How to Design an Employee Benefits Program

How to Design an
Effective Benefits Program



Today’s employees seek benefits beyond current healthcare plans and pensions. That is because employees now expect a broader choice of benefits that suit their lifestyles and changing needs. When determining how to design an employee benefits program, there are many things employers should take into consideration.

A well-structured benefits plan offers incentives to your employees, improves morale, and boosts productivity. If you want to reward your staff, providing financial security and a premium health care plan is the best way to motivate your workforce. That’s one of the reasons why companies are focusing on creating competitive employee benefits plans.

So, what should you consider when designing an employee benefits program?

In most cases, covering the essential benefits can help you retain your employees. However, going beyond their expectations is a great way to maximize productivity and reduce employee turnover rates.

To create an effective employee benefits program, employers should take the following steps.

Utilize Benchmarking and Market Research


Employee benefits not only engage your current employees but also attract new talent. Hence, companies must stay aware of current marketing trends and offerings. For that, your company must conduct frequent surveys for determining the most popular employee benefits in the market.

You don’t have to offer all these benefits. However, conducting research is beneficial if you want to go above and beyond the market standard.

Reflect on your business goals and analyze where you stand in the market to benchmark your employee benefits plan.

Here are the primary benefits or perks of a good employee benefits program. Almost all companies provide these benefits to their employees.

However, if you can afford to offer more benefits, you can attract a larger pool of talent with the following benefits:

Streamlining benefits by choosing the most important ones to your business goals is a great way to offer the right mix of interests. For instance, if you want to control your company’s high turnover rates, the best benefits include flex-hours to help employees maintain a work-life balance.

Aligning your benefits program with your business goals will benefit your company culture and profitability.

Adopt a Long-Term Approach


Designing an employee benefits program with a long-term approach is a cost-effective strategy for both parties. For instance, if you increase your health care cost, it will affect your older employees more than younger ones. Remember to offer a customized plan for each group to cater to diverse employees’ needs.

Establish Good Communication


If you don’t communicate with your employees, you can’t identify the benefits they expect out of your organization. This lack of information leads to ambiguity. Communicating helps you identify and offer the best benefits to your employees so they feel valued.

This is an essential part of designing a competitive employee benefits program.

Prioritize Health Insurance


Health insurance is often included in employee benefits packages in countries like the U.S., where there is no universal healthcare coverage.

Health insurance covers the cost of an insured individual’s surgical and medical expenses. The term ‘provider’ describes a laboratory, hospital, clinic, or pharmacy that treats an individual, whereas ‘insured’ refers to the health insurance policy owner. The insured individual either pays the cost out of his pocket and receives reimbursement or makes payments directly to the provider.

Learn more about how to offer health insurance to your employees.

Focus on Added Benefits


Widespread benefits such as maternity leave, sabbaticals, and flex-time attract diverse employees and help your company retain top industry talent. Most employers now offer paid maternity leave for three months. Generally, a company pays a new mom up to 100% of her salary in this period.

However, the concept of paternity leave is also becoming popular. Moreover, adding paternity leaves to your benefits program is also a great way to reward your most loyal employees.

Here are additional benefits to consider as part of your benefits program design:



Sabbatical programs can be both paid or unpaid. Generally, an employee must complete a certain period to qualify for sabbatical leave. For instance, your employee may have to work for five years before taking some time off to pursue further education or a passion.

Although a sabbatical provides new opportunities to explore, your employees will be more likely to come back to your company if you provide attractive benefits.



If your company offers a flexible work arrangement, your employees can complete assignments promptly. Such methods come in several forms, such as telecommuting or a 4-day week. Offering flexible hours can help your company recruit new mothers or older workers who want to apply for a flexible shift.

Work With an Employee Benefits Consultant


When designing an employee benefits program, many companies choose to work with an employee benefits consultant. These professionals help an employer create and implement the best benefit plan design for their employees at the right cost.

With the help of these experts, you can create an excellent employee benefits program.

Employees look for an outstanding employer who understands the importance of employee benefits, including paid leaves, health insurance, short-term disability insurance, and more.

To find experienced employee benefits consultants in your area, search Mployer Advisor now. We make it easy to compare consultants by offering independent ratings, showcasing customer reviews, and more.