Employee Benefits and Compensation: A Step-by-Step Guide

Hiring and retaining the most competent and talented workforce is the top priority of the HR department in an organisation. To attract top talent, the HR department has to compensate employees they simply cannot refuse.

Compensation and benefits are essential aspects of the satisfaction levels of an employee at the workplace, and they directly impact their motivation and productivity.

The HR department must provide a compensation or benefit package tailored to the employee’s needs and lift their morale.

Doing so ensures that the employees align with the company values and acknowledge that they want to work. After all, humans are the most important asset for any organization.

What Are Employee Benefits?

Employee benefits are the indirect, non-cash compensation paid to an employee.

Such benefits are provided to the employees over and above their salaries and wages, and they are also referred to as fringe benefits, which are offered to attract and retain employees.

Employees love benefits and want to be appreciated for their hard work and efforts. A few of the employees apply for an organisation that depends upon the benefits or perks provided by the company.

Job satisfaction directly affects the employee’s commitment to a job. A decrease in employee satisfaction will lead to a drop in commitment levels.

This may lead to a loss of commitment and lower performance levels.

Why Are Compensation And Benefits Important?

Though the benefit or compensation may be the same, a few points make them different.

Compensation is the reward an employee is entitled to when they are doing work in an organization.

When employees work for an organization, they are paid perks, food, bonuses, and healthcare for their talent and time. All these pointers fall under the scope of employee compensation, which may turn out to be financial or non-financial in nature.

On the other hand, benefits are non-monetary rewards given to employees as a token of appreciation for their efforts.

Employee benefits that are popular among employees include flexible work hours, discount coupons, gym memberships, and a casual dress code.

Though benefits may not provide direct benefits to an employee, attracting talented employees to an organisation is vital.

Let us explain things with an example. Suppose an employee receives two job offers, both of which have the same monetary compensation, but the first has superior benefits compared to the second. Then, in such cases, the employee would choose the first offer.

The Difference Between Compensation And Benefits

Compensation is a broad term that includes everything an employer gives to an employee in exchange for their efforts. It is an ideal way to attract the best talent in an organisation, and it can be monetary or non-monetary.

This can be a direct payment for an employee’s work for a company, which is fully taxable, or a part of it could be exempt from tax.

The benefit is a part of compensation, and it is a means of motivating and ensuring quality employee performance.

The benefit is always non-monetary in nature and is an indirect payment for their work. Apart from that, benefits can be taxable or fully exempt from tax.

The Models Explain Compensation And Benefits.

Numerous models determine how employees determine their compensation and benefits. Here are a couple of examples:

The Total Rewards Model

The total rewards model indicates that the monetary benefits of a job are not the only ones that will influence the well-being of an employee at that job.

Non-monetary benefits like recognition and contribution to work have an important role to play too.

The model states that the overall rewards of an employee are split into five parts: well-being compensation, benefits, recognition, and development.

Varr’s model

Since the human body requires various vitamins to be healthy, various characteristics like autonomy, money, or variety in work are important for an employee to be productive.

Went on to put the various characteristics into a couple of groups.

How Can You Maintain Compensation Fairness?

Compensation fairness ensures that everyone in the industry is paid according to the standard industry norms and their individual needs. Regarding pay, fairness does not have to be necessarily equal.

This is because one manager may be managing a 10-member team, whereas the other person will be managing a 30-member team.

If an organization’s goal is equal pay, then both managers need to be paid the same amount. But suppose you are looking to formulate an organization that pays its employees fairly. In that case, the managers with the most team members and analysts with specialized knowledge of financial technology will be paid more.

Proper communication is vital for compensation fairness.

Higher pay is essential for increasing employee motivation, but employees are more engaged with work if they believe things are fair.

In simple terms, employees were motivated to work extra when they understood where their compensation package stood about industry standards or their peers.

Hence, the company must ensure transparency about its salary and benefit information.

