Connections - 06.30.22

Best Benefit Practices for Retention

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by McKenzie Metzner, MITC

Agencies are struggling with a labor shortage and related problems with hiring and retention. The market for new hires has become more competitive but many providers have not updated their benefit practices in response. Some providers are underselling themselves with new hires and employees.

We have created an eBook, Best Benefit Practices for Retention, that explores updates providers should consider making, not just to their benefit packages, but for how this valuable extra compensation should be communicated to potential new hires and existing employees.

  • Benefit Monetary Valuation: The benefit package valuation should be included in job postings and be periodically communicated to existing employees, at least annually, and with every benefit update announcement.
  • Annual Total Compensation Statements: The goal is to communicate to employees the value of their benefit package.
  • Important Non-Taxable Benefits That May Not Be Mentioned: If your agency pays employees any non-taxable expenses, these should be included in job postings and in benefit monetary valuations. As no taxes are paid on this compensation, employees benefit greatly from these payments. For example:
    • Equipment Provided: Make it clear in job postings who provides any equipment, what it is and the retail value.
    • Mileage: The per mile reimbursement rate needs to be in job postings and changes communicated to employees clearly and promptly.
    • BYOD Plan For Smart Phones: Some providers include a monthly stipend for employees to use their own smart phone. This has become more common with EVV.
  • Payroll On Demand Service: Payroll on demand services are widely used by commercial companies like Walmart and are very popular with lower-wage workers. There are multiple payroll on demand services to choose from. It is free to the employer and does not impact cash flow.
  • Overtime: While not strictly a benefit, overtime availability is important to many lower paid employees and can be an important reason for their retention.
  • Differentials: Many providers pay extra for certain shifts or positions. Again, while not strictly a benefit, pay differentials can be an important part of an employee’s compensation.
  • Extra Pay For Working On A Holiday: Job postings should include information on extra pay for holidays and a count of the number of holidays.
  • Paid Training: Job postings should include the number of hours of paid training provided and at what rate, as some employers pay less for training. This will make the positions more attractive to those outside the profession.
  • 401k Plans, Life Insurance, Etc.: While 401k plans are important to many senior employees, hourly paid employees often just want to get to the next paycheck.
  • HSA Plans: Unexpected medical bills are tough for many lower-wage hourly employees. An employer contribution to an HSA is probably more appreciated than a 401k contribution.
  • Hybrid Working: All agencies need to develop a clear hybrid working plan and promote it in those job postings where it is meaningful.
  • How Many PTO Buckets Are Best? Accrued vacation, sick and personal time ideally should be consolidated into a single balance called Paid Time Off (PTO). Consolidating PTO into a single balance eliminates several steps, complications with accrual tables, and other potential errors. This can reduce the time supervisors, payroll and human resources spend managing employee PTO by 50%.

To read the full eBook, visit Best Benefit Practices for Retention.

McKenzie Metzner is the Agency Business Development Team Lead at MITC. She can be reached at [email protected].

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