Employee benefits: Powerful support for your people

Une famille mange à la table

It's a fact: labour shortages are making life difficult for employers.

Human resources professionals need to get creative to attract and retain new talent. And with inflation rising at an unprecedented rate, people want better benefits and higher wages to make ends meet.

So, what are your options to attract and retain employees? The most obvious solution is to increase salaries. But is that enough to ensure their well-being?

Benefits certainly have a direct impact on quality of life, both at work and at home. Solid employee benefits therefore benefit your business.

What are employee benefits?

Employee benefits are privileges granted to a company's staff. They vary from one employer to another and can take many forms.

Some of the most common include:

  • a group insurance plan (prescription drugs, health, dental, vision, disability, travel, etc.)

  • a supplemental pension plan
  • paid days off for a better work-family balance
  • a flexible schedule
  • working from home or a hybrid work model 
  • employer-paid training
  • a professional development program (training, coaching, mentoring)
  • a gym or any form of fitness membership at no cost to promote healthy lifestyle habits
  • on-site food services
  • access to free personal hygiene products

Some companies take it a step further to stand out from other employers. They can offer:

  • unlimited vacation time
  • the possibility of a sabbatical
  • paid volunteer days
  • a concierge service

Others go as far as:

  • subsidizing the education of their employees' children
  • organizing festive recognition events
  • paying their employees to be physically active
Choose your benefits based on the needs of your employees

As you can see, there are plenty of possibilities! You can also customize your offer according to the profile of your work teams to better respond to their specific needs.

Be creative! Poll your staff, see what benefits they want. It’s the best way to offer the benefits program your employees really need.

So what’s the point of employee benefits?

A good benefits program does more than help with recruiting. It promotes the overall health and well-being of your employees.

Think bigger than a financial boost, this is about a better quality of life. Consider offering mental and physical health services, such as an employee assistance program, access to virtual healthcare or a gym membership.

Top things off, the current high inflation rates making headlines put a lot of pressure on the financial health of your employees, as well as their mental health. They have less money in their pockets at the end of the month despite their steady hard work. This difficult situation can lead to decreased motivation and disinterest in their work.

In short, with the right fit, your benefits program will make life easier for your employees, alleviating their financial burden and improving their overall health. As a result, your teams are healthier, more productive, motivated and engaged.

Feel like employee benefits are too expensive?

Benefits are just another expense? Think again! See it as a chain reaction: physically and mentally healthy employees will drive your business.

Fostering employee retention translates into lower turnover costs, so a benefits program is definitely a strategy that pays off.

Employee benefits keep evolving

In recent years, the workplace landscape has changed drastically.

The lockdowns in response to the pandemic had a slew of negative effects. But as a  silver lining, people realized the benefits of a slower, more balanced pace of life. Many have questioned the importance placed on their work life.

Before the pandemic, workplace privileges and activities were quite popular. Today, not so much. Employees are more interested in work-life balance. So giving your employees the opportunity to work from home or offering flextime can be a real selling point.

The labour shortage means workers have choices! People are more mindful of workplace wellness. While compensation is still important, they will choose a workplace where they feel good.

Take care of your employees and they’ll take care of business!

Your benefits program must support your employees during this difficult economy. Listen to what they have to say… their needs, their financial concerns. Ultimately, your support will be a game changer in dealing with the labour shortage.