Retail industry companies can greatly improve employee retention and productivity rates by offering competitive benefits packages. Look at it this way: if you give your employees a decent benefits package, the core message they are likely to get is that you care for them. And once they get that message, they are likely to reciprocate — by doing their work in the best manner possible and by being loyal to you as an employer. Conversely if you only give your employees the minimum benefits required by law, they are likely to get the impression that you only care about your business’ bottom-line and that you don’t care about them as people. Consequently, they are likely to only do the minimum necessary to keep their jobs. They are also likely to be constantly on the lookout for better opportunities with employers who can give them better benefits packages…
The question that arises then is as to what benefits retail industry companies should offer to their employees. That is the question we will be tackling in this article, by looking at some of the specific benefits that progressive retail industry companies should offer to their employees.
Without further ado, the benefits that retail businesses should offer to their employees include:
- Medical benefits: In most places, employers are required by law to offer their employees some sort of health benefits. And even outside the legal requirements, it makes sense for a retail business to offer its employees health benefits, in order to get the best output from them. If the employees are offered adequate medical cover, they are likely to operate with peace of mind. This peace of mind would be based on the assurance that they are well-covered should anything happen to them health-wise. Conversely, in the absence of adequate medical benefits, the employees – especially the ones with families — are unlikely to have peace of mind, and this is likely to affect their output. They are likely to be ever in search of opportunities in industries/firms where they can get better medical cover. It usually costs very little for an employer to offer employees medical benefits that are over and above what is required by the law. Thus, for instance, if the legal requirement is to offer a basic medical insurance cover, an employer can opt to also offer dental and vision covers. So that would be over and above the basic medical insurance cover that is required by the law. This would surely serve to send the message to the employees that their employer cares for them as individuals. And when you look at it objectively, the benefit you get from offering the extra health insurance coverage is likely to outweigh the cost by far.
- Retirement benefits: By offering employees retirement benefits, you give them the impression that there is a ‘future’ they are working towards. Conversely, if (as a retail industry employer) you don’t give your employees retirement benefits, they are likely to start feeling as if they are in dead-end situations, without any ‘future’ to look forward to. Retirement benefits can be particularly effective at improving retail industry employee retention rates/reducing retail industry employee turnover rates. Employees are, for instance, unlikely to leave jobs where they were co-contributing towards 401(k) plans or other retirement schemes. On the other hand, in the absence of such schemes, there is very little to bind the employees to you.
- Overtime benefits: Retail industry business employees are often forced to work overtime. In some places, employers are under obligation to pay for the overtime worked. In other places (or for certain cadres of workers), the employers are at liberty to either pay the overtime or not pay. But even where the employer has the option of not paying for the over-time worked, it is still a good idea to pay the overtime benefits. That is because not paying for overtime worked is likely to demotivate the employees greatly. And the last thing you want in a retail business is to have demotivated employees. On the other hand, if you pay your employees for overtime worked, they are likely to be greatly motivated, and to feel that you respect their time and effort.
- Paid leaves: Retail industry jobs tend to be very intense. Therefore the employees need some time to unwind. This is where paid leave benefits come in handy. Employers in the retail industry should endeavor to give their employees paid off days every week (at least one off day per week), as well as several paid leave days every year. In the absence of those, you are likely to end up with high levels of employee burnout. That would inevitably lead to less output as well as high levels of staff turnover.
- Insurance benefits: These include worker’s compensation and disability insurance benefits. In most places, employers are required by law to offer such insurance covers. But even where such legal requirements don’t exist, it makes sense to offer the retail employees such insurance benefits. The employees are likely to have peace of mind in knowing that they are ‘covered’ should anything happen to them in the course of their work. And with such peace of mind, the employees are likely to give their best possible output. At the very least, getting such insurance cover (which by the way tends to cost very little) gives the employees the impression that you really care for them as individuals. That in turn is likely to translate into higher levels of employee retention and higher levels of employee productivity.