Benefit Madness: The Winner Is . . .

The final round of Benefits Madness was no nail-biter in comparison to the Wisconsin/Duke battle that kept me up late last night. Health Care Plan takes the trophy as the most popular employee benefit in our polls with 74% of the votes to Paid Time Off’s 26% in the championship.

4-7_benefits-madness-winner

We created Benefits Madness to stir up a little fun with our profession, and fun we had. But it’s been surprisingly interesting to hear the conversations among my coworkers and even to contemplate my own choices when I voted in each round.

When having to choose between different benefits, the choice often comes down to life stage for each individual. A coworker with a new baby ranked on-site daycare high, while another nearing retirement preferred retiree health care.

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The other factor that clearly came into play was the battle between today and the future. What are you willing to give up today to prepare for a better retirement? Paid time off prevailed over defined benefit plans in a surprising narrow upset in the Final Four. I’d imagine it was a hard vote to cast in either direction for everyone, as it was for me.

I take away three lessons from the past month of fun with benefits bracketology:

  1. Employer-provided health care plans are still a top priority. Health care plan won the overall competition. Also notable—four specific types of health care plans (employee, retiree, spouse, children) made the Sweet 16.
  2. To appeal to a diverse workforce, you need to offer a diverse selection of employee benefits.
  3. If you think you know what employees want, think again and then go ask. You may be surprised. I suggest exercising some degree of caution when surveying, however. In Benefits Madness, bonuses knocked off disability and profit sharing won over mental health.

I hope you had as much fun with Benefits Madness as we did here in our office, and maybe even learned a thing or two about what employees want. Thanks for playing along!

 

 

 

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