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Tracy Jackson, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, HFA Chief HR Strategist

Crafting the right benefits packages is good for business

Every HFA member-retailer wants its employees to feel appreciated and valued. They also want to be able to attract and retain the best available talent. These goals cannot be achieved without a competitive comprehensive benefits package. That’s because although competitive pay is an essential element of any compensation program, benefits packages are of equal or greater importance for many workers. In fact, they are a key differentiator for just about every potential and current employee.

Healthcare

Health coverage and accessibility to care were the number one concern during COVID for people across the nation.

This was especially true for front-line retail employees who did not have the option of working remotely. Workers wanted to feel cared for and know that their income and jobs were protected if they or their loved ones were to get sick. These issues continue to remain top of mind.

A well thought out employee benefits package is one of the best ways for a home furnishings retailer to demonstrate its commitment to the health and well-being of its workforce. Great benefit plans lead to higher morale, higher levels of employee engagement, lower attrition rates, and better attendance. And, when generous enough, they give talent acquisition teams a necessary edge in today’s tight job market.

Many candidates will decline an offer if they have to change health-care relationships; it is THAT important to them. So, consider offering various types of coverage like Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) and Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO) with different networks. Other options such as Health Savings Accounts (HSA) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) allow workers to set aside pre-tax dollars for out-of-pocket expenses, co-pays, deductibles and prescriptions. These accounts can be used for other health-related expenses as well, like dental work, glasses or contacts, and braces. Specialty FSAs allow for the use of pre-tax dollars for dependent care and commuter/public transportation expenses. All have some limitations and drawbacks, so work with your benefits broker to make the right decisions for your organization.

Mental Health

The pandemic placed a spotlight on mental health and well-being. Employees don’t want to feel stigmatized, should they need help coping with difficult times. Consider offering a wellness plan that includes an Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) providing mental health-care support to employees. Usually, an EAP includes free and confidential access to local mental-health professionals who can support employees through life’s challenges.

Time-Off Plans

Providing options for employees to take time off from work for planned or unexpected reasons is a safety net that shows you appreciate them and the work they do. The value of having the ability to continue to support themselves and their families, should a family emergency arise cannot be overestimated. Time off accrual rates should increase throughout an employee’s tenure and higher-level employees should accumulate at a higher rate than those who are entry-level, which is especially important for retention purposes.

Retirement Planning

Retirement planning is another key element of a comprehensive benefits package. Most workers today do not believe that Social Security is sustainable, nor that it will it provide adequate support for their retirement years. Designing a retirement plan that includes a match is an excellent retention tool.

Rewarding & Recognizing

There are many other ways to reward and recognize employees, such as:

  • Volunteer programs that provide paid hours to volunteer in the communities you serve.
  • Leadership development programs.
  • On-site kitchen facilities for workers to store and enjoy meals.
  • Business casual or a relaxed dress code.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that workers want to be proud of the company they work for, know they are cared for and feel valued. There is no better way to do this than having a benefits package incorporating health care, time off, and other perks. And, don’t forget to offer discounts to your employees on the products and services you provide. Grown-ups love new furniture and appliances.



Stop by space B1050 during Las Vegas Market to learn about HFA Healthcare Solutions, now offering sole proprietor coverage. Visit hfahealthcare.decisely.com for details and a free quote.

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