Types of employee benefits and what it says about organizations

30/11/2018 05:43:26

While a higher salary range is the obvious catch for employees to finalize on a job offer, benefits make a significant difference too. Glassdoor’s 2017 employee benefits guide reveals that 57% of the respondents agreed that perks and benefits were one of the most important factors in their decision about a job. However, apart from making a job offer more attractive, ‘benefits’ can also tell you a lot about the employer brand. Organizations that choose to go beyond the statutory benefits and offer more, tend to spell out their employee culture and the kind of relationship they want to build with employees. 
So apart from the statutory ones, what are the other types of benefits that companies offer, and what can you infer about the employer brand from it? Let’s take a look.

Career growth benefits 

● Educational assistance or tuition reimbursement 
● Rewards for additional certificates
● Assistance for executive programs
● Reimbursement for general training courses
● Mentoring and counselling

These benefits focus on the professional and intellectual growth of employees. By providing such benefits to its employees, organizations exhibit a keen interest in enhancing their knowledge and learning. It also tends to reflect that the employer is focusing on building a long-term and mutually-beneficial association with its employees by investing in their knowledge and skills. Employees who are eager to learn and grow find such workplaces to be most attractive. Student loan assistance, for instance, is the most preferred employee benefit in the US. 

Work-life quality benefits 

● Paid and unpaid parental leave 
● Day care/ crèche
● Flexi work hours
● Monetary assistance for day care/elder care 
● Vacation time 

Benefits such as part-time working hours or work-from-home opportunities which touch upon the lives of employees beyond work, fall under work-life benefits. These benefits help the employers to contribute to enhancing the quality of their employees’ lives. Organizations that include such benefits in their compensation plans tend to build a more empathetic relationship with their workforce. According to a Harvard Business Review Survey, employees have ranked benefits favoring ‘work-life balance’  second, after healthcare. 

Further incentive benefits

● Employee stock ownership plan (ESOP)
● Profit sharing scheme
● Pension or savings plan
● Company car 
● Loan assistance 
● Housing 

 Further incentive benefits focus on assisting the employees in their financial growth. ESOPs, contribution retirement plans, and other saving plans are no more considered as just fringe or secondary benefits. Companies are using these financial benefits to reward and retain their high potential and ambitious employees. Walmart-backed Flipkart is a good example where an organization has gone ahead and made its employees a part of its profits by offering ESOPs to them. This is also the company’s way to cash-in on its employees’ stockholding. 

Fringe benefits

● Profit bonus
● Gratuity
● Leave with-pay 
● Housing allowance 
● Meals 

 A considerable proportion of fringe benefits are given in the form of monetary bonus, etc. As per the employers Federation of India, fringe benefits were about 21.3% of the total wages paid in a year. These benefits have more to do with the nature of the job and are provided primarily for the actual or perceived needs of employees. Employers provides such monetary or non-monetary fringe benefits to their employees to foster a more committed and productive environment at work. 
As a well-informed employee, you must look at what the organization has to offer beyond the regular compensation. The benefit structure of a company can help you gauge its organizational values such as employee-friendliness, work culture, social responsibility, innovativeness, etc. Look for companies that will invest in your growth along with them. Seeking such benefits from your employer is a symbiotic way of working which will only motivate you to be more productive and loyal.