Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

TriNet | Brand Spotlight Partner What is this?

Twelve Ways to Boost Your Return on Employee Benefits

Brought to you by

A few months ago, I discussed how to communicate your total rewards package to your employees to ensure they were aware of all of the great benefits offered by the company. If you aren’t familiar with total rewards packages, you may want to start there. This post will delve deeper into the methods you can use to boost your return on your total rewards package—the collective elements of compensation, benefits, work-life balance, performance and recognition, and development and career opportunities.

Andrew Rich Photography

Compensation does not consist only of base pay. Employer-provided voluntary benefits (e.g., life, dental, vision plans), mandatory benefits and taxes (e.g., Social Security & workers’ compensation), and time-off programs (e.g., vacation) can add an additional 47% of compensation on top of an employee’s base salary. Therefore, it is important that employees understand the added value these programs provide.

Use an employee benefits statement during performance reviews.

  1. Employers can display this in writing by using a formal benefits statement (or a simple list) to highlight all cash, non-cash rewards and benefits of being with the company.
  2. In addition to traditional benefits, you should also convey additional employee perks. These are the values of staying with the organization that an employee would not get elsewhere, such as company culture and job security.
  3. Examples of employee perks and benefits that contribute to total compensation may include your company’s participation in:
  • 401(k) match
  • Disability
  • Life Insurance
  • Community Involvement

  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Dependent Care
  • Health and Wellness
  • Flexible Workplace

  • Maternity Leave
  • Financial Support Programs
  • Creative Paid Time Off
  • Pet Insurance

Enhancing an employee’s knowledge of these programs will foster an employee’s sense of pride and security. Employees are more productive when they feel more financially secure because they can focus on higher level concepts (think Maslow’s hierarchy of needs).

Prompt employees to take action and utilize their benefits.

Many employees are not aware that their benefits are available, applicable, and rewarding. You can increase knowledge and participation in the plans through incentives and encouragement.

  1. Consider offering a company 401(k) match on top of employee contributions to increase enrollment. To better educate employees and help them make sound investment decisions, point out the 401(k) statements, risk assessments and asset modeling tools on the vendor’s website.
  2. The same is true for health care and other benefits. It has been shown that preventive - care can lower health plan rates and increase worker productivity. You can offer cash or gift incentives (e.g., movie tickets) for your employees to encourage an annual check-up, taking an online health assessment, and/or participating in health action programs (e.g., smoking cessation).
  3. Increase employee benefit awareness by requesting group information sessions from your HR staff and benefit vendors.
  4. Provide clear contact information for your HR department and communicate to your team that employees and their dependents can contact your HR department anytime for personal assistance with benefit or payroll questions.

Incorporating these ideas will help you move away from defining your employee benefits in terms of cost and towards defining them in terms of engagement. You can measure the effectiveness of your efforts by tracking participation, plan activity, and retention before and after your communications. Ask for feedback through a survey and during performance development meetings. Remember that an underused program is an ineffective employee incentive for which the organization must still pay.

Reward employees publicly for a job well done.

By building a culture of recognition, you can align employees to the achievement of business goals and organizational success. Recognition draws special attention to employee actions, efforts, behavior and performance.

  1. Build programs (e.g., create an event for recognition) and opportunities (e.g., set aside a block of time during a meeting) for people to share their success stories and anecdotes. Encourage everyone to share their appreciation publicly and frequently at team meetings.
  2. Post a list of accomplishments on the wall or on an internal blog or communication.
  3. Ask for employee-of-the-quarter nominations and reward individuals publicly with awards or gift cards.
  4. Use social media and employee blogs as a platform for employees to display their recognition.
  5. Put your work-life benefits (e.g., workplace flexibility, culture, community involvement) in writing so they can be easily accessed and understood.

Hopefully, these suggestions will help you when considering ways to raise awareness of your total rewards package. These are just ideas that we’ve found to be effective in the past. -We realize different things work for different companies, but these suggestions may help get the ball rolling for you.

With TriNet as your partner, you’ll have the expertise, capabilities and scalable infrastructure to grow. Our bundled HR products and cloud-based technology streamline the HR process for managers and employees alike. Learn more by calling 888.874.6388 or go to It’s time to start achieving some incredible results of your own.

Brand Spotlight Partner

Spotlight is brought to you by the Entrepreneur Partner Studio, which creates dynamic and compelling content for our partners.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur Spotlight partners are their own.