Employee Benefits Benchmarking: How Do You Compare to Your Competition?

Discover how your company compares with others through employee benefits benchmarking. Learn about the key indicators and effective strategies here.



Staying competitive in today's business landscape requires a thorough understanding of the industry. By utilizing benchmarking, companies can assess where they stand compared to industry standards and make necessary adjustments to their strategy.

What is Employee Benefits Benchmarking?

Employee Benefits Benchmarking is a systematic process comparing an organization's employee benefit offerings against industry standards and best practices.

At Stratus HR, we believe in utilizing this approach to assess various aspects such as health benefits, retirement plans, paid time off, wellness programs, and other perks provided to employees. 

By leveraging benchmarking, organizations can gain valuable insights into how their benefits package stack up against competitors and identify areas for improvement.

Why is Employee Benefits Benchmarking Important?

Employee benefits benchmarking is critical for businesses to remain competitive in attracting and retaining the best employees. It demonstrates how your business's benefit programs compare against those of industry peers, emphasizing potential gaps or opportunities for improvement. 

Furthermore, it enables businesses like yours to stay current on developing trends and creative practices in the area, allowing for proactive adjustments to meet employees' changing needs and expectations. 

What Employee Benefits Should I Benchmark?

When deciding which employee benefits to benchmark, it is critical to concentrate on those that have a major influence on employee well-being and job satisfaction. 

At Stratus HR, we believe that health benefits like medical, dental, and vision coverage, as well as retirement plans such as 401(k) options, should be prioritized. 

Paid time off regulations, flexible work arrangements, employee support programs, wellness initiatives, and professional development opportunities are also crucial. By benchmarking these key advantages, businesses like yours may obtain useful insights into market standards while also ensuring their services remain competitive and aligned with the requirements and expectations of their workforce. 

Here are some key areas to consider:

1. Paid Time Off (PTO)

As employers evaluate changes to their PTO programs, separating vacation time and sick days has emerged as a common revision to provide employees with designated sick leave and facilitate compliance with state regulations. 

A number of states have also added paid sick leave to their list of required benefit offerings, making compliance easier to measure and track when sick leave is separated from vacation.

2. Recruiting and Retention

Attracting and retaining employees pose significant challenges, even with decreased unemployment rates. Employees' preferences for remote or hybrid work, flexible scheduling, and generous time-off policies have prompted employers to review strategies and policies such as compensation, workplace flexibility, up-skilling opportunities, and benefits expansion. 

To broaden their applicant pool, companies are enhancing their online recruitment efforts by building their brand on job websites, increasing their social media presence, and implementing employee referral programs.

3. Compliance

The rapidly evolving compliance landscape has posed difficulties for companies in keeping policies updated, ensuring data security, managing healthcare compliance, properly classifying employees, and handling paid leave programs. 

To navigate these challenges, outsourcing HR functions to companies like Stratus HR proves to be an effective solution for reducing costs. Certified professionals assist small businesses in staying compliant by tracking legislation, providing education, implementing updated procedures, and offering tools for employee benefits management.

4. Healthcare

Providing great healthcare benefits is essential to keeping your customers and employees happy and healthy. 

Benchmarking healthcare benefits allows your business to ensure competitive coverage that meets industry standards, providing vital medical, dental, and vision care options to employees. It helps you identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions to enhance employee well-being.

5. Flexible working options

Ensuring competitive and effective flexible work arrangements is crucial for businesses to adapt to changing work dynamics and meet the evolving needs of employees, promoting work-life balance and increasing employee satisfaction and retention. 

Benchmarking flexible work arrangements allows your business to assess the prevalence and effectiveness of different flexible work policies in your field, enabling you to determine which options best meet the needs of your employees. 

By collecting insights from industry peers, you can identify successful practices and implement policies that promote work-life balance, enhance employee satisfaction, and attract top talent.

6. Professional development

Investing in benchmarking professional development options is essential for fostering a culture of growth, and providing employees with relevant training, mentorship, and advancement opportunities. 

When benchmarking professional development options, your business can compare its training programs, mentorship opportunities, and career advancement initiatives with those offered by other companies. 

This evaluation helps you identify areas for improvement, align your investment in employee growth with industry standards, and ensure that your workforce receives the necessary support and resources to enhance their skills, knowledge, and career progression.

7. Bonuses and incentive pay

Rewards and incentives are important for attracting and retaining talent, as well as encouraging high employee performance. 

