Are Benefits Enough to Attract and Engage the Best People?

By Alan Gehringer

Employee Engagement

Employee Engagement

While a lot of companies say that employees are their most valuable assets, not all walk the walk. It takes a lot of time and effort to find, hire and retain the right people to join your team. It also takes considerable time to onboard and get them to the point that they are making a positive contribution to your organization -- three to six months in many roles. The last thing you want is to lose someone after all this effort and expense. We also want to fully engage these “A Players” so that they are happy and contribute their best. There are a lot of components that contribute to attraction, retention, and full employee engagement.

I came across some interesting information from Glassdoor. Per their website, Glassdoor is the fastest growing jobs and recruiting site. Glassdoor holds a growing database of more than 8 million company reviews, CEO approval ratings, salary reports, interview reviews and questions, benefits reviews, office photos and more.” Based on their own description, they sound like they may know a thing or two to me.

Most potential hires take a lot of things into consideration when deciding whether to join a company like culture, long-term vision, social responsibility, pay, and you guessed it, benefits. According to Glassdoor Economic Research, these are the core benefits that make the biggest impact on employee satisfaction:

  • Health Insurance
  • Vacation & Paid Time Off
  • Pension Plan
  • 401k Plan
  • Retirement Plan
  • Dental Insurance
  • Maternity & Paternity Leave
  • Sick Days
  • Vision Insurance
  • Paid Holidays

It is necessary to be competitive with your benefits package although, ultimately, when it comes to keeping employees engaged and satisfied, there are other factors that matter more than a benefits package. According to Glassdoor Economic Research, “culture and values, career opportunities and senior leadership are the most important factors leading to employee satisfaction.” So, while benefits and perks are a great way to get employees in the door, they’re not among the leading factors that keep employees satisfied on the job and with a company long-term.

I have been taught and believe that people are loyal and give their best to managers that they like and respect. Also, A Players hire A Players. It is imperative to have the right people in leadership roles if you are going to be successful. You may have heard the statement, "people quit people, not jobs." This makes it very important to develop strong relationships with employees and to help them develop their own personal path of progress to enhance their knowledge and skills while creating a career path that helps them achieve their hopes and dreams as well as the company's long-term vision for success.

It is also important to hire and retain people that align with your culture and core values. Hopefully, your culture is strong and core values are alive and well. If they are not, this is an opportunity for improvement. Cultures and core values come in all flavors, the important thing is to have one that reflects the ideals of the company founders and leaders and guides the actions of all in a positive and motivating way. The most successful companies are strong in both areas and have applicants lined up at the door. 

So, here are several suggestions and a call to action to evaluate where your company stands:

  1. Audit your benefits to see if your company is competitive in the marketplace.
  2. Confirm that your employees have a personal path of progress for growth in the company that they are excited about and will retain them for years to come.
  3. Determine if your culture is healthy. There a lot of tools that can help you do this like Gallup’s Q12 survey.
  4. Find out if your core values are alive and well by walking the halls and looking for examples of them being lived and asking employees to recite them and provide examples of how others are living them.

If your findings are positive, you are one of the great companies that attract and retain the right people while probably having happy, engaged employees. If not, look at it as step one to identify opportunities for improvement.

Good luck, share your thoughts and lead well, Alan

Rhythm Systems Job Scorecard Template

Want to learn more about improving Employee Engagement? Check out these additional resources:

10 Ways to Improve Employee Engagement in Your Manufacturing Company

3 Employee Engagement Stats that Will Make You Take Action

The 10 Best Employee Engagement KPIs (Video)

5 Employee Engagement Blunders to Avoid

How to Keep Employees Engaged

Improving Employee Engagement (Video)

Alan Gehringer


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images