Searching for a new job means incessant bargaining until you’re satisfied with whatever little happiness you find in that offer letter in your hands. But the sooner you know the truth about perfection in such matters, the better. So here we go - your chances of finding that perfect position in the perfect company with the sweetest pay package are as meager as finding an office without a gossip fodder.
A vast majority of us simply look at the starting salary which, if looks sparkly enough, immediately reduces the importance of other benefits in our eyes. Surprisingly, employee benefits are really a good indicator of how much you’re going to love your job and not just the pay alone.
Benefits also add peace of mind for employees who have on-going strenuous personal issues.
Researchers have shown that with better benefits comes superior employee engagement and job satisfaction. According to the 2013 Aflac WorkForces Research, 68 percent of employees were satisfied with both their overall benefits packages and job, while 5 percent of employees were satisfied with their jobs but not their benefit packages.
It’s wise to think about employee benefits too, and not just pay alone when considering a certain job offer. Below are a few benefit options that one must ask during the interview process:
1. In the past few years, insurance costs have surged, resulting into thousands of employers terminating offering their own health plans. Companies today prefer offering a defined contribution plan, by giving employees a fixed amount to choose a preferred health plan. Even with the power of choice, some employees end up paying 100 percent in deductible out of their own pockets in times of an emergency.
An organization offering health insurance is not as formulaic as one might think. Does your company offer a one-size-fits-all health insurance plan or more plan options? Are your preferred doctors in the network?
2. An annual gym membership or smoking cessation programs for one’s wellness are really good indicators of how much the workplace cares for the wellbeing of its employees.
3. Two of the biggest regrets common with most adults is, i.) Not getting that painful wisdom tooth removed in high school and ii.) Not signing up for dental insurance as an adult.
That one annual of a biannual visit to the dentist or optometrist, can be more costly for you and your family than you think, especially if you need some digging to do in your mouth or a decent unbreakable piece of eyewear.
4. A 401 (k), life insurance, short-and long-term disability, childcare and eldercare are all the benefits that one must weigh properly before choosing an employer. Some of these benefits may seem insignificant while you’re young, but as you grow old they’re going to get increasingly important for you and your family.
5. A week or two off is an undeniable must for all of us, but what about maternity or paternity leave? Or other benefits such as flexible times, work from home options which can sometimes be useful to us in certain situations.
One must always be upfront about these questions and ask as many as possible, leaving zero surprises after signing up for the offer. In order to avoid tons of paperwork, you can also ask whether your company utilized computerized tools and technology to manage its employee benefits. There are dozens of tools available in the market integrated with the company’s system that helps employees enroll and use their benefits.
With the recent fluctuations in health care reforms, it’s turned into an even important matter for employees to understand their healthcare options. You can always ask the hiring managers or other staff members if they could explain the enrollment and benefits process in detail.