Are benefit’s truly beneficial?
Well the answer is an obvious yes if you’re getting them.. (My five year old son would add DUH! To his answer – he’s going through a ‘DUH!’ stage for some inexplicable reason). The problem is that they have a tendency to act like a golden handcuff’s with a significant lock in potentital.
The inherent problem with benefits is that they are like taxes on your employment in their inception.. once you get them it’s hard to wean yourself off even if the benefits. This is especially true of benefits such as healthcare or telecommuting which have a tremendously important. It’s ingrained into our collective psyche as a human right. I recall many years ago hearing Dave Ramsey go on a rant about how a job candidate said he wasn’t moral and/or Christian during an interview in the early years of Dave’s company because he didn’t offer benefits. Dave’s argument was that he offered money for legal and reasonable services and morality didn’t have anything to do with his decision at that time to offer or not offer benefits. He also went on to develop one of the most highly rated employee friendly companies in existence so he was clearly onto something there.
Three of the biggies sited in the linked post for benefits are:
Attracting Talent – which is most likely you… This one is spot on at least for the PIC population. PIC’s are smart enough to know that their skills are not worth more than minimum wage. A common question in any polite conversation with a PIC seeking a job would be “what are the benefits like?”
Benefits aren’t generally part of the conversation when the jobseeker in question is describing their job search as “I put applications in everywhere”..
Employee Retention – which is simply the flip side of attracting talent.. but there is much more in the way of employee retention. You would think business wouldn’t screw this one up as much as they do. The real key to success in any average job market to successful employee retention is simply not to screw it up by mistreating your employees. – I can foresee a longer post or even part of the book covering this topic.. but for now, it’s simply easy to say that inertia is the best way for companies to retain talent.
Employee Moral. Now this is where the author of the post goes off the rails. Moral is affected when employees are mistreated or overburdened. One way to mistreat employees is to take benefits away. Another way is to demand more and more unreasonable work.. but the most heinous way is to have an attitude of never being satisfied with reasonable performance. Benefits have nothing to do with this.
When thinking about employee benefits is that I think that’s the key challenge for the whole structure of benefits is that they are a long term solution to a short term problem of attracting talent.