A Tailored Benefits Strategy Can Control Costs

Employers target investments in programs and services likely to yield the highest return.

April 30, 2013

Credit unions have always tried to tailor their benefit packages to their particular employee pools, but now many of them are getting even more strategic about it.

Standard employee benefit surveys are getting a boost from actual utilization patterns that together tell employers what employees want and what they’re likely to use.

It’s a trend emerging hand-in-hand with wellness programs, points out Beth Soltis, CUNA’s senior research analyst. Employers want to target their investments in programs and services likely to yield the highest return. “You can study the actual mix of your employee group,” Soltis says.

For example, a credit union with a lot of employees in the “sandwich” generation—who must deal with aging parents and their own children—might appreciate long-term care insurance.

A credit union with most of their employees under age 30, however, would be less interested in that. Or if numerous employees were dealing with diabetes, the credit union could target some of its wellness offerings specifically at that disease.

And not only can this strategy control costs, it also can boost morale because employees believe you’re meeting their needs.

Some credit unions go a step further and weigh the results based on an employee’s individual strengths. This helps human resource teams tailor benefit plans to employees who have skills that are most valuable to the credit union.

“Identify your top performers and your key employees, and make sure you keep them happy,” Soltis says, suggesting you “build your retention strategies around them.”