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If you had to name just one non-medical employee benefit you consider most important, which would it be and why?

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Len Green
Title: Performance Improvement Consultant and E..
Company: Haygarth Consulting LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Performance Improvement Consultant and ERP Strategist, Haygarth Consulting LLC) |

How about this: getting the right acknowledgement and respect from the person to whom you report? It could be a simple thank you, some time off or recognition in front of peers for something noteworthy.

Chris Shumate
Title: Accounting Manager
Company: Dominion Development Group, LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Accounting Manager, Dominion Development Group, LLC) |

Which: Employer paid continuing education for employees

Why: I think it is important to the employee and the company to contribute to one's education. My company has paid for me to go to an industry specific conference last year. I went to a business tax seminar last month with my controller to improve my abilities. Another conference next week for the construction industry. Companies that embrace employees' learning shows the company is investing in the employee's future. I am not a CPA yet, but I am working towards it. The fact that my employer is investing in my education lets me know it sees a future for me, and others in the company.

Jeffrey McCandless
Title: Managing Partner
Company: Stone Harbour Partners
(Managing Partner, Stone Harbour Partners) |

How about the good old incentive driven bonus program? It's really one of the few benefits, if administered properly, that provides maximum financial upside to the employer and provides an additional benefit that the employee can drive higher and higher by achieving greater levels of performance.

Topic Expert
Regis Quirin
Title: Director of Finance
Company: Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP
LinkedIn Profile
(Director of Finance, Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP) |

Non-medical? Hmmm. I would have to say 401k program. All other benefits mentioned are good, but may not be a focus of all employees. If my company offers a great education reimbursement program, but I do not care about education, it is no benefit. (Side note - I think it is a great benefit. My MBA was paid for by two large companies).

But I think we all agree that retirment saviings has an equal value to all.

Chris Holtzer
Title: Senior Manager - Strategic Analysis
Company: Sargento
(Senior Manager - Strategic Analysis, Sargento) |

Flexible, remote access, work schedule.

As a financial professional, there are always going to be unforeseen issues that demand immediate focus and attention no matter the time of day or day of the week. Having a leadership team that understands that getting the work done, rather than filling a chair between the hours of 8-5, is critical to attracting and maintaining self motivated workers.

It has the benefit of supporting a healthy work/life balance, and it is one of the least expensive benefits a company can provide. The only real cost is the IT infrastructure, which in today’s market, better be in place, or at the top of the to-do list anyway.

Topic Expert
Patrick Dunne
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: Milk Source
(Chief Financial Officer, Milk Source) |

On the tangible side, I would say that that the 401K program (some would argue that this is a reduced pension benefit), but it is one of the best if matched by the company at a good rate. I would also say educational reimbursement (for MBA's and other degrees). On the intangible side, treating each other like professionals and evaluating individuals on contribution rather than other political or general "feelings."

Sara Voight
Title: Controller
Company: Critical Signal Technologies, Inc
(Controller, Critical Signal Technologies, Inc) |

I agree with the above notes about public acknowledgement for your contributions, plus investment in education from the costs of professional associations to actual tuition reimbursement.

Topic Expert
Karoline Mello
Title: Director, FP&A
Company: Apollo Group
(Director, FP&A, Apollo Group) |

Education – which should be inclusive of credential programs and continuing education that keeps skills relevant. If the tuition benefits is a reimbursement, not an expense implementation, then it needs to be easy for employees to access, understand the forms and approval process, and receive the reimbursement quickly. Most employees that do not tap into the education benefits find them to confusing or cumbersome to actually receive the reimbursement.

Topic Expert
Malak Kazan
Title: VP, Special Projects
Company: ERI Economic Research Institute
(VP, Special Projects, ERI Economic Research Institute) |

I tend to first look at the employee demographics, organization culture and business strategy/objectives to better under which non-medical benefit would support these factors. Example is in an Order-to-Cash BPO call center where the demographics were mostly female (70%+) between the ages of 30 to 55 some obesity health issues identified based on medical plan utilization; culture didn't historically support communicating / sharing best practices with other employees; business objectives was to improve DSO for clients. The benefit we introduced was a team based contest called 10,000 steps and winners were evaluated based on overall improvement not absolute results with a leader board; members were encouraged to form team with members they did not interact with so they can learn more about each other.

Topic Expert
Randy Miller
Title: Partner
Company: CFO Edge
(Partner, CFO Edge) |

It would be the retirement/company savings plan, be it 401K or other defined benefit plan. Along with a strong education program on why participating in savings plans are important.

(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

How about guaranteed reference if there is a history of excellence and good performance reviews 3 years running?

Long term saving programs are only as good as how long you are able to maintain employment and there will be less interest in them as the economy in the US changes to one of individual consultancy rather than long term employment with a single company.

Raymond D Godeke
Title: Vice President - Finance
Company: California Scottish Rite Foundation
(Vice President - Finance, California Scottish Rite Foundation) |

I do not believe in defined benefit plans. I do however believe in defined contributions plans and believe this should be offered to employees.


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