Employee Benefits: 10 Things You Need To Know
Looking for a job is hard enough. Then consider the fact that you have to interview, get selected, negotiate salary, join, and get along with all these new people. Hence, it is no surprise that in all of this hectic business, some things tend to fall through the cracks. One of the primary things that often gets overlooked is employee benefits.
Many employers provide benefits for their employees. However, most people fail to effectively take advantage of these benefits. In that regard, here are 10 things you should know about employee benefits.
1. Employers won’t tell you what’s part of the package
Employers are not required or obligated to tell you what is part of the benefits package and what isn’t. Their job is to design an employee benefit package. They are obligated to do so, however it does not matter to them if employees are taking advantage of those benefits or not. In fact, it is better for them if employees don’t take advantage of all the benefits, as it results in higher costs if employees do. Hence, they won’t actually come forward and tell the employee all the advantages they can take. It is the employee’s responsibility to actually find out what the benefits are and to take complete advantage of them.
2. You can compare employee benefits to get the best deal
Regardless of whether or not you know what you want as part of your employee benefits, you can always shop around. Look at what the other companies in your industry are offering their employees. Ask friends, relatives, and even your spouse about the kind of benefits they get, and the benefits they wish they would get. Highlight the benefits that are important to you and the ones you want, and then compare them to the ones the company offers. If they don’t offer them, negotiate for them.
3. You have to negotiate benefits
What a lot of people don’t realize that employee benefits are often negotiable. This means that during salary negotiations, people negotiate the benefits as well. Each employee is different; hence their needs are also different. By catering the benefits to personal need, the employer shows the employee how much they value you and how much are they willing to go out of their way for you. Some of the benefits that can be negotiated are vacation time, time off, travel compensation, rent compensation, relocation costs, etc.
4. Some benefits are tax deductible
Many people don’t realize that some benefits may be tax deductible. These can include stock options, health insurance, compensations, investment options, etc. Talk to a tax consultant to know what kind to benefits will be beneficial for you. Instead of negotiating for a higher salary, which would be taxable, perhaps you can compensate with some employee benefits which may end up saving you money in taxes.
5. Look for benefits for you children
A number of companies offer employee benefits that may end up helping your child. These can include simpler benefits such as crèches and day care on the premises for working parents, or they may include more complicated benefits, such as life insurance for you and your family; your company health insurance may also cover your child as a dependent; some companies even cover the cost of education for their employee’s children. Now wouldn’t all these benefits help?!
6. Wellness initiatives
All of us are striving to be healthier and make healthier choices. However, do you know what not healthy? Sitting in an office chair for 8 to 9 hours a day. In order to help their employees, companies often hold wellness drives, and may even offer gym memberships, yoga classes, etc. they also often hold competition and drives where one can win cash rewards and reduced premiums for participating and completing goals. All of which can be beneficial for both your health and your wealth.
7. Stock Purchase Plans
Another benefit that employers may offer to the employees are stock purchase plans. Most people tend to overlook these, claiming that they have to interest in investing in the stock market. However, these stocks can be really beneficial in the long run and can help you make more money, especially if your company is growing. An added benefit here is that many companies let their employees purchase the stock as a discounted rate from the market. So you are saving money now and they earn you money in the long run. What’s not to love here?!
Getting an insurance is a complicated process, and can be very tiresome, which is why in order to help their employees out, many companies offer a variety of insurance benefits. These can include life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, and even auto insurance. However, you should keep in mind that just because the employer is offering it to you that it must be the best deal out there. Do compare these insurances to other insurance plans in order to get the best deal for you.
9. Work from home
Since we are living in an ever increasing digital space, we are often always connected, whether that is from the office, from home, from the café down the road, or even the train station for that matter. This really opens up the locations we can work from and check into work. In fact, these days no one is ever completely disconnected from work. Hence, a lot of employees seek work from home options as part of their employee benefits. This gives them the opportunity to continue to work even if for some reason they cannot come to work. Research has increasingly shown that work from home provides benefits to both the employee and the employer. Hence, a number of companies are providing Work from home benefits.
10. Don’t be ashamed to use employee benefits
Many people don’t take advantage of employee benefits because they feel embarrassed, ashamed, or guilty of doing so. However, employee benefits are the right of every employee. Each employee adds value to the company, and brings something new to the table. For all they do for the company, an employee wouldn’t be ashamed or feel guilty for taking their salary would they? No, because they’ve earned it. Similarly, employee benefits are just another way the company reimburses the employee for their skills, ideas, and everything else they bring to the table.