Employee Benefits as a Competitive Strategy | Best Practices for Business

Issues and Ideas on Business Leadership and Best Practices

Posted by: Bill von Achen | August 13, 2010

Employee Benefits as a Competitive Strategy

It never seems to matter how good or bad the economy is.  It’s always difficult to find good employees.  But what if your company’s outdated employee benefits package is making your recruiting efforts even more challenging?

Two years ago this month, we conducted our first employee benefits survey to see what benefits were most commonly offered by privately-held companies here in the Greater Boston area.  While the list of the top 15 employee benefits were not all that surprising (healthcare insurance, paid vacations, etc.), at least 50% of responding companies also offered the following employee perqs:


–Incentive bonus plans

–Disability insurance

–Retirement planning advice

–Paid personal days

–Professional development opportunities

–Tuition reimbursement

–Employees keep frequent flyer miles earned

–Holiday parties

–Company picnics, recreational off-sites

–Milestone event celebrations (birthdays, etc.)

Of course, that was August 2008.  And, in the wake of the near collapse of the country’s banks and an economy that tanked shortly thereafter, business owners took a cold, hard look at their benefit-related expenses, and rightly decided that ensuring their company’s survival was the only sure way to continue to provide any employee benefits at all.  So they did away with what now seemed to be frivolities, and redirected their money into investments with a more immediate payback.

But, while the economy today is far from robust, many companies are hiring again, selectively to be sure.  And, not surprisingly, good people are once again in demand.  In this environment, employers are finding it advantageous to evaluate their employee benefit programs, and to consider strategic changes to make their overall employment offerings more appealing to the best job candidates out there.

So it seems like the right time to launch our 2010 employee benefits survey to reassess what companies and business owners are doing now to make their employee benefit packages as competitive as possible.  Our survey consists of 95 separate employee benefits in seven separate categories, and I invite you to take 10 minutes to identify the individual benefits that your company currently offers its employees, by clicking on the following link:

Our survey will officially close at the end of business on Friday, August 27th. At that point, we make available a summary report of the survey findings to all respondents who have provided us with an e-mail address (don’t miss the last question in the survey).  I’ll also summarize the results in a future Best Practices for Business posting for the benefit of everyone.

Whether or not you choose to participate in our survey, I hope you’ll take a moment to share with us the changes that you’ve made in your employee benefits program over the past year.  Post your comments here.  Thanks!

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This is an interesting article.

I am surprised to see that company picnics and milestone event celebrations made this list as benefits offered by at least 50% of the reporting companies.

The company I work for does not celebrate birthdays or have outings and it can be somewhat discouraging.

Some individuals do not want to spend time with their co-workers outside of work because we see each other all day, but I think it is nice to get to know co-workers on a more personal level outside of work.


on September 6, 2011

at 9:03 pm


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