How To Find The Employee Benefits That You’ll Value Most
The first thing we usually think of when we consider switching jobs is salary. The second thing we usually consider is the intangible payoffs, like corporate culture, connections with our colleagues, or the quality of the work environment.
While the cold, hard cash and those soft-focus factors are important, there’s a third critical component. This is talking about benefits. If you don’t get this part of the equation right, you’re not going to feel fully rewarded or motivated. Do your current benefits “fit?”
Discerning Which Benefits Align With Your Priorities
The one benefit that all employees need is health insurance. Even people making six-figure incomes can see their savings wiped out by a catastrophic medical event if they’re on a high-deductible plan. Good health insurance with reasonable premiums and co-pays, along with a broad network of participating doctors, provides tremendous peace of mind and financial security.
But when an employer goes beyond a basic benefit like health insurance,it’s a solid indicator of the attitude a company has toward its staff. Providing benefits is not cheap for employers, so when they do go the extra mile to offer an attractive benefits package, you know they are prioritizing employee satisfaction. Personiv, which works with companies focused on building their teams, has found that “engagement skyrockets when employee benefits represent values that both employers and employees share.”
Let’s take a look at a few questions you’ll want to ask yourself when evaluating an employer’s benefits package.
1. Is career development what I value most?
Many job seekers are looking for offers that include career development among their perks. These workers expect management to provide development programming in the workplace; employers know this, and they’re competing to offer enticing opportunities for professional growth. If this is a priority for you, look for companies with a documented career development program, complete with processes that track their employees’ long-term goals.
You’ll also want to find positions that offer a visible path for career advancement. Such advancement may require participation in upskilling or retraining programs, which many companies are offering in an effort to prevent future skills gaps.
2. Is work-life balance what’s most important to me?
When interviewing, ask the interviewer to walk you through a typical workday, and inquire about telecommuting options or other flexible scheduling policies. Has the employer “thought outside the box” about work-life balance? For example, “digital downtime,” in which lunch breaks or after-hours periods are mandated to be free of email or other electronic communications, is a bold but promising approach to fostering work-life balance for employees. Getting a read on the employer’s expectations in this regard—before accepting an offer—will be crucial to your job satisfaction.
3. Does my family come first?
For many employees, benefits that help them be not only workers, but also parents or caretakers, are a major component of a satisfying career. Family-first workers will want to take into account the location of a new job in relation to their home—and the local schools. If you’re in this boat, you’ll also want pay attention to whether the company you’re considering is located near (or works with vendors to offer) amenities like postal and banking services, oil changes, or take-home dinner options. Being able to check things off your life’s to-do list over your lunch break can be more helpful than you may realize.
You should closely examine paid parental leave policies. Having paid leave at all is a good start, but if you value family-focused perks above other types of benefits, look for a company that offers more than the industry standard. Estée Lauder, for instance, offers all eligible employees 20 weeks of paid parental leave with full pay and flexible work scheduling for the first six weeks back. In addition, ask whether there are on-site childcare programs or any other parenting-related help. Some employers even offer an employee assistance program (EAP), which can assist with a multitude of areas, including short-term psychological counseling to help employees handle the stresses of parenting and full-time employment.
Seeking work in which your benefits package matches your needs and values is a great way to achieve satisfaction in your career. Furthermore, benefits that complement your lifestyle are a win-win for you and your company. Having benefits that matter will pay off in a better work experience for you—which often translates into greater productivity and work quality for your employer.