• published on 8/10/2022
  • 7min

Employee Benefits 101

As the job market becomes increasingly competitive, job seekers are now placing a higher value on employee benefits packages. In addition to salary, they have become a crucial factor in attracting and retaining top talent.

Employee Benefits 101

This has led to a significant shift in how employers approach employee benefits, with an increasing number of companies investing in a range of offerings designed to meet the diverse needs of their workforce. A recent Forbes survey revealed that 62% of businesses modified their benefits offerings in 2022 to include more comprehensive employee benefits.

What are employee benefits?

Employee benefits are non-wage compensation provided by an employer to their employees. These benefits can include anything from health insurance to paid maternity leave to stress management counselling and are designed to improve employee well-being and overall job satisfaction.

What are the common inclusions of an employee benefits package?

While the exact inclusions may vary depending on the employer and industry, here are the most common benefits included in an employee benefits package:

Local or international health insurance

Companies can choose to offer either local or international health insurance as part of their benefits package. Local insurance covers healthcare expenses within the employee's home country and usually has lower annual coverage limits and caps.

International health insurance provides broader coverage that includes both local and international medical coverage. This type of insurance is especially valuable for companies with international operations or employees who often travel overseas. It guarantees that whether they're travelling for work or leisure, they are well-covered and protected.

Alongside medical coverage, a Fractl survey revealed that 88% of job seekers consider improved dental and vision insurance benefits as a critical factor in their decision-making process.

Dental insurance provides coverage for routine dental care, such as cleanings, fillings, and extractions, as well as more complex procedures like root canals and crown replacements. On the other hand, optical insurance covers eye tests, frames, prescription contact lenses and prescription lenses.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a specialised resource within the workplace, designed to bolster the performance and well-being of your employees. Especially relevant in today's high-stress and fast-paced work environment, EAPs proactively support employees in overcoming both personal and work-related challenges.

EAPs provide confidential, short-term assistance addressing a broad spectrum of issues. From financial struggles and legal matters to physical health concerns and mental well-being, EAPs are a comprehensive resource for employees.

Employees can usually access licensed medical professionals, financial experts, and psychologists through the EAP. The program can provide invaluable support in several situations. Below are a few examples:

  • Financial Counseling: An employee is struggling with financial issues, perhaps trying to manage debt, budget effectively, or plan for retirement. The EAP can offer financial counselling, helping them develop robust financial strategies and improve their financial well-being.

  • Parenting Support: An employee is grappling with parenting challenges, such as dealing with their children's behavioural issues or juggling work and family responsibilities. The EAP can provide resources, advice, and support, helping them navigate these challenges more effectively.

  • Grief Counseling: An employee has suffered a significant loss, such as the death of a loved one. The EAP can offer grief counselling, providing emotional support and resources to help them through the grieving process.

By leveraging EAP's comprehensive and supportive resources, employees can navigate their challenges more effectively. This leads to a healthier work-life balance, increased productivity, and a more positive work environment, all of which contribute to the overall success of your organisation. EAPs are not just a benefit, but an investment in the health and productivity of your workforce.

Wellness benefits

Wellness benefits focus on promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing illness. They may include gym memberships, nutrition classes, or reimbursement for wellness activities like yoga or meditation.

While investing in wellness benefits requires resources upfront, it often leads to cost savings in the long run. Healthier employees are less likely to require extensive medical interventions, leading to reduced healthcare expenses and decreased absenteeism.

For instance, Google invests in its employee wellness offerings by providing access to mental health apps, massage services, on-site doctors, micro-kitchens stocked with nutritious meals, and much more.

Paid time off (PTO)

Companies that provide generous PTO packages are now more attractive to potential employees. PTO is an important tool for managing employee health and wellness as it allows employees to take time off when they are sick or need to attend to personal or family matters without worrying about losing pay or job security.

Additionally, employers are also required to offer paid maternity and paternity leave. In most countries worldwide, there exists a mandatory minimum period for such leaves, but companies aiming to attract top talents frequently go beyond the minimum requirements.

