Employee benefits are an essential part of the total compensation package.
This is because they provide a safety net for employees if something happens to them and their families. All companies, regardless of size or industry, should have employee benefits policies that will protect their workers from any unforeseen circumstances while also helping them succeed at work.
You might wonder, "what kind of employee benefits should I offer?"
Good question! Employee benefits can include a wide range of things, from health insurance to retirement plans. The Malaysian government has mandated a list of benefits to help employees manage their finances better and improve productivity at work.
This article will cover some of the most crucial employee benefits policies you need to know as an employer in Malaysia. And show you how to choose the best benefits for your workforce.
What are employee benefits?
Employee benefits are defined as a set of additional compensations, including healthcare benefits, vacation time, sick days, and more. These come in indirect or direct payment not covered by a regular salary.
For example, employers must contribute to Social Security (SOCSO) and Employee Insurance Security (EIS) on behalf of their employees. Employers are also required to provide unemployment benefits for employees who have been laid off from their job.
Tip: Most employee benefits plans are so 2020. Read here to learn how to design an up-to-date employee benefits plan for 2021.
In Malaysia, employee benefits are categorised into two groups: mandatory and optional. Refer to infographic below:
Which employee benefits should you offer?
When deciding which optional employee benefits give you the highest return of investment (ROI), it's recommended to think from your employees' perspective.
Instead of thinking, "which benefit suits best for my company," try asking yourself, "which benefit do my employees want?"
Shifting your perspective to your employees not only helps you offer relevant and meaningful benefits to your employees, but it also boosts their productivity and loyalty, which ultimately benefits your bottom-line.
The real question is, which employee benefits do your employees want.
Looking at current market trends can set you up in the right direction. According to Randstad Employer Brand Research 2019, the top 5 values that matter most to employees in Malaysia are:
- Attractive salary and benefits (64%)
- Healthy work-life balance (49%)
- Strong management (44%)
- Good career progression (41%)
- Pleasant work atmosphere (39%)
Here, we'll discuss the first and most important value: attractive salary and benefits.
An attractive salary is quite self-explanatory. If the employee is paid accordingly above the market price, the salary becomes attractive on its own. However, not all companies can afford it. This is where attractive benefits come in.
But attractive benefits by themselves are subjective. Which benefit actually attracts your employees and talents?
Part of the answer lies in the second, fourth, and fifth place of the top 5 above. What makes benefits attractive is their ability to support the employees' work-life balance, career progression and create a pleasant work atmosphere.
Examples of attractive benefits you can offer are:
- Flexible working hours and work-from-home options (supports healthy work-life balance)
- Wellness benefits such as on-site fitness centre (healthy work-life balance)
- Personal and professional training (career progression)
- Mentorship and coaching (career progression)
- Health and life insurance (pleasant work atmosphere: able to work with ease)
- Supportive manager and leaders (pleasant work atmosphere)
The Randstad survey has given you a great starting point about which benefit to offer and how to position them in meaningful ways to your employees.
But the survey doesn't reflect your employees' needs accurately. Your employees may have different needs. And the only way to find out is by asking them.
You can follow the 5-Step guide to determine your company's most critical employee benefits. The guide entails step-by-step actions from choosing a list of attractive benefits to analysing the survey results and implementing them.
It's no longer enough to provide only the mandatory benefits to stay competitive in the talent marketplace. Optional benefits that support employees' lifestyle and well-being became one of the most important criteria when choosing employers and considering whether to stay or not.
Start attracting and retaining the talents you want by offering meaningful and beneficial benefits to them.
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