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Benefits Benchmarking in Transportation: How Does Your Plan Stack Up?

ANTHONY FIORETTI
HNI Chief Benefits Officer

benefits benchmarking in transportationIn all industries, successful companies review initiatives to learn what's working and what's not. From there, they can make adjustments and roll on. Players in the transportation industry naturally conduct these reviews, too. It's likely most motor carriers are scanning their markets for threats and opportunities — but how many have benchmarked their benefits to see where they stand?

Why is benefits benchmarking important? It inspires companies to assess their own benefits offerings and to make improvements where necessary. Through benchmarking, leaders can take a hard look at what is wasteful in benefits, and they can redirect effort and money to new and underfunded initiatives.

What's more, the transportation industry is staring at a driver shortage. Your firm needs every competitive advantage possible. Benefits can be leveraged in the hiring process! On top of attracting new talent, great benefits keep great employees happy. Retaining experienced, talented, and passionate employees is key to mitigating people risk — the uncontrollable side of what people do.

Start Here with Benefits Benchmarking

You want to know: What are some of the benefits offered to employees in transportation? Here's a collection to start your benefits benchmarking. We encourage you to perform some online searches of your own:

Health Benefits

  • Medical, dental, vision, prescription coverage
  • Spending accounts, health care reimbursement accounts, and dependent care reimbursement accounts — these accounts likely share characteristics
  • Personal health coach, 24-hour nurse advice line
  • Online health risk assessment, get-and-stay-healthy online diet/fitness program
  • Smoking cessation program
  • Wellness activity incentive awards program

Other Types of Insurance

  • Discounts on personal insurance lines, including auto, home, and personal accident
  • Life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment — some coverage also is available for employee dependents
  • Short and long-term disability

Time Off

  • Paid personal time (sometimes called paid time off or vacation)
  • Military leave (sometime available without being made to take paid personal time)
  • Paid funeral leave for immediate family

Financial Benefits

  • Retirement programs, such as 401K and pension plans
  • Employee stock purchase program
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Financial planning and debt management assistance

Head Turners [Unconventional Benefits]

  • Paid orientation and training
  • Million mile safety bonuses up to the tens of thousands of dollars, annual service and safety awards
  • Passenger program that allows drivers to take along a friend or family member
  • Discounts at stores nationwide — save on cell phones, restaurants, movies, computers, and appliances
  • Legal aid
  • Adoption assistance
  • Telemedicine
  • Employee Advocacy Programs
  • Onsite health care

Analyze Your Benefits Program with these Questions

Now that you've seen what some other motor carriers are offering for benefits, here are some questions to help you further explore where your organization is with its package. These questions could help you take your employee benefits to the next level.

  • Does your company have clear objectives that helped you design the benefit package you have today? This will help you nail down what's really important — and what's not.
  • What benefits does your company offer on a contributory basis? What benefits does your company offer on a voluntary basis? In contributory benefits, a portion of the premium is paid by the employer. In voluntary benefits, employees are responsible for the full premium. An assessment of your different types of benefits may help you identify waste in contributory options and get you thinking about voluntary benefits from an employee's perspective.
  • What is your overall turnover percentage? What is your average turnover percentage after 90 days? Discover how often workers are moving in and out of your benefits programs. Determine if people are coming to or leaving your workforce because of your benefits program.
  • How many health plan options do you offer you employees? Your employees each have unique health needs, and multiple plan options — perhaps packaged in a private health care exchange — could be just the ticket to matching your talent with the right health coverage.
  • What percentage of the premium does you company pay toward the cost of health insurance? This is information your organization can leverage in the hiring process by framing it as a benefit for employees, rather than as something to which they are entitled. This is where a lot of transportation firms fall flat, especially in the newly reformed health care environment.
  • Is your health plan paired with an HRA or HSA? These programs can help shift the mind-set of employees toward consumer-driven health care — that is, they start paying more attention to the cost of medical care. This is good for workers' bottom line — and the bottom line of your organization.
  • What health improvement programs does your company offer? What programs may you offer in the future? Consider where you are and where you might go. There are many creative ideas out there to help employees improve their health (see the health benefits above offered by some motor carriers).

How have you benchmarked your benefits? Please share below in comments!

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Lion photo via Wikimedia CommonsKitten photo by _sikander via Flickr

Topics: Transportation HR / Employee Benefits