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Street Smarts: Your peers weigh in with 5 real-world comp & benefits solutions

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in Compensation and Benefits,Employee Benefits Program,Human Resources

Try these compensation and benefits tips to recognize employees and save time and money.

Control health insurance costs
“In the past, we provided medical insurance at no cost to our employees. However, we needed to find a way to share our ever-increasing premiums with our employees without them feeling that the company was unfairly transferring medical insurance costs to them. Therefore, we notified our employees in advance that the company would continue to pay the same 'base' premium amounts, but the employee would pay future insurance increases. Not only did we gain better control of our medical insurance costs, our employees better recognized the value of their health care benefits and, in some cases, now that they had to contribute, they opted out of our company’s medical plan since they had coverage through their spouses’ plan.”
—Jim Willow
Central Islip Plumbing Supply, N.Y.

Encourage peer recognition

“We can be creative about employee recognition. For instance, we bought two toys—a 'strongman' and a 'care bear.' The employee who helped keep the team strong receives the strongman, and the employee who went above and beyond in a caring way receives the care bear. The previous month’s recipient chooses the next month’s recipient. This encourages employees to pay attention to what others in the organization are doing.”
—Elizabeth Thompson
Samaritan Counseling Center, Denver

Use a PEO? Don’t overpay late in year

“Be careful of hidden charges when using a professional employee organization (PEO) or staff leasing firm. If you have a large number of highly compensated employees, their payments for unemployment insurance and Social Security cease at some point during the year. Many PEO's, however, continue to charge the same percentages of salary for a full 12 months.”
—Gerald Stowers
Execupay, San Antonio

Customize employee rewards
“We have a company culture of celebrating and recognizing employees. We like to individualize awards. If someone wants their car washed, give them a coupon to detail it or, better yet, detail it for them in the parking lot. If they like a performer that is coming to town, give them concert tickets.

“We also had a special celebration for the company’s 15th anniversary. We recognized customers in the presence of colleagues, prospects and employees. One of the unexpected results was that customers were saying wonderful things about us in front of the prospects. I even landed a good customer as a result of that party!”
—Allison Tabor
TEAC, San Ramon, Calif.

Get new staff on board fast

“Make new employees feel welcome by holding a companywide informal breakfast meeting to introduce the new employee on his or her first day at work. This saves time by eliminating the need to have a manager escort the new employee through the workplace to meet other employees.”
—Robert Rigg
Rigg Darlington Group, Exton, Penn.


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