Benchmarking bonuses and incentive pay involves comparing your business's compensation structure, rewards, and recognition programs with benchmarks to determine their competitiveness. 

By doing this, your business can make informed decisions to attract and retain talented individuals, motivate high performance, and align rewards with industry norms, ensuring your compensation practices remain competitive in the talent market.

8. Wellness programs

Evaluating and benchmarking wellness programs is vital for prioritizing employee well-being, creating a healthy work environment, and improving satisfaction and productivity. 

Benchmarking wellness programs allows your business to evaluate the range and effectiveness of initiatives that promote employee well-being and health. 

By comparing your wellness offerings with industry standards, you can identify gaps, implement best practices, and provide comprehensive support for physical and mental well-being. This can lead to reduced healthcare costs, improved employee satisfaction, and increased productivity.

9. Retirement plans

Benchmarking retirement savings options ensures competitive long-term savings opportunities, securing employees' financial futures, enhancing employee attraction, and boosting employee retention efforts. 

Benchmarking retirement plans and other benefits, such as 401(k) programs, involves comparing your offerings with those of your enterprise peers to ensure they are competitive and attractive for employees' long-term financial security. 

By evaluating contribution matching, investment options, and retirement benefits packages, you can make adjustments to provide appealing retirement plans that help your employees achieve their financial goals and demonstrate your commitment to their overall well-being.

10. Family-friendly policies

Benchmarking a family-friendly benefits strategy creates an inclusive work environment, supports work-life integration, and accommodates employees with caregiving duties, fostering loyalty, satisfaction, and productivity. 

Benchmarking family-friendly policies, such as other benefits, like parental leave, childcare support, health plans, and flexible scheduling, assist your business in creating an inclusive and supportive work environment, recognizing the value of work-life integration, and accommodating employees with caregiving duties.

Overall, benchmarking employee benefits is crucial for businesses to stay competitive and meet the expectations of their workforce. By evaluating and aligning healthcare, flexible working options, professional development, bonuses, wellness programs, retirement plans, and family-friendly policies, companies can enhance employee satisfaction, attract top talent, and foster a positive work environment.

What are the Possible Downsides to Benchmarking Employee Benefits?

While benchmarking employee benefits can provide valuable insights, it is important to be aware of potential drawbacks. 

Industry Norm Tunnel Vision: The possibility of becoming overly fixated on industry norms is one drawback of benchmarking. By only looking at your business's field of expertise, you may be unaware of risks and opportunities that exist outside your industry. As a result, you may end up with a "one-size-fits-all" approach that isn't fully aligned with your employees' preferences and goals. 

At StratusHR, we believe that benchmarking data should be combined with an in-depth knowledge of the objectives and core values of your business. By conducting internal surveys, focus groups, and employee feedback sessions, you can gather insights specific to your workforce and tailor your benefit offerings accordingly. 

Insufficient or faulty data: Obtaining complete and accurate data is another pitfall of benchmarking employee benefits. Industry benchmarks may not always accurately reflect the full range of advantages or variances across various industries or regions, resulting in inaccurate or incomplete comparisons. 

StratusHR understands the value of utilizing reliable surveys and studies as well as data gathered from a variety of sources.

To mitigate these downsides, StratusHR emphasizes the importance of combining benchmarking data with an understanding of your business's objectives and values, as well as gathering specific insights through internal surveys and employee feedback sessions. 

By partnering with knowledgeable professionals like Stratus, you can help ensure access to reliable and comprehensive benefits benchmarking data that provides insights specific to your business's field of expertise and region.

Make the Leap: Benchmark Your Employee Benefits Today!

Benchmarking your employee benefits is essential to staying competitive and meeting the evolving needs of your workforce. 

At Stratus HR, we understand the importance of aligning your benefits programs with enterprise standards and best practices while also tailoring them to your specific business goals and employee preferences. 

By leveraging our expertise and comprehensive benefits benchmarking report and approach, you can gain valuable insights into areas such as healthcare benefits, flexible work arrangements, professional development, bonuses and incentives, wellness programs, retirement plans, and family-friendly policies. 

Let us be your trusted partner in navigating the complexities of employee benefits benchmarking, providing you with full access to trustworthy data and tailored strategies and tactics to boost your competitive advantage.

Book a consultation today to learn how we can help your business excel in employee benefits benchmarking and build a more engaged, satisfied, and productive workforce.

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