Axios HR™ : Attract. Retain. Develop.

Why It Pays To Keep Your Benefits Competitive

(8-10 minute read)

Just thinking about what benefits to offer your employees can cause headaches. The options seem endless: medical insurance, flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts, dental, orthodontia, vision, life, disability, 401k plans with a matching contribution, vacation time, sick pay, maternity/paternity leave, and more.

Additionally, we often hear about the high-profile companies that offer nap rooms, unlimited vacation time, free lunches, massages, and a full-time barista. You want to attract great talent and keep great employees. But, when considering a benefits package that is competitive enough to retain those people, you may get overwhelmed as you imagine your profits being eaten up by efforts to keep up with competitors.

It may seem like a huge gulf between the benefits that the bigger, more popular companies have and what you can provide. But four steps will help to get this in perspective and give you a benefits package that works for your company and talent.

1) Find out what your employees want

According to a 2017 survey of 2000 people of all ages by, the benefits most important to job seekers are health, dental and vision insurance. No surprises there. Note, however, that the next benefits listed in importance were more flexible hours, more vacation time, and work-from-home options. In other words, employees currently place a high value on these low-cost or no-cost benefits that give them flexibility and increased work-life balance.

Try conducting an internal survey to find out how your employees rank a list of benefits. You may find that some of the things on their wish lists won’t cost you much or anything at all.

2) Determine what your employees need

For example, if very few of your employees have children in the pre-teen to the teenage range, should you bother paying extra to include orthodontia in your dental plan? Maybe not at this point in time.

If your age demographics tilt more toward a younger group without children or an older group whose children are grown, you may want to offer health coverage that speaks to the needs of those employee populations.

You can control some costs by trying to predict what will actually be used and appreciated by your team.

3) Think about the unique benefits

Consider what will make your workplace fun and desirable. Can your company help a local charity or do a clean-up project in a park on a Friday afternoon? Would someone in your professional network want to come in and teach a lunch-and-learn—such as your banker speaking about budgets and saving, for example? What discounts or memberships can you arrange with local businesses? Are you presenting a monthly achievement award to employees who have gone above and beyond their normal job duties? All of these things help people feel appreciated and involved.

4) Look at what others in your area and industry are offering

You can check current national averages of benefits costs by reading the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employer Costs for Employee Compensation report. More specifically, you can investigate your local competition on by reading what their employees say about their benefit offerings.

Of course, you can always ask the Axios HR team for help. We can assess the benefits you currently offer, discuss the changes you may have in mind, compare your benefits package to standards across your industry, and make recommendations to fit your budget.

If you design an affordable benefits package that meets the needs of your team, it will help you retain great employees. Lower turnover means significant savings…maybe even enough to eventually hire that full-time barista!


September 13, 2018




Article Business Owners Under 50 Employees Competitive Insurance & Benefits

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