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Five tips to innovate your company’s employee benefits

As an insurance brokerage, we here at Pacific Prime have seen all forms of new and innovative employee benefits. Sometimes these perks are oftentimes so creative that office ping-pong tables or birthday leave seem to pale in comparison. Examples include work anniversary gifts, botox leave, protest training, pawternity leave, and even a dating subsidy. Unique perks and benefits can indeed help your company stand out amid brutal competition for quality, skilled talents, yet they should not be viewed as gimmicks, but rather as genuine, targeted approaches to attract and retain quality talent.

We understand that there is no one-size-fits-all plan for employee benefits since companies vary in terms of size and budget, which is why HR teams may have serious trouble coming up with suitable perks. In this Pacific Prime weekly feature, we are going to provide you with tips on how to create innovative yet useful fringe benefits for your valued staff.

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1. Focus on long-term wellness

We’ve noticed that more insurance companies are very slowly shifting their focus away from the conventional model acute medical care, and toward genuine preventative health care. In other words, more efforts have been made to figure out why patients get sick, and how to keep them well, rather than treating and relieving symptoms only once they show. Preventive measures such as vaccinations, mammograms, and colonoscopies are proactively encouraged to control potential chronic conditions, and avoid crises and hospital visits.

In light of this, when coming up with perks, companies can make ‘health and long-term wellness’ one of their aims. For instance, free gym membership, yoga classes, healthy snacks, and arranging walking meetings can all be considered. It is not just physical health that matters either,  as mental wellness is very important. Thus, you may have flexible work arrangements in place to reduce stress levels and promote work-level balance.

2. Apply new technology

Modern technology has allowed for some previously unfeasible benefits. For instance, a Japanese company has used an app to track its employees’ sleep to ensure employees are well-rested and improve their productivity. Those who sleep six hours a night for at least five days a week will get awarded points.

Moreover, new technologies are making it easier for us to track our personal health factors (including diet, exercise, and heart rate). Thus, companies can make great use of this electronic data, and create personalized care plans that extend beyond general information.

3. Look for inspiration from your employees

You don’t necessarily have to look to technology giants like Google and Apple for new ideas. In fact, your employees are the best source of inspiration. After all, it is they who are going to use the benefits the most. You may seek their opinions on what their main concerns are. For example, if most of them are parents, then college scholarship programs or autistism coverage for children may come in handy.

4. Foster long-term development

Student loan programs and education benefits are major boosts to employee loyalty, because they allow for employees to continuously grow with the company, and achieve both personal and professional goals. When staff become successful in their professional fields, they will attribute it to the training the company has provided. Not only can these benefits retain existing employees, but also lure new professionals to join your firm.

If your company can’t afford formal training courses, you may purchase online classes or hire experts to host seminars for your employees.

5. Review effectiveness regularly

The most important aspect of employee perk packages is whether they work or not. They don’t have to be expensive, but they should be targeted and specific. Even small gestures, such as allowing employees to bring pets to work or providing work-at-home options on Fridays, can go a long way – especially since the cost of having these perks are next to nothing.

In light of this, you should review the effectiveness of any new fringe benefits, and seek feedback from your employees from time to time to ensure that perks can address pertinently what they need the most.

Professional advice on structuring your employee benefits

Employee benefits can boost loyalty to your company when they are wrapped up in your company’s culture. A well-structured benefits program can help your company turn the tide on the competition when vying for new professional talent, thereby saving your HR team a great deal of time and effort. Some creative perks can even enhance the reputation of and generate free publicity for your company.

If you are still feeling unsure what’s the best way to structure employee benefits for your company, you may want to engage the services of an established insurance broker like Pacific Prime. With over 18 years of experience and nine offices across the world, Pacific Prime specializes in matching clients with insurance products that best suit their needs. Feel free to contact us for answers to any of your insurance questions, or to get an obligation-free quote and a plan comparison.

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