An effective benefits package based on employee engagement levels can prove significant, with productivity and efficiency levels boosted, sickness and absenteeism reduced, and in turn, the company’s overall performance improves. 

For many small business owners, cost cutting has been necessary to survive the turbulent economic climate. This often causes diminished staff motivation and morale takes a nose dive, but businesses can help reverse these negative effects by offering a competitive employee benefit package. This helps motivate existing workers and it also aids in attracting the best talent.

Attracting top talent

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, everyone knows that the competition for talent in our industry is extremely high, and as new explorations come online it’s only going to get worse. In order to attract those individuals you have to have a package that is competitive. 

To help attract and retain quality employees and ensure they get the best out of them, it is essential that you make employees feel appreciated and valued. A competitive employee benefits package helps a business’ reputation, attracts the best talent and produces results. 

Creating an effective employee benefits package is vital and should not be taken lightly. 

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Creative thinking

While a competitive salary is obviously essential, if you have a limited budget use innovative ways to deliver rewards and benefits that have a far higher perceived value to the employee. These rewards can include corporate gym memberships, employee discount programs, travel clubs, and even reduced priced smartphones or state-of-the-art laptops.

Employee benefits offer opportunities to give staff rewards, which do not cost a lot of money. For example, most discount programs offer substantial saving opportunities for thoughtful shoppers, with better programs able to deliver weekly savings of more than $1,000 per year for individual employees. Accumulated over a year, these small savings can amount to the equivalent of an annual pay rise.

A major advantage is that through discount programs, employees can gain unlimited access to offers and discounts, without the need to alter their spending habits. Ideas often include a range of discounts that appeal to a broad spectrum of tastes, which guarantees interest from a wider audience. 

Costco and Sam’s Club Memberships are relatively inexpensive but can save an employee thousands of dollars every year. Voluntary benefits discounts are flexible and can be obtained both nationally and locally while online cash back discounts add convenience. They offer thousands of ways to save money, and are therefore an ideal addition to any employee benefits package. 

Related: 7 Strategies for Happy Employees

Partners are key

If your business is a member of a local or national organization, they may offer benefits you can pass on to your employees. Trade associations, high technology councils and chambers of commerce all create innovative benefits and discounts for their members and their member employees. 

It’s a perfect place to look for ideas and options that would appeal to your workforce. It also gets the employees involved in the associations, which boosts their impact and effect to their members.

Designer benefits

If you’ve ever had a long conversation with an insurance broker, you know they have tons of great advantages of benefits packages. They can come to your business, analyze your entire benefits plan, and make recommendations on new and creative benefits offerings that save your employees a significant amount of money, while increasing the value of your benefits program significantly without a major impact to your bottom line. An insurance broker can design a complete package that will absolutely set you apart from your competitors — a great place to be.

No longer are diverse rewards and benefits the sole domain of large employers. There has been a recent emergence of low cost off-the-shelf reward and benefit solutions designed to suit smaller organizations and emerging businesses. So rather than trying to manage the different component benefits – which can actually prove surprisingly costly, particularly in terms of time – a more astute approach is to seek out a packaged employee benefits solution. 

Talk it up

Part of the key to success with these programs is internal marketing; you’re spending the money to come up with these programs, now go get mileage out of them. Implementing a competitive employee benefits package to hook new team members is positive, but it’s also important to ensure that the options are communicated to existing staff. 

Once an employee benefits package has been integrated, ensure that employees are aware of what is available to them; this helps maintain the morale and engagement levels if they can see the positive options you have to offer them. Human resource departments should ensure their provider offers numerous tools to support the communication of a benefits package.

Communicate your benefits package to staff members by creating leaflets, posters and engaging content to include in work emails or printed newsletters. Use a variety of media to tell employees, perhaps on a monthly basis, about future offers. Regular communication, possibly in monthly or weekly meetings to refresh employees’ minds, also boosts the effectiveness of a program. 

And don’t forget the significant other. Marketing to the household is a great way to engage all of the members of the people impacted by the employer relationship. I don’t know about you, but I don’t do anything without talking about it with my wife, especially as it pertains to our benefits and the impact on our children. 

When considering a competitive new job offer, a compelling argument to stay where you are because of the benefits, the fringe offered by an employer, has an impact beyond just the employee. It’s important that they know what you offer too — and having an online access point to see them all is invaluable.

A competitive employee benefits package has significant power to attract the best and also to retain the best. Loyal and productive employees are your ammunition and can impact whether your business survives or flourishes. 

About the Author

David J. Baker is founder, president and CEO of Human Capital Advisors Inc., which offers executive recruitment, compensation, benefits, management training, workforce and organizational development services.

He holds a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management, and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Industrial Relations. Contact David at or visit

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