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What type of benefits (packages) do you offer your employees?

As tenure in companies shorten, there needs to be more than just a salary/wage that keeps your employees motivated. What do you offer? (i.e., Medical/Dental/Vision, Transit, Education, Gym, etc.)


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

I have always been associated with companies that offer - salary, health, insurance, transit, continuing education, and 401k with match. They still exist, even in this economy.

Personally, I place the most value in a bonus. It is with this benefit where people feel appreciated and can become motivated. But tread lightly, as a bonus can also demotivate if it is considered below expectations by the employee.

Every year set goals and stretch goals. If the goals are met, the bonus is well spent pay for performance.

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

I agree. Bonus is the #1. It takes a lot of time and energy to ensure it is managed properly though. In fact, I would think that only cash value benefits motivate (Bonus, 401k, Stock purchase plans, profit sharing, etc.) I can't imagine anyone works extra hard to make sure they can keep the company gym open, for example.

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

"As tenure in companies shorten, there needs to be more than just a salary/wage that keeps your employees motivated." -W.spivak

I don't think soft benefits are as much about motivation as they are about attraction and retention of talent. As tenure shortens, it becomes more about attraction of talent than retention. Either way non-cash benefits aren't as much about diversity of compensation as it is about the economics of compensation.

Non-cash "benefits" companies offer, are offered to either comply with law or because the company feels there is some "value" in them providing it. Said differently, it is cheaper to provide the benefit than to pay the employee more to get the benefit themselves. If this belief is founded in fact or not, I don't know. If this was not the case, companies would happily offer payouts/stipends for not taking their benefits. Also, benefits wouldn't be all or nothing, as they are in the majority of today's market (you don't often get to cherry pick your benefit package). The concept of payouts vs benefits has been tested and is in place for some businesses, but not widely accepted, because it ends up economically unfavorable to the company, and even sometimes the employee.

For example, some companies offer a stipend for healthcare if you go with your spouses coverage (or they have in the past, this may have changed recently). The problem is that there are many employees that were getting coverage outside the company even without the stipend, so that is just money lost. However in some cases, it does encourage enough people to go to another companies coverage, to more than pay for the expense of the stipend. The stipend is usually a fraction of the actual cost to the company to provide the benefit.

Anonymous User
Title: CFO
Company: Local Government Agency
(CFO, Local Government Agency) |

In my experience, most employees have no idea what benefits cost or what their value is. The proof is in how unprepared my generation (baby boom) is for retirement. Data is published every day showing this. Most still don't get it.

Where I work now, benefits are running 82% of salaries! This is not unheard of in the public sector. And, it is unsustainable. Private industry would never tolerate this.

Sadly, most employees only look at their net paycheck without consideration of all of those other benefits, particularly the tax deferred/free ones.

I think that our views of health care and health care costs would be entirely different if there hadn't been employer provided insurance benefits in the first place. People would have been much more likely to make reasoned health care decisions if they were paying the more than $1,000/month premiums for health care insurance instead of it being benevolently provided by and employer. And, the health care industry would have evolved much differently than it has.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

So assuming (and I agree with you) that the average employee has no idea about costs, the question is how do you entice them to stay and be more productive.

Is it just the bonus or is it working conditions or bring your pet to the office day, etc.

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

Wayne - Money talks for some. For me though, my decision to leave my former company was for less money and better working conditions. Less money has its drawbacks, but I can say without a doubt it has been better on me personally, relationally, and other areas being where I am now. Two and a half years later I am just over the salary I left my former employer making.

Company where I work, as far as benefits are concerned, pay 80% health expense for individual and family coverage. Dental, vision, etc., are not included but medical is. The deductible is great too given what other companies are offering.

Safe Harbor contribution at the end of the year, which is great for people that chose not to invest in 401k for themselves.

Potential for bonus if the company does well. If the company does well everyone benefits, if it doesn't no one benefits.

Quarterly lunches with our company's chaplain.

Christmas party where the children get a nice little surprise that is their age appropriate.

These are a few of the great benefits I receive from my current employer.

Bryan Frey
Title: VP Finance/Corp Controller
(VP Finance/Corp Controller, ) |

Giving employees a sense of ownership and a positive work environment. I would give up (some) cash and (some) benefits in order to have a workplace that was fun, challenging and made me feel "invested" in the company's outcome as my own. In fact, I have passed over many jobs over the years that would pay more than my then current position b/c I enjoyed working wherever I was at the time.

Exactly how someone does that is the question, and obviously many companies fail miserably at this and people happily jump ship. But it certainly has to do with both great leadership and great management.

Jean Campbell
Title: Education Management Professional
Company: Campbell, Bird Consulting
LinkedIn Profile
(Education Management Professional, Campbell, Bird Consulting) |

I did a survey on several occasions of benefits offered by about fifteen larger independent (private) schools in the LA area. Most of the larger schools offered full-paid health and dental. Some offered only the HMO free and employees had to pay more to get a more expensive plan. All offered a pension plan (usually TIAA-CREF), usually a percentage of salary based on years of service. Some required matching (which I don't like because the very poorest of your employees can't afford to match, which means they don't get anything.) Some offered vision. Bonuses were not usual. Paid vacation is wonderful in independent schools because in addition to normal summer vacation, most staff get spring, winter, and Thanksgiving breaks. (Other benefits varied: some schools offered free or partially subsidized lunch; one had an emergency fund of restricted $$ that could be applied to in a family emergency; many had a small life insurance policy based on 1 year of salary up to a maximum of $50K.)

Mark Matheny
Title: VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis
Company: Novolex (formerly Hilex Poly)
(VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis, Novolex (formerly Hilex Poly)) |

Telecommuting, vision/dental, discounted health club memberships, and bonus.

Elena Thomas
Title: COO/ CFO
Company: Plan Management Corp.
LinkedIn Profile
(COO/ CFO, Plan Management Corp.) |

In addition to the basics of healthcare etc., One very small thing we do is bring a masseuse with chair into the office once every other week. Everyone (who wants) gets a 20 minutes massage in a quiet room. It's small and inexpensive, but you can really tell how much the office mood changes on those days.

Topic Expert
Joan Varrone
Title: CFO
Company: Cloud Cruiser
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, Cloud Cruiser) |

I think the company culture and prospects, a challenging job and recognition are most important. The benefits are a must have and I have never found anyone leaving a company because of the benefit package.

Topic Expert
Christie Jahn
Title: CFO
Company: Prime Investments & Development
(CFO, Prime Investments & Development) |

We value culture and work diligently to promote our culture (our core values are fun, integrity, respectful and relentless). We have a bonus program tied to the net income of the company. This promotes ownership: help drive revenue and decrease expenses and you will be rewarded. We pay 100% medical and dental, which includes vision, Life Insurance, ST & LT disability. We pay for a corporate chaplain and have an IRA with a 3% company match. We also annually review all salaries against industry averages and if we're not paying at or above, we will adjust salaries. We still see some turnover in the retail side, but we know this is because we don't want sales associates who sit and wait for the customer to walk through the door, we want them to drive business to the store. That alone will shy someone not real serious about working away sadly, because I think we offer excellent benefits!


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