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Should We Give Employees What They Want? Work.Love.Play.Daily 61 #hr #benefits

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Uploaded on Jul 21, 2011

Should we give employees what they want or what they need?

I participated in the co_health tweetchat yesterday. Ron Leopold was answering questions about MetLife's 9th annual employee benefits survey results.

And here's the thing. Employees appreciate benefits more than employers realize - including Millenials. The types of benefits employees want are not always what people with lots of experience with insurance believe they need. For example, pet insurance is back with a vengeance. Anyone who knows the difference between the value of benefits and its price will tell you that pet insurance is not as valuable as life or disability insurance.

So, the question is, do we offer benefits employees want or benefits employees need? The easy answer is to do both, but the execution of that belief is difficult.

Enter a conversation I had this afternoon with Paige Craig and Nicole Jordan, the CEO/Founder and Communications lead, respectively, for BetterWorks.

Craig is "interested in the human equation." That interest leads him to want to help small to mid-sized businesses better reward their employees with perks that are personalized, affordable and don't take a lot of time to set up.

The perks include things like food, restaurants, local health and wellness places, day, dog walking services, dry cleaning delivered to your home, etc. You get the idea.

What MetLife has shown is that employees value non-cash rewards. BetterWorks is designing a way for SMBs to give employees perks that mean something to them.

Between yesterday and today, I feel myself migrating from wanting to help employees set up the best benefits package that's available to them - from my perspective as to what's best - to giving employees what they want. They'll be happier. And they may be more loyal and more productive. And spend less on health care.

And that is a good thing.

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