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Some employee retention strategies to help you engage employees:

It’s almost become cliché but the strength of a company comes from its ability to attract and retain great people. How do you create a relationship with a group that goes far beyond the weekly compensation that they receive? It comes from consistency over time and a trust from the people that the management of the company have the employees’ best interest at heart. This creates a reciprocal dynamic that stems far beyond a paycheck.

The strong relationship between a company and its employees needs to not only provide a competitive compensation plan. In time, it needs to extend to a comprehensive employee benefit plan to help ensure the health of its employees and their families. It could incorporate a Group RRSP or Group Pension Plan to help plan for the future of its employee and into retirement. It could incorporate Health Spending Accounts to allow tax-free and flexible options to supplement a benefit plan for its employees. Employers are expected to provide an element of guidance, education and communication to help employees deal with life’s little speed bumps and help their employees be better prepared for life’s setbacks or obstacles.

All of these elements contribute to a “We Care” mentality which helps to build trust, loyalty and a relationship that stems far beyond the workplace.

Sustainable Employee Benefit Plans

Many companies provide its employees with an employee benefit plan. What is offered from employer to employer largely stems from the company’s ability to provide the following: cost certainty; flexibility; diversity; extensiveness and affordability. Work environments today need to appeal to multi-generational workers so it would make sense that an employee benefit plan should be representative of the same diverse workforce. How can a benefit plan appeal to a 20-year old in the same way that it appeals to a 60-year old? The challenge for employers is understanding how benefit providers price the cost of a plan today versus after each renewal. The key is understanding what elements of a benefit plan require true insurance versus elective benefits, will help a company choose an appropriate funding model to help drive down administrative cost and yet mitigate against a catastrophic event.

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Group RRSPs/Group Pensions

Another retention strategy is to offer a group RRSP or pension for its employees. Often the pension is scaled according to position and tenure which adds another dimension to an employee’s compensation. Many larger companies offer a straight percentage of one’s salary compensation to be contributed to an individual’s retirement income whereas many companies choose a matching contribution. Whereas the employee is expected to contribute equally as the employer. This is a significant differentiator for many companies which will offer anywhere typically from 3-6% of one’s annual salary. Often this percentage grows with hierarchy or tenure at the company.

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Health Spending Accounts

Health Spending Accounts (HSAs) can be a standalone benefit or often is supplemented by a benefit plan. This is a non-taxable benefit to an employee that gives them complete flexibility to spend allocated HSA dollars on any CRA-approved health or dental expense. For those that have benefit plans, it can be used to pay deductibles, co-pays or benefits that may be excluded from a benefit plan. Employees love the flexibility of spending money where they choose. Employers love the fact that there is complete cost certainty in every given year. The employer has the ability to increase or reduce the amounts on any given year.

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Financial Wellness

Financial Wellness is a fairly new and unique concept to enhance an employer’s attraction and retention numbers. Studies have shown that employees’ spend 10-30% of their workday dealing with personal issues. Financial debt, dealing with aging or sick parents, how to afford to send your children to post secondary school, being able to afford to retire are just a few of the issues that many employees are dealing with on a daily basis. Employers are starting to acknowledge that the work life and home life are constantly overlapping. Employers are starting to take a vested interest in their employees’ personal lives and help them to deal with life’s speed bumps in the form of information sessions and workshops. Creating a “We Care workplace” also builds tremendous loyalty amongst its employees. The value of these types of information sessions are proving to be huge differentiators when it comes to employee loyalty. A recent study by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans showed that 70% of employees found this information important and felt that an employer should provide such information to its employees. As a result, employees have greater productivity, less absenteeism, greater peace of mind and greater morale.

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Education and Communication

The other pillar to employee retention is education and communication on a consistent and regular basis. All the programs in the world will not achieve the desired effect if none of your employees are aware of these programs existing.