A friend of mine has a saying; the “soft” stuff is really the hard stuff. In other words, some of the “intangibles” have the most direct impact on hard business results. The intangibles can also be the toughest to manage.
If you have worked for more than three bosses, odds are you’ve had at least one “bad boss.” According to the press, bad bosses are responsible for global warming (lots of hot air, or something), increases in auto insurance rates (employees speeding to work), and most of what troubles our society. Most people think of bad bosses in terms of their impact on the employees’ morale and job satisfaction. The impact of bad bosses goes much deeper than that.
Employee benefits cost a lot of money, and the price tag seems to keep moving north. As an employer, what do you really get for offering these benefits? Sure, you want to be competitive; your best people have a lot of employment options available to them. (Conversely, if you have problem employees, it seems they have fewer options… so, they’ll stick with you a while longer… right?) You may be concerned that your best people would leave if you changed the benefits package. In addition, you really do care about your employees, their dependent families (if they have them) and their lives outside of work. Benefits provide your employees a valuable safety net for unexpected times. They also provide you with a tax deduction. Still, do you occasionally wonder what the real value is to you as an employer?