Employee benefits: This is how you can make the most of them

Updated: 21 Aug 2022, 11:21 AM IST

Employee benefits refer to services and support provided by a company to its employees in addition to their wages.

An employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) grants employees company shares, often based on the duration of their employment.

Typically, there are two kinds of employees across organisations, Seasoned professionals who consider not just the salary package being offered but also ask questions about the type of employee benefits provided by a company before they decide to join and freshers and less confident hirees who are relieved at the idea of being hired and don't look beyond a CTC when joining.

The latter is at the risk of losing out on employee benefits most often, leading business leaders to question the design of their benefit structure and wonder why only a few employees are availing them. The main reason behind this behaviour is a lack of awareness about the various options among employees.

Typically, employee benefits refer to services and support provided by a company to its employees in addition to their wages and include:

Health Insurance Benefits

  • Consumer-Directed Benefits (such as discounts/offers etc)
  • Retirement Plans (Contributions beyond EPF)
  • Dental or Vision Plans
  • Life Insurance
  • Paid time off and paid holidays

Here is what you can do to ensure that you make the most out of the employee benefits program at your workplace.

Ask questions

Whether at the time of hiring or during orientation at a new job, ask an HR representative about the benefits. Read through the company policies thoroughly and seek clarity in each area.

Participate in employee surveys

The reason companies take up employee surveys and pulse reports are to better design their programs and initiatives. Since it is for you, it will not help your company address the potential areas without your participation.

Educate yourself on health insurance benefits and stay in-network

Health insurance coverage is a very important part of your benefits. Make sure you keep the list of included healthcare providers handy and in time of need, visit only those in order to avail the coverage. Always check if your family members can avail of the insurance coverage.

Employee assistance

Most companies offer assistance in terms of wellness, credit improvement and legal counsel if necessary to their employees. Stay up to date with the offerings at your workplace and seek help when you need it. There is no shame in asking for help whether it is to take a decision on a loan you need or mental health support.

Take time off

Employee burnout is a serious cause of concern to organisations and hence many of them offer relaxation vacations, and paid time off if there is a noticeable drop in productivity due to working extra. Take your earned leaves and spend time doing what you love outside of work to come back rejuvenated and add value to your work. Women must discuss maternity leaves and paid leaves when planning to conceive and to be able to make the most out of such programs.

Take advantage of free health camps/vaccinations

Organisations have heightened their coverage of employee health since the pandemic. While free health checkups and Doctor consultations always were a part of the benefits, now you can also get important vaccinations not just for yourself but for your immediate family too provided by your employer. Always read HR emails to know when such camps are organised.

Apart from these, most employers organise team-building activities, outings etc to help develop a sense of belonging and foster inter-departmental collaboration. Take part and meet new people who can make your work experience an exciting part of life and make you interested in going to work every day, even in bleak times.

A pro tip: For travelling, many companies offer corporate services for foreign exchange, VISA services and even hotel and flight bookings. Check with your HR for benefits available to you as per policy and make the most out of your travel plans.

Yogesh Agarwal is the Founder and CEO at Onsurity

Key things you must know about ESOPs
First Published: 21 Aug 2022, 11:21 AM IST