The duration of this leave can vary from a few days to several months, providing crucial time for new parents to bond with their children and adapt to their changing family dynamics.

Why offer employee benefits?

From making job seekers interested in your company to keeping employees happy and productive, offering great benefits is a smart move that will help both employees and the company succeed.

1. Attracting top talent

Candidates navigating the job market are not solely focused on job titles and salaries. In the eyes of a job seeker, superior employee benefits can easily tip the scales. They view such attractive employee benefits as indicators of an employer’s genuine investment in their professional and personal development, fostering a sense of loyalty and engagement from the very beginning.

Companies that offer competitive benefits can also position themselves favourably in comparison to industry benchmarks. This not only helps with attracting talent but also ensures that the company remains aligned with industry standards.

2. Reducing employee turnover

The tangible result of offering benefits is a decrease in employee turnover. High turnover rates can have far-reaching negative impacts on a company’s performance, culture, and financial health.

When employees remain loyal to the organisation, you save financial resources that would otherwise be invested in the repetitive hiring and training processes. Secondly, project continuity is maintained, as clients and projects are less likely to suffer from disruptions caused by employee departures.

3. Reducing absenteeism

Various studies have found that incorporating wellness programs into the workplace has been found to have a significant impact on reducing absenteeism by 25%. Absenteeism can occur due to various reasons such as illness, personal reasons, family emergencies, or workplace-related factors.

For instance, by providing resources for stress management or easy access to telehealth services, employees can achieve better physical or mental health. This, in turn, makes them less susceptible to illnesses that might lead to absenteeism.

4. Enhancing job satisfaction

Benefits such as paid time off, access to personalised counselling, or family-oriented benefits like parental leave, go beyond basic salary and demonstrate the company’s commitment to its employees'’ well-being.

By empowering employees to manage their work and personal obligations effectively, these benefits can lead to reduced stress, improved work-life balance, and ultimately, higher job satisfaction. Employees who feel valued and supported are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs, leading to increased engagement and productivity.

5. Fostering a positive work culture

A positive work environment that prioritises employee well-being and satisfaction creates a virtuous cycle. When employees are happy, they are more likely to be engaged in their work, motivated to go the extra mile and take ownership of their responsibilities.

Lastly, they naturally become advocates for the organisation. They share positive experiences with friends, family, and their professional networks, effectively becoming brand ambassadors. This positive word-of-mouth can significantly enhance the organisation'’s reputation.

How APRIL can help you create the right employee benefits

At APRIL, we understand that every company, regardless of size, has distinct requirements when it comes to employee benefits. Whether you operate with a small team or a larger organisation, our expertise lies in crafting tailored health insurance solutions that cater to companies of all sizes. We offer you the flexibility to design customised and sustainable coverage, ensuring your employees receive the care and protection they need, anywhere in the world.

In addition to our health insurance products, we also offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) upon request to our corporate clients, including:

Physician callback

With physician callback, your employees can easily reach out to licensed medical practitioners whenever they need assistance with general health questions or if they are feeling ill. They can expect a callback from a doctor within 3 hours.

Second medical opinion

Our Second Medical Opinion service empowers your employees to make informed medical decisions for serious illnesses or injuries.

As part of our partnership with Teladoc Health, employees can tap into a global network of over 50,000 medical experts with diverse specialities, from oncology to neurology, rheumatology, cardiology, and more. When an employee reaches out for medical advice, Teladoc will carefully match them with the most qualified expert(s) based on their specific needs and concerns.

Stress management counselling

With this service, your employees will be able to get in touch with a licensed psychologist  to discuss their concerns and receive personalised counselling that is tailored to their unique needs.

Our team of licensed and experienced psychologists and counsellors are equipped to provide expert guidance and support in cases of work stress, anxiety, depression, relationship and family conflict, life transitions, burnout, and more.

To know more about our corporate products and Employee Assistance Program (EAP), contact our team today at corporate.asia@april.com or +65 6320 9583.