Educating Employees on Their Total Compensation
January 15, 2014

“I’m overworked and underpaid,” is a mantra we’ve heard many times, both in our real lives and the popular culture around us. In fact, a just-released survey by the Pew Research Center supports this feeling among the working population. In the survey, only 54% of workers and 62% of supervisors said they feel they are paid fairly for the work they do. If you work in Human Resources, you are likely used to hearing employees tell you they feel undervalued. Since you don’t have the power to increase salaries yourself, one way you can help employees feel more valuable to the company is to educate them on the many benefits your company provides in addition to salary.

According to a November 2013 report from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the average amount of money an employer spends on employee benefits averages out to be 28.8 percent of an employee’s annual salary. Employees are likely aware of the benefits they receive that are mandated by law, which are Social Security, Medicare, federal and state unemployment insurance, workmen’s compensation, and depending on your company’s size, health insurance. However, they may have forgotten about all of the voluntary benefits you offer since they last reviewed them at new employee orientation. It is good to remind them that scheduled overtime, paid time off, life insurance, disability insurance, 401(k)s, tuition reimbursement, and flexible spending plans are all benefits your company offers at some expense to themselves. Don’t forget to mention any other perks your company offers such as flex time, the ability to telecommute, free coffee service in the kitchen, company picnics, subsidized public transportation, and workplace wellness programs.

If you are often approached by employees that feel undervalued, you may want to contact your payroll services provider about issuing a Total Compensation Statement for each of your employees. This will fully detail an employee’s benefits package, so they can see in writing the added value of their benefits.