How to structure the right employee benefits package?



With employment opportunities galore and an open war for talent, employers are trying to find innovative ways to win over the 60% of the population that is under the age of 25. 

Indian companies historically have provided employee benefits such as health coverage, leave benefits and statutory retirement programmes. 

These were fairly standard in old economy sectors dominated by manufacturing firms, engineering companies, government-owned enterprises and others. 

They were targeting a generation which believed and adhered to the concept of lifelong employment. 

However, as the economy has opened up and more cross functional career options are available, HR managers have started to develop flexible yet relevant employee benefits to attract and retain employees.

Remember that you can always increase the benefits, but you can never take them back or reduce them later. Keeping all employee benefits on track with your company strategy is a wise move while introducing new benefits. 

It is crucial to fix the company’s basic rationale before designing a good employee benefits package. 

Benefits Rationale: Compulsory by law 

Many of the companies want to offer only the bare minimum benefit package which is made compulsory by law. 

Those policies are typically : 

  • Employee State Insurance 
  • Provident Fund 
  • Workmen’s compensation 
  • Gratuity 
  • EDLI

These are typically construction companies, manufacturing, hospitality companies who operate on very low margins and where the resources availability in the market is plenty. 

Benefits Rationale: All other peer groups are offering so we should also offer 

  • Group Health Insurance or Group Mediclaim – This covers your Employees and their dependents hospital bills. This is probably most discussed and highest in terms of the budget among all other policies
  • Group Personal Accident 
  • Group Term Life Insurance

These three are the most common components of the Employee Benefit Insurance offered by most of the companies in the ITES, IT and financial sectors.

Benefits Rationale: We want to offer better benefits than anyone else

Companies that enjoy the status of market leaders are more likely to offer benefit packages that are superior to their peer groups. 

Some of the new benefits which got recently popular are:

  • Holiday trips on some special occasions like completing some specific tenure, or 
  • Paid holiday on a wedding, 
  • Work from home, 
  • Flexi hours, 
  • Pick and drop from home and office, 
  • Parenting leave, 
  • Day care crush for new mothers, 
  • Health tests.
  • Outpatient expenses not covered by group health insurance
  • Spectacles and dental treatments not covered by Health Insurance
  • A four-day workweek. 
  • Gym and spa at office

You may ask us here: What is the right rationale? 

The fundamental rationale for structuring employee benefits in the near future will be

  1. To take care of all the employee benefit policies made compulsory by law
  2. What can help increase the real happiness & productivity of employees?

And the future has already arrived faster than anyone anticipated.

You should ask yourself these questions if you want your benefits package to meet the demands of the near future 

Here are eight questions to get you thinking. 

  1. Will it increase connectedness among peer groups ? 
  2. Will it create moments of positive emotions at the work place? 
  3. Will create a culture of acknowledging others and gratitude 
  4. Will create reasons for celebrations 
  5. Will help them to identify their bigger purpose and live for it. 
  6. Will help them grow their IQ 
  7. Will it make them more healthy ? 
  8. Will it give them more sense of security? 

A free 15 minute consultation offered by Ethika can make a big difference for companies when it comes to adding value to employee benefits. 

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Susheel Agarwal

Susheel is the CEO of Ethika Insurance Broking P Ltd. This company, which has a current value of 10 million dollars, was bootstrapped by him and two of his friends. He attributes his success to his ability to inspire others to seek happiness at work.