Employee Benefits Disappearing

With the unemployment rate at more than 9 percent and many companies continuing to operate conservatively, employees still haven’t seen the reinstitution of benefits such as executive club memberships, legal assistance or services, mentoring programs, organization-sponsored sports teams, professional development opportunities, travel planning services and housing or relocation costs, according to a recent column by Cindy Krischer Goodman, CEO of BalanceGal LLC, a provider of news and advice on how to balance work and life. The column appeared in the Kansas City Star.

However, for the most part, employers have kept the basics – health insurance, paid holidays, life and dental insurance. But they have reduced offerings such as long-term care insurance, retiree health coverage and adoption benefits, Goodman says.

When it comes to deciding what to cut, some companies are turning to employees for input, Goodman says. For example, Baptist Health, a health system in Arkansas consistently recognized for its rich benefits offerings, regularly polls its 13,000 employees, Goodman says.

“We’re tapped out on spending additional money, so I’m looking for what benefits give the most bang for the buck,” Maggie Marshall, assistant vice president of Total Rewards benefits for Baptist Health, said in the column. Giving employees the benefits they want keeps them engaged, she said: “An engaged employee is willing to put forth discretionary effort when necessary, versus a person who is ready to go out the door in a minute.”

To read the complete column and compare what other companies are doing to your staffing firm’s practices, click here.

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