Employee Benefits Plan: Guide

Competition in the talent market has reached exceeding heights in the past 3 years. What it takes to survive in the modern world has shifted dramatically, and employees are no longer willing to settle for a mediocre compensation package or bare-minimum benefits. 

employees reviewing their employee benefits plan

Competition in the talent market has reached exceeding heights in the past 3 years. What it takes to survive in the modern world has shifted dramatically, and employees are no longer willing to settle for a mediocre compensation package or bare-minimum benefits. 

To remain attractive to talented job seekers, as well as hang on to the employees they already have, industry-lead organizations must come up with a benefits strategy that helps their people feel truly supported.

Your company as a whole also stands to gain from a really robust perks package, as much as your workforce. You don’t have to break the bank in order to give your people what they want, and in fact a generous roster of modern benefits can give your business the competitive edge it needs to thrive and accelerate in the modern landscape.

So let’s talk about how to build a truly great employee benefits plan.

What is an employee benefits plan?

An employee benefits plan is the total inventory of employee compensation excluding their actual paycheck. It includes a range of workplace advantages which provide specific and targeted support to a variety of areas of an employee’s life, including physical wellbeing, financial wellbeing, a healthy work/life balance, and eventual retirement.

Benefits plans should be strategically considered in order to maintain a sustainable balance between what your workers want, and what your company can afford to provide. Some inclusions within an employee benefits plan are legally mandated, while others are voluntarily provided on the part of the employer. 

A larger package with a higher proportion of voluntary benefits represents a greater expense to your business, but also a more enticing incentive to your current workforce as well as any job-seeking candidate. Better benefits often result in higher performance, reduced absenteeism, and better retention rates.

What should be included in your employee benefits plan?

Beyond the legally mandated benefits which companies of a certain size must include, the most popular modern benefits are those which provide long-term support and wellness to your employee base.

Standard employee benefits can be broken down into 5 categories:

  1. Health and wellness benefits.
    Health insurance is not a benefit businesses are legally required to offer, but it is one that modern employees expect from their employer. And coverage which exceeds the standard demonstrates exceptional ROI, especially in the current landscape.

    Mental health care is growing in popularity: it is a critical and underrated point of care which also supports greater employee performance and productivity.

    Inclusive healthcare can also give your wider DEI efforts a boost as marginalized employees find targeted support. Consider transgender healthcare, fertility care, long-term disability care, and access to identity-specific counseling.

  2. Financial wellness benefits.
    Giving your employees long-term financial stability goes beyond providing them with a competitive wage (although it absolutely must include this.) Especially following the pandemic, financial strain is the leading cause of stress in the U.S., and employers are in a position to directly mitigate this factor for the better, and for generations to come.

    Investing in your employees’ financial futures with benefits including examples such as: financial counseling, debt repayment programs, financial planning support, and financial education provides a broader effect including improved employee mental health, physical health, performance, and retention.

  3. Retirement planning benefits.
    Retirement support is another non-mandated benefit which employees rely on their company to provide, and is a major incentive.

    A 401K is the most recognizable employer-sponsored retirement plan, and one which matches employee contributions for more efficient saving is especially popular.

  4. Work/life balance benefits.
    This category includes a range of individual benefits which support employees in working to live, rather than living to work.

    A healthy work/life balance contributes to positive mental and physical health for employees, and starts with a thriving wage and the means for financial wellness, but can be further supported with benefits such as:

    - Paid time off.
    - Flexible working hours.
    - The option to work from home.
    - Sabbatical.

  5. Educational benefits.
    These may include tuition reimbursement benefits, access to specific university-level degree programs or other certifications, in-house upskilling and reskilling training, and more.
    Educational benefits as well as other benefits which directly support employee career development directly support higher retention rates for your company: 94% of employees surveyed by LinkedIn say they would consider remaining within their current role given better investment in their educational development.

How to create an employee benefits plan

Here are a few steps you can follow to build a comprehensive, effective, and affordable benefits plan for your employee base.

Step 1: Define objectives. Getting clear on the goals you hope to achieve with your benefits plan can help you to curate your roster and avoid including an extraneous benefit simply for the sake of inclusion while also making sure you’re not leaving anything important out of the package. Are you hoping to improve retention? Productivity? Employee happiness and wellbeing? This initial platform will help you to build or update your plan.

Step 2: Find out what you’re missing. Poll your employees to see what they want, check out the competition for a benchline, and ask your HR team to get a sense of the viable benefits or benefit qualities which your company needs to add or emphasize within your plan. This step is also important to gauging potential engagement levels: giving your employees only the benefits they will actually use can help you to build an effective and supportive plan that also stays within budget.

Step 3: Communicate. Often, voluntary benefits go unused because employees simply don’t know it’s something you offer. To boost engagement, and thus the ROI of your total benefits plan, make sure to communicate plainly and frequently which benefits you offer, as well as how your employees can access and get the most out of them.

How Origin fits into your employee benefits plan

Financial wellness is a catalyst that can build long-term security, confidence, mental wellbeing, physical fitness, and generational wealth for your employee base. And we’re not exaggerating.

Financial wellness time and again is shown to have far-reaching impact on the lives of your workers, and this wellness is something they invest back into your organization with their time, engagement, and hard-work. And Origin can help you get there.

Origin is a life-changing employee benefit that delivers long-term financial security and health through a holistic approach to employee personal finance. Including such features as personal financial counseling, debt repayment planning, savings and retirement planning, financial education and more, Origin is just one affordable benefit that gives your company an earth-shaking impact, providing advantages at the employee as well as the enterprise level.

Find out what else Origin can do for you by signing up for a free demo today.


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