expenses such as food, rent, and utilities.
A hybrid work model is a plan that incorporates a mixture of in-office and remote work in an employee's schedule. Employees occasionally have the ability to pick and choose when they work from home and when they come into the office. There is no one-size-fits-all hybrid model. Each company develops a hybrid model based on the needs of the company and the needs of the individual employee.
Life insurance is a method of providing funds payable to named beneficiaries upon the death of the insured. Many employers offer employees life insurance as a voluntary benefit.
Long Term Disability:
Disability insurance is sometimes called “disability income insurance” because it is designed to replace a portion of your income if you are unable to work because of a serious illness or injury. Long-term disability is intended to provide benefits for a longer period. Benefit periods for long-term disability insurance are usually stated in years: 5, 10, 20, or even until you reach retirement age, depending on your plan.
Paid Time Off:
Paid Time Off (PTO) is compensated time away from work that’s for employees to use as they see fit. PTO is often measured in hours and classified for different types of absences like sickness, vacation time, and personal time.
Parental leave refers to the period of time that a caregiver takes off from work following the birth of his/her baby. Parental leave is usually created from a variety of benefits that include sick leave, vacation, holiday time, personal days, short-term disability and unpaid family leave time. While employers aren’t required to offer paid paternity leave, offering it can make employers stand out. For example, ProService offers 12 weeks of paid parental leave to employees retained with the company for 3 or more years.
Parking & Transit Account:
A Parking & Transit Account allows you to use tax-free dollars to pay for monthly parking lot fees and mass transit programs (i.e. Bus Pass). It is a voluntary benefit that employers can offer employees during open enrollment at little to no cost to the employer.
Short Term Disability Insurance:
Disability insurance is sometimes called “disability income insurance” because it is designed to replace a portion of your income if you are unable to work because of a serious illness or injury. Short-term disability insurance is intended to cover you for a short period of time following an illness or injury that keeps you out of work. While policies vary, short-term disability insurance typically covers you for a term between 3-6 months.
Student Loan Repayment Assistance:
Student loan repayment assistance programs allow employers to help employees pay off their loans faster. These programs have the potential to make a big impact on workplace satisfaction and the financial outlook of employees that participate.
Employers can offer employees access to supplemental insurance plans as a benefit. Supplemental health insurance covers costs above and beyond what traditional health plans will pay for. Examples of supplemental health insurance include accident insurance, short-term disability insurance, cancer insurance, etc.
A “Total Rewards” package or program is an HR term used to describe the strategic blend of monetary rewards (e.g. salary, bonuses, etc.) and non-monetary rewards (e.g. healthcare, career coaching, PTO, free office snacks, etc.) a company offers its employees to attract and keep them. Unlike other reward programs, Total Rewards takes a step back to holistically look at the value a company offers its employees across the entire organization.
Training and Development:
One of the best ways for employees to enhance knowledge and skills is through training, which also helps to build employer loyalty and retention as well. It can include formal employer-provided professional and leadership training programs, but it can also include things like regular lunch and learns, mentorship opportunities, online course/certification reimbursement, etc.
Voluntary benefits are products and services that are offered by employers but paid for mostly or 100% by employees via payroll deductions. Voluntary benefits are supplemental to other traditional benefits (health insurance, retirement, etc.) and don’t have direct costs to the employer. Examples of voluntary benefits include supplemental insurances, flexible spending accounts (FSA), dependent care accounts, etc.
Variable pay, also known as performance pay, is used to recognize and reward employee contributions above and beyond their normal job requirements. It includes things like annual incentives, bonus payments, sales commissions, and profit-sharing.
Want to learn more?
Talk to one of our Sales Advisors to see how ProService Hawaii can help your business attract and retain top talent. Book a free HR consultation at proservice.com/consult