5 Ways Benefits Keep Great Employees: Make it your New Competitive Advantage

image of guest author Mallory DunbarGuest Blog Author: Mallory Dunbar

Employee benefits used to be a significant selling feature to job seekers. Having health and dental was seen as a bonus. Now, it is the bare minimum. Job seekers are looking for new, innovative benefits that differ from the plans they are leaving behind. People want more. Benefits are now a way to attract and retain top talent. They differentiate you from the competition. That’s why organizations and industry professionals are reimagining benefits to accommodate better and reflect what people genuinely want.

In our conversation with Gavin Mosley, CEO of Mosley Group Benefits, we discussed the changing nature of benefits today. Gavin has a daily window into how organizations are leveraging innovative benefit plans to recruit and retain top talent. Watch the video and read on about the five key benefits trends.

Spoiler alert: your benefits plan may just become your competitive advantage!

image of a rainbow coloured slinky1. Flexible Benefits

Workforces are increasingly diverse. The standard benefits package, perhaps ideal for the typical married 40-year-old with young children, isn’t ideal for the 20-something, single employee. There is no longer a one size fits all plan. Your workforce is diverse, and your benefits should be as well. Flexible benefit plans are designed to provide a wide range of coverage to a wide range of employees with varying needs and wants. Employees and leaders can select what best suits their needs by offering a menu of choices, while employers can still manage their costs.

2.  Financial Benefits

With the cost of living through the roof and more and more people living pay cheque to pay cheque, offering financial benefits is a way to help bring financial equity to the workforce. By having a robust benefits plan that includes access to a lawyer or student loan repayment programs, you are less likely to have employees worrying about their ability to access resources or have the funds they need to survive.

As an organization, you want your employees to associate you with helping through your greatest pains and greatest joys in your life. People are far more loyal to an organization where they know they are genuinely valued and cared for by their employers.

image of a man's hand cutting off the line of dominos that are falling3.  Preventive Focus

Benefits have typically always been reactive – you must get sick before you can start leveraging them. Companies want a healthy and happy workforce, yet most benefit plans don’t reflect that. A shift from reactive to preventive benefit plans focusing on wellness is needed. Benefits like gym memberships, on-site fitness centres, preventive health screenings, nutritionists, and coaching allow employees to focus on their health, prevent burnout and increase productivity and positivity in the workplace.

4. Transparent Plans

Frequently, employees don’t even realize they have access to certain benefits because their plans are too complicated to understand. A recent survey found that 20% of employees aren’t aware of the benefits available to them, and 26% don’t know how to access their available benefits (Environics Research, 2021). Not only does this impact employee well-being as they can’t access the help they need, but it is also a poor use of corporate funds.

Educating the leaders in your organization on the benefits available to employees and how to access them is an excellent first step in making employee benefits more accessible and transparent. The leaders who work closely with employees are likely to be the ones to notice if they need help. Educating leaders on your company’s benefit plan allows them to be there for their team when they truly need it.

image of a group of people with their hands on a chalkboard that has adaptability in the centre and the words coaching, leading, training, learning, inspiring and motivating around the centre inside of drawn puzzle pieces5. Remain Adaptive

The benefits industry has evolved rapidly over the past few years. Changing trends, demographics and economic landscapes have resulted in significant shifts in employee needs. Creating and sustaining a desirable benefits package requires organizations to be adaptable and engaged with their employees. The world is constantly changing, and your organization’s benefits package should reflect that. Check-in with your employees to see what they need and adjust accordingly.

Employee benefit plans are a part of something bigger – they show your employees that they are valued and appreciated. By having a benefits plan that recognizes and reflects the needs of your employees, you are telling them that they matter.

When attracting and retaining talent is more challenging than ever, a holistic, human-driven benefits package is a way to stand out from the competition. Recognition comes in many forms, and an employee-driven benefits package is one of them.

For more inspiration, take a look at these previous posts:

“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

– Mother Teresa

Judy Kucharuk

Director, Marketing and Special Events, Encana Events Centre

"Funny, full of energy and incredibly motivating – all words to use when describing Sarah and her passionate stage presence. We were fortunate to have Sarah join us as a speaker for Spark Women’s Leadership Conferences and her presentations about leveraging greatness hit the core of our objective at SPARK: “A rising tide lifts all boats”. I would not hesitate to recommend Sarah to other organizations that are searching for a well-prepared, well-organized, thoughtful and passionate storyteller."
Shelley VanVeen

Learning & Development Manager, Libro Credit Union

"Sarah brought so much energy and enthusiasm to our International Women’s Day event at Libro! Her message was uplifting, thought-provoking and truly appreciated by our team. Dealing with Sarah was wonderful – she was open, professional and willing to work with us to customize her message to incorporate our culture and connect to our topic and participants. During the session, she was a pro with a powerful message and a fantastic delivery. We had wonderful feedback from all that attended and can’t wait to have Sarah back for another session in the future!"
Sylvia D’Intino

Executive Director, Community Living Hamilton

"THANK YOU so very much for leading the engagement activities today! You’re a constant professional, with an amazing attitude and always seeing the great in everyone. I am grateful for how you have helped us this year to transform our in-person staff recognition events into virtual and on-location events. Our staff feel more inspired, appreciated and motivated after they hear you speak, and I know our amazing in-house team here looks forward to designing engaging appreciation events with your support."
Melissa Chaulk

Manager of Professional Development

Canadian Dental Hygienists Association

"We work hard at CDHA to give our members a wonderful conference experience, so we were thrilled to have received resoundingly positive feedback on Sarah's opening plenary keynote. It was the highest attended of the entire conference for both dates!"
Jamie Campbell

Director, The Center for People in Organizational Development, Sheridan College

"Smart, challenging, innovative, committed, dependable, and reliable, I highly recommend her for all your recognition needs. I have brought Sarah into my last two organizations to help build a culture of recognition and celebration. The focus on appreciation is more important now than ever."

Some of the Great Organizations We Serve