A way to ensure transparency in communication is distributive fairness, which is the perception among the employees of the work they are paid for. When employees see how much they are compensated when compared to their peers, they are more engaged and productive at work.

There is another way to ensure employee engagement, which is procedural fairness. An employee needs to have visibility into the process that is used to determine the compensation package for various roles of individuals in a company.

While both types of procedures are important when determining an employee’s compensation levels, research indicates that procedural fairness tends to engage the workforce better.

When employees understand how their compensation package stacks up against industry standards, they are more likely to be engaged with the work.

Why Are Compensation And Benefits Important?

Human resources are a critical aspect of a company. The more talented a workforce is, the better the output will be.

A competent approach towards compensation and benefits at the workplace goes a long way in ensuring that the employees are satisfied.

The compensation and benefits are beneficial in the following ways:

The best talent in the industry is attracted.

A smart and hard-working employee needs to know their value and would want to maximise it when it comes to employee compensation and benefits.

If an employee feels that they are underpaid and a competitor is providing them with the same monetary compensation but better benefits, they are likely to switch sides.

HR professionals should be aware of how their total compensation package should compare to their competitors and try to match them when it comes to retaining the best talent in the industry.

Motivated employees are to be retained.

When employees are properly compensated, they have the motivation to come to work. Morale is still high, and job satisfaction is also high.

High morale indicates that the employees are motivated to come to work every day and give their best.

Even a highly motivated and engaged employee is less likely to look for work outside the organisation, which means that they stay in the same job for a considerable time.

The Key Benefits Of A Compensation Package

As discussed earlier, earlier compensation and benefits packages could be split into various elements like salary, time off, healthcare, and other policies.

Even compensation can be split into numerous categories.

Fixed pay

Fixed pay is the minimum amount that an employer pays to an employee, including overtime or bonuses.

The employer is paid on a monthly basis rather than on an hourly basis. The factors that determine the basic wage rates are industry standards, the cost of living, and the roles played by an employee.

Variable pays

It is the pay that an employee receives based on his or her individual performance. Even the overall performance of a company is taken into consideration.

Equity pays

Sometimes companies include stocks and options as part of employee compensation.

They tend to be non-cash in nature and provide a share in the ownership of a company. This means that the employees are entitled to an overall share of a company’s profits.

These stocks form part of the employee’s compensation package as equity pay. But these benefits are provided to employees only after they have gone on to spend a considerable amount of time with the company.

The Compensation Ideas And List Of Benefits That You Can Provide Your Employees

Below is a concise list of compensation and benefits you may provide your employees.

Insurance plans

Insurance plans are a great option to show employees that you care about them.

This type of insurance covers losses caused by sudden death or an accident. Dental check-ups and biometric screenings are examples of insurance plans.

Disability insurance

The employer will be paying for an employer’s salary if they become unfit to work or disabled in any form.

This can be short-term or long-term disability insurance, depending on the employee’s needs.

The former covers employees for up to six months, whereas the latter covers the employee’s entire career.

Tuition reimbursement

An excellent idea for employee benefits is when employees look to pay back tuition fees.

Normally, employees must pay on their own when they enrol in a course, but once the course is completed, the employee can choose to pay a portion or the entire cost of the course.

Corporate discounts

It refers to the discounts that are provided to employees on goods and services. You can term them as discounts that specially cater to corporate employees.

The companies also test these modules internally before launching them on the market.

As the name indicates, an employee is paid even when they take a break from work. An extension of this form of benefit is paid vacation.

Many companies are of the opinion that this is a popular form of benefit among employees. Even the employees are known to take the same number of vacations as they earlier used to.

Taking proper care of your health is important. When employees are sick and still need to work, it is going to have an impact on their productivity and morale have an impact on their productivity and morale.

So, you need to create a policy where they are provided paid sick leave that shows that you care for the well-being of your employees.

Retirement plans

One of the benefits and compensations you can provide your employees is a degree of financial security.

