How to Create a Benefits Package

A shifting landscape, both at large as well as within the silo of the workplace, has prompted a dramatic shift in the expectations employees have for their employers when it comes to the benefits which they are offered. Many standard advantages are being expanded and altered to compensate for the demands of new and modern circumstances, while other benefits are for the first time making their way onto the global stage. 

Whatever your benefits package looked like before, or if you’re putting one together for the very first time, updating your offerings to meet current need may feel a little like reinventing the wheel – so let’s go over some of the basics that will help your organization to curate a robust and contemporary benefits package for your employee base. 

What is a benefits package?

A benefits package constitutes an array of non-wage tools, resources, services, and programs designed to support employees and their dependents beyond the scope of their salary. A typical benefits package can include small perks and bonuses such as work-sponsored parties or snacks in the break room, as well as critical advantages like healthcare, child care, retirement benefits, and educational resources.

What should be included in a benefits package?

There exist a number of benefits which businesses operating in the US are required by law to provide to their employees. These are often referred to as “involuntary” benefits, and will always appear on any organization’s longer list of advantages. These include

  • Social security and medicare taxes.
  • Unemployment insurance, on both federal and state levels. 
  • Worker’s compensation insurance. 

Beyond these required benefits, organizations should consider including offerings which will keep them competitive within their industry. Popular and desirable benefits for the contemporary workforce often include:

  • Free or very low-cost work-sponsored health insurance.
  • Educational benefits such as tuition reimbursement support or in-house workforce education programming.
  • Retirement savings options, often with employer-matched contributions.
  • Stock options, especially within larger organizations, or employee ownership benefits. 
  • Paid leave, including sick leave, family leave, vacation, and miscellaneous time off.
  • Financial wellness benefits including debt repayment programming and access to financial counselors.
  • Soft benefits like flexible work hours or the option to operate from home.

The precise makeup of your benefits package will depend on the needs of your organization and its employee base. When filling your package, it’s important to include comprehensive advantages which are most helpful to your workforce, and most likely to inspire ongoing engagement and a consistent ROI. Let’s talk about how to get started. 

Creating a benefits package

Here are a few actionable steps any organization can take towards creating or updating their employee benefit offerings. 

  1. Set goals, and a budget. At this stage, your objectives may target specific employee metrics you wish to address, or they may work to tackle a broader concept which your benefits package will provide. For example, one goal may be “increase the number of employees who self-identify as financially well by 50%,” and another may state, “provide competitive and desirable healthcare to all employees.” Setting goals before you take any other steps gives you something concrete to work towards, as well as a mile marker by which you can measure your success.

    Objectives also allow organizations to define the steps they need to take towards those goals by reverse-engineering them back to the business’ current state. Having these steps in place can also help you to understand your budgetary needs, which in turn allows you to set your budget and adjust your plan based on organizational spending abilities.

  2. Figure out what you’re missing. You should go about this in two ways.

    One: look at the benefits offered by similar businesses in your industries and see how your package measures up. At minimum, matching the benefits your competitors provide will help to keep you on the list as a top employer.

    Two: survey your employees to get an idea of what the most desirable and supportive benefits are to them. Ask if there are any missing from your roster that they would include, or if there are any modifications they would make to the benefits you currently provide.

  3. Fill the gaps. Working with your goals, budget, and employee input, start shopping around for benefit solutions or strategies that meet both your needs and spending abilities.

    You should work to build a list of priorities for your benefits package to give you an idea of what the non-negotiables are, or which you anticipate will yield the greatest benefit for your employees and organization in tandem.

    Consider also which benefits you can address in-house, versus which you may have to source externally, and which strategy will be most cost-effective.

  4. Get feedback. You shouldn’t anticipate giving your benefits package an overhaul regularly, however it is still critical to solicit employee feedback – especially after implementing new programming – to ensure that the benefits are engaging, effective, and accessible.

Benefits package example template

One important aspect of your benefits package is how you choose to communicate it to your employees. You can engage the template below to fill in with the precise advantages you offer so your workers will know what they are, and how they can be accessed.

Introduction: Here you will describe the purpose of the document, the information enclosed therein, how employees should read the document, and who they can contact for further explanation and orientation.

Benefit title: Here you will state what the benefit is, and the name of the provider, if an external solution.

Scope of benefit: Here you will explain what the benefit does, how it supports the employee, and any other relevant data. 

Employee qualification and exceptions: Here you will state which employees qualify, if it is limited, and whether there are factors which would disqualify an otherwise eligible employee. 

Relevant access points: Here you will explain how the employee can sign on for this benefit and what they will need in order to do so.

Final thoughts: How to create a benefits package

When constructing your benefits package, it is of course critical to include those baseline advantages like PTO and comprehensive healthcare. But while you’re revising, creating, or curating your new plan, consider also those benefits which can sometimes fly under the radar: benefits like financial wellness programming. 

Financial wellness solutions can have an effect which is felt in unexpected areas of a company. For example, organizations may find they are spending less on employee health benefits as workers are relieved from money-related stress and health problems as their finances stabilize because of financial wellness programming. 

This is just one positive outcome which Origin offers to our clients. Origin is a comprehensive financial wellness solution that takes a holistic approach to employee monetary wellbeing, working as a critical part of a larger benefits package with the objective of supporting a healthier, happier, and more committed employee base. 

Sign up for a free demo today to find out what else Origin has to offer.


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