Zurich: Employee benefits may be the most important factor for effectively managing employee risk
Age is one of the best measures of the changing needs of individual employees. Risk changes as employees age. Young employees have far different needs than older employees.
It's those differences, reflected in how a company structures its employee benefit programs, which can give an employer an especially strong, competitive advantage in the recruitment of talent and its ability to retain key employees.
Employee benefits, such as group disability and term life insurance, along with childcare and pension benefits, generally at a relatively low cost, can be tailored to meet the needs at different stages of an employee's career. Flexibility and choice is essential. How many younger employees with families at a company with excellent daycare benefits will be reluctant to leave for another employer with less attractive benefits?
Brian Little, North America head of human resources at Zurich, noted that the company has a workforce which spans five generations. "Benefits can really be the differentiating factor for employees of all ages," he said.
Benefits can influence the kind of employees a company may attract. "If you have benefits that are overly focused on the long-term, you will attract one kind of employee." However, even the newly minted college graduate may ask parents for their opinion on the benefits at a possible employer. "There is a good chance that the parents raise the issue of the company's pension policies," Little said.
Benefits are one of the best ways a company can help employees manage the individual risk in their lives. Risk changes with age and the ability of an employee to choose from a flexible menu of benefits can give the company a strong competitive advantage in today's hunt for the best talent and is an equally critical factor in the retention of that talent -- regardless of how old an employee may be.
September 1, 2013
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