An example of the various methods that can be adopted is pension plans.

Performance bonus

Everyone wants to be loved and appreciated. The moment you understand the employees’ hard work or achievements, they are going to perform well.

You need to reward them for their performance motivations and encourage them to achieve their goals in an efficient manner.

Office perks

An organization now tries to merge professional and personal lives together. The perks are designed to make an office environment fun and joyful.

Some of the perks include board games or free food.

Stock options

A company may offer employees the opportunity to purchase shares in the company at an agreed-upon price by a particular date.

The price is generally lower than the market price as it gives employees ownership over something they build upon. It does give them the impression that they are a part of a larger organization.

The Most Sought-After Employee Benefits For Millennials

Some of the most sought-after benefits for millennials are as follows:

Student loans

The major cause of stress among millennials is student loans, as they seek employees who can help them clear their student loans.

It may turn out to be one of the better and more attractive ways to retain the best talent in an organization.

State-of-the-art technology

Millennials have grown up in the company of everything valuable to their times. Information has always been readily available to employees, and this is expected at work.

These digital natives should be equipped with the latest and state-of-the-art technology for superior job performance. Things have always continued to function in this manner.

Social responsibility initiatives at a corporate level.

This is a generation where everyone wants to contribute and give things back to society.

One of the better ways to engage millennials would be to link them with an NGO, along with other organizations.

Abolish the traditional 9-to-5 system.

There are employees who do not like to conform to the traditional 9-to-5 system, and they feel this is not the only way to be productive.

Research indicates that 45% of employees prefer flexible scheduling over pay. The rise of self-employment and the gig economy is one of the other reasons for changing the 9–5 system.

Remote working

A better way to seal the deal is through remote working or sticking to work-from-home opportunities.

Millennials are known to enjoy flexible working hours, and they love places where they do not have to be physically present to do a job. Almost 92 percent of millennials want to work from home at least once a week.

Personal growth and development

Giving millennials time to pursue their hobbies or interests is another way to engage with them. One of the ways to do this is to pay for their hobbies.

There could be another way in which you may go on to set up diverse clubs for their hobbies. This could include drama clubs, photography clubs, etc.

How To Calculate Compensation Benefits

While the government ensures that everyone is paid a minimum wage, companies often choose an industry standard when determining the pay scale of their employees. There are numerous ways in which you can do that.

Salary surveys

In every industry, there are standards for compensation that companies need to adhere to if they are looking to bring standard employees on board. Salary surveys enable companies to know this pay standard.

The companies are known to avail themselves of the services of a compensation specialist to conduct salary surveys. They would be gathering information from various companies about the compensation packages they offer to their employees.

The collected data is then sold back to the companies, giving them an idea of how to determine the standard of living.
The compensation specialists often determine a compensation range rather than a compensation number.

The reason for this is that the salary of a manager in a Fortune 500 company is higher than the salary of a manager in a small company. This range would also enable the companies to have their own benchmarks while conforming to an industry standard.

Regression analysis

Human resource professionals are known to use an algorithmic approach to salary determination rather than one based on fixed variables.

These variables include the current salary of the employee, their time period at the company, their current educational qualifications, and their performance ratings.

How Do Compensation And Benefits Ensure Success For A Business?

There are various components that determine employee compensation and benefits at a company.

It is vital for an HR professional to establish that the company offers competitive compensation and communicate it properly to new and potential hires.

The need is for clear-cut guidelines about compensation or benefits that provide advantages to the company. Firstly, they are able to attract and retain the best talent in the industry.

Secondly, it provides a clear look into the amount of compensation or benefits in the overall operating expenses and ensures that the revenue is maintained at a level so as to provide competitive benefits to the employees.

Conclusion

Employee compensation, in most cases, refers to the cash benefits that an employee receives in exchange for the services that are rendered to them.

In most countries around the world, an individual is paid a set amount of money for the services they provide to their employees.

The compensation or benefits depending on the type of company for which you are working.

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