24 Aug How to Put Together a Competitive Benefits Package
To succeed in business, you need to surround yourself with top talent. One of the ways to draw the top employees to your company is through a competitive benefits package. But in Australia, this is somewhat difficult. Australian law already requires healthy amounts of paid time off and super contributions from employers. How can you differentiate yourself?
Here are some ideas about what to add.
Start with the Basics
Your business will already need to grant employees six weeks of paid leave and 9.25% contributions of an employee’s salary to a super. In some countries, this would be enough to attract nearly any talent. But in Australia, you’ll need to go a step further.
To be competitive, you’ll need to contribute 12% of an employee’s salary. After all, the Australian government are aiming for 15% employer contributions by 2020. Going above the minimum will not only draw great talent now but prepare your company for the future.
Adding more paid time off, however, is not the best use of company resources. Six weeks is over 10% of the year already, and employees have more needs than just relaxation. Instead, you’ll need to offer a wider variety of benefits.
Expanding Your Portfolio
Your benefits package should show your employees that you care about their complete financial security, now and in the future. A healthy super contribution is a great start, but the following benefits will make workers feel even more valued.
Education and Development
As your employees gain marketable skills, they’ll increase their earning potentials and bring those skills to your company. To earn more loyalty, offer tuition reimbursement for degrees that relate to your business.
To make sure this money benefits your company, you can require employees to work for a year or so after the reimbursement. If they leave earlier, they’ll have to pay at least some of the money back. Most employees will find this more than fair—they know much schooling costs, and they’ll be thrilled that you’re helping out.
If you can’t afford a healthy tuition reimbursement, at least consider sponsoring professional conferences for your employees. This will keep their knowledge fresh and your company poised for innovation.
Paid Maternity and Paternity Leave
All Australian employers must offer a year of unpaid leave when parents have new children, whether biological or adopted. Set yourself apart by offering paid parental leave. Six paid weeks off will be enough to keep you competitive.
To keep your employees financially secure, you can offer insurance packages to supplement their government-funded coverage. Consider these insurance options:
- Private health insurance for more extensive coverage
- Life insurance for employees and their family members
- Salary continuance insurance in case they become disabled and aren’t able to work
Reaching Out to Millennials
If you know how to appeal to them, millennials can be one of the most powerful elements of your workforce. But these individuals have a specific set of values. The good news is that some of these benefits don’t cost much to implement.
Here’s what millennials value and how to give them these benefits.
Customising Their Careers
Give them career paths. Start a mentoring program, and encourage people to make lateral transitions throughout your company. That way, people never feel trapped in one position, and they’ll be able to envision themselves at your company longer.
Offer telecommuting options. Much of today’s work can be done remotely. Offer employees the opportunity to work from home one day a week or for longer periods in special situations.
Contributing to Society
Encourage eco-commuting. Give employees a free pass to the train. They’ll feel like they’re doing their part to help the environment.
Support volunteerism: Cash contributions from your company can get politically complicated. But you can offer employees company time to volunteer for a cause of their choice.
Taking Care of Their Health and Families
Let them design their workstations. Let employees pick standing desks, ergonomic chairs and natural keyboards if they prefer.
Support healthy living. Offer discounted or free wellness club memberships and provide healthy food in your workplace. If you can’t afford to offer free food, you can at least subsidise it.
Subsidise day care costs. Millennials are less likely to choose between a career and a family. You can support their desired lifestyles by making day care more accessible.
Even if you can’t incorporate all these suggestions, choose a couple benefits from each of these sections. You’ll have a competitive package that will attract the talent your company needs. Start talking today with other stakeholders in your company about what you can offer to bring in top talent tomorrow.