Hang on to Your People: Employee Well-Being Will Help You Retain Folks In 2023

By Paul Beiber

It’s a little bit early to wish you a Happy New Year, but your new year won’t be happy if you lose employees to competitors who offer better benefits. Benefits are more important to workers supporting a family, while wages are more valuable to young, single workers. The first rule is to stay competitive within your marketplace. The second rule is to have the best benefits in your area, which will attract better employees.

Medical Benefits

Now is the time to work with your medical insurance provider to upgrade your 2023 plan. Plans with high deductibles over $250 per event or plans with high co-pays will cause employees to look for a better plan at another job. Make sure your plan covers eyeglasses, physical therapy appointments, mental health visits, and well-child checkups. I believe you should pay at least 75% of the insurance costs, preferably 80%. Your employees should have a maximum cost of $5,000 per person per year for medical care.

Your medical plan should cover travel expenses and time off if long-distance care is needed. If the employee and/or spouse has to travel, family care should be covered. Offer paid-parental leave when an employee has to take care of a sick child or parent, to a maximum of 13 weeks, once every three years.

Get a dental plan and make sure it covers orthodontia. This is important for teenagers. The plan should have a $2,000 max payment per year, per person.

Offer a retirement program and match IRA contributions up to 6% of salary. Include a Health Savings Account with a $500 contribution from you.

Education and More

Create a tuition reimbursement plan where employees get reimbursement for courses related to your work. Pay 100% of tuition for an A, 75% for a B, and 50% for a C.

Give paid personal days to everyone. This replaces vacation, sick days and special days off. New employees should get 15 days after six months of employment. After five full years, go to 20 days, and after ten years, go to 25 days. Allow for carryover days from one year until July 1 the following year.

Have one Saturday where the whole company volunteers to work for a selected charity. Team efforts on projects build a camaraderie. Your role is to provide tools and equipment and buy lunch for everyone working.

Have an employee-of-the-month award giving a $50 credit card as an award. Base it on customer comments or feedback from your supervisors. Make a big deal about this and provide the employee a plaque.

There are many other ways to help people that will be different in your community. Yes, these extras cost money, but they will cost less than rehiring and training new employees during the year.

Paul Bieber has more than 40 years’ experience in the glass industry, with C.R. Laurence and as executive vice president of Floral Glass in New York. He is now the principal of Bieber Consulting Group LLC and can be reached at paulbaseball@msn.com. Read his blog on Tuesdays at http://usgpaul.usglassmag.com.

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