The war for exceptional talent is fiercer than ever. And you may be underutilizing some of your most powerful weapons – your family-friendly benefits. Think you don’t have any or can’t afford to add them? Well, here are some ideas for beefing up what you do have and – more importantly – positioning the employee benefits that working parents want most.
Finding the “family-friendly” in your existing benefits
COVID gave us a forced case study of working from home. And it taught us that remote work can be productive – even more productive than office work in some cases. So, don’t let antiquated ideas about seats in chairs prevent you from offering as much flexibility as you can. Workers are demanding it. And you can sell it as a benefit for working families. If you can’t offer remote work, what other flexible options can you come up with? Early or late starts? Short work weeks? More predictable schedules for hourly workers?
Does your wellness program or your carrier’s include spouses? Do you offer flu shots for spouses and kids? This is another area where companies miss the opportunity to promote the family-friendly aspect of a benefit.
I know first-hand how hard and expensive it can be to find good child care. You can’t solve that challenge for your employees, but you can help. Most EAP programs offer assistance to workers looking for care. And you can explain how your dependent care spending account can help a bit with the tax burden.
Promote your short-term disability benefits for moms and consider adding some time off for partners.
Most EAPs offer support for both workers and their family members. With the steady increase in mental health issues for adolescents, this benefit has become more valuable to families.
We all know how convenient telemedicine can be when you have a sick kid at home. This, too, can be positioned as one of your family-friendly benefits.
Family-level coverage costs
Are you favoring singles with your current contribution levels? Think again. Affordable premiums may make the difference in someone’s decision to work for you. And adding families to your plan can actually help balance out claims costs. Restructuring your contribution scheme can be powerful.
Packaging and promoting benefits to retain and attract
Gain leverage by thinking through how you position the benefits that working parents are looking for. Here are some ideas:
- Starting with the list here, make note of all the benefits that might fall into the family-friendly bucket.
- List them under a Family Friendly headline on your website.
- Make a Family-Friendly Benefits flyer to share with recruits.
- For existing employees, add a section to your enrollment materials that shows the family-friendly benefits.
- Consider having a lunch-and-learn about family-friendly benefits to teach employees how to take full advantage of them.
The battle for top talent isn’t going to be won or lost based on these small changes. But we do think you can gain an advantage by recognizing the unique needs of young families and demonstrating how your company is taking concrete steps to accommodate them.
By Jayson Cuba, Benefits Advisor, The Miller Group