MS6510 | Compensation
Discretionary benefits are an essential asset to organizations that may not be able to offer the employees the monetary compensation. My company offers these benefits to both full time and part time associates. The paid time off is offer to full time employees which come in two forms if they are sick they have time to be off when sick and will be paid for it. They also receive pay for their work anniversary, birthday, and holidays during each year. Then based of your length of time with the company and position you accrue a certain percentage every pay period of vacation time when you need time off. You can use your vacation time. The great thing about the sick time is that when you are sick or have a child that is sick you can use that time instead of the vacation time that you accrue through the year.
The full time and part time employees receive discretionary benefits such as the stock options program that provide the stock per share at a discounted price to all employees which give the associates a benefit to making extra money when the stock prices rise. Other programs that are now being offered to full time and part time associates are a wellness program which allow you a discount for gym memberships at specific gyms. That give employees an incentive to live a healthy lifestyle or have cheaper option for a family lifestyle change.
The last program that my job offers that seems to be a convenient program for all employees in the voluntary benefits program. These programs offer you to buy things that you may need such as household appliances, electronics, furniture, car care, etc. If you purchase a 300 tablet, you may have $12.00 coming out of your paycheck every pay period for 6 to 12 months based from the pay option you choose.
I think that discretionary benefits are extremely important when you are thinking about retention within your organization. When you are looking at it from a recruitment stand point, it draws in employees when they hear that your company offers programs like that. The little things such as benefits offered can go a long way versus pay increases.
Typically, potential employees initially evaluate several factors when deciding to pursue employment with a new employer. Most often, applicants make their final decisions on the type of pay and benefits offered. Several decades ago, applicants attributed employment decisions mainly to the amount of money they would earn per year. In the past decade, many job applicants note that the types of benefits offered by an employer make their final decision (Martocchio, 2016). Further, the the importance of discretionary benefits in the workplace has risen and will likely continue to in the future as well.
My current employer offers several discretionary benefits to full-time and some part-time employees. Although there are a variety of benefits available, the discretionary benefits are limited compared to my previous employer. I would definitely recommend for my current employer to expand upon the discretionary benefits offered. My case would focus on the importance of this particular type of benefit to employees. Additionally, discretionary benefits have been proven to promote: higher performance amongst employees, less absenteeism, healthier and happier employees (Martocchio 2016).
There is no doubt that some types of discretionary benefits would mean added costs to the overall budget. I would point out that the costs can be outweighed by the benefits and improvement in employee engagement (Martocchio, 2016). Also, there are discretionary benefits that would not result in an added cost. For example, flexible scheduling also termed “flex-time” which allows employees to make changes to their schedule without affecting the organization. A majority of employees could easily work from home a few days a week due to the nature of daily tasks. In some cases, work from home is not an option. There are still adjustments that can be made to an employees schedule. My previous employer believed strongly in flex-time by the time that I left the organization. Originally, this was not the case as upper management thought flex-work would result in poor customer. After several very poor scores on engagement surveys, management decided to take baby steps towards flex-work.