How Valuable Are Employee Benefit Plans?

There are two sides to employee benefit plans, the benefits to employers and the benefits to employees, and there may be little consensus between the two.

Currently in most post industrial countries there is high unemployment. Surprisingly, that even with such high rates of unemployment, companies are finding it progressively harder to recruit brilliant employees with the critical skills that are needed to shine within the company. This has been an ongoing problem especially over last 5-6 years with the advent of the Global Economic Crises. On the other hand Employees and prospective Employees are continually concerned about their prospects, worry about the lack of financial security that some companies fail to offer, agonize over lack of benefits and are over fretting about retirement.

There may be companies that seem very attractive to would be employees, but when they start looking at the benefit plans on offer, and what may or may not be guaranteed they may decide to stay where they are as moving to another company may not be able to give them the security and benefits that they seek.

In a recent study that looked at some of the benefits that impacted on reasons that influenced the decision on whether someone applied for a job or not, it was found that 46% of employees who completed the survey felt that health benefits were a very important factor that influenced whether they would apply for a new job. 51% of people surveyed felt that the retirement plan offered again aided their decision; 85% said that they hoped to work for their employer until they retired, this group was also interested in the health benefits that were offered not just while they were working but also when they retired.

With a lack of benefits offered by a new company there is no wonder that employees with the critical skills needed for some jobs, stay with the company that are currently working with and ride out any indecision that they may have to the point of missing out on promotion and a higher salary so as they can get reasonable medical benefits and a good retirement package. Employers need to realize that in order to attract the employees with the critical skills they seek there needs to be serious investment in an attractive Benefit Plan for Employees rather than trying to trim their costs and outgoings. Investment in Employees is an investment in the company.


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