What’s the Latest? Trends in Employee Salary and Benefits

The results of a recent employee survey delivers a clear message to employers: you need to take a long, hard look at employee satisfaction, or you may find yourself losing multiple employees as soon as the economic recovery strengthens the job market.

According to the study and survey performed by Mercer LLC, a global human resources consulting firm, many workers are dissatisfied with their base salary and benefits.

• Nearly one in three employees is seriously considering leaving his or her current employer.
• Forty percent of employees ages 25 to 34 are seriously looking to move.
• Sixty-eight percent of employees consider their benefits good or very good — down from 76 percent in 2005.
• Base pay is considered the most significant element of an employment package.

What would your employees say? Do you think they’re happy with the salary and benefits you’re offering? It’s time to take a long, hard look at your compensation packages and see if they need an overhaul.

“Employees see a disconnect between what employers are promising and what they are delivering,” said Mindy Fox, a senior partner at Mercer, in a statement. “Organizations should re-examine their deals – both the traditional and non-traditional elements – then support them with effective administration and consistent, authentic communication that fosters a sense of belonging and helps employees make better rewards choices and career decisions.”

Are you aware of the latest perspectives on salary and raises? The days when organizations gave small but regular and equivalent increases to all organization members are disappearing. To keep high performing staff members, many companies are instituting variable pay rates, adding seven to eight percent on top of base pay. This sends a message about your organization’s expectations and goal achievement rewards. And speaking of base pay, you need to make sure that amount is at least comparable with what your competitors are offering. Money isn’t everything, but it can be a dealbreaker if your employees discover that their colleagues at other companies are making considerably more for the same job.

The second issue to be addressed is your benefits package and whether it fits your employees’ needs. As your employees have changed, have your benefits? Are you offering what they will use?

For example, did you know that employees increasingly view their benefits as the foundation of their financial safety net? They want to feel prepared not only for retirement but for significant unexpected events such as income loss due to disability, eldercare, or premature death. This is an area where benefits offerings such as disability coverage, group variable universal life products, and long-term care insurance would be well received.

There is an increasing trend to provide flexible benefits programs for employees where they can choose the benefits that they value the most. Personalized benefits programs that relate to each life stage can address your employees’ diverse needs. Where Generation X tends to be concerned with childcare or funding a college education, older generations are more concerned with eldercare programs or retirement. Generation Y wants health and medical insurance as they age out of their parents’ care.

In this day and age, compensation packages have evolved to include perks and benefits that were unheard of a generation ago. Benefits remain one of the most important attractors for employees. They can help an employee choose your company over one that might pay more or be closer to home. The impact of the recession has made employee benefits more important than ever. And as, the study showed, employees who are satisfied with their benefits are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs.

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