According to “Filling in Around the Edges”, one of the most important type of potential employer-sponsored benefits found within today’s organizations is voluntary benefits that include insurance plans that cover employee health, family health, and even pet health. Diverse plans include vision dental, legal services, and college payment plans (Atkinson, 2009). I have chosen to study the benefits that Wal-Mart has to offer; this company is frequently in the media for providing poor benefits to its employees, although I have personally never looked into this matter. Despite what the company currently offers, it would be able to increase its recruitment and retention at higher management levels if certain voluntary benefits were offered.
According to the corporate Wal-Mart website, the company offers “competitive pay and benefits, including health care plans, education assistance, retirement plans, and training and development opportunities”. In addition, they offer hourly employees a health care plan that starts at $17 per pay period, a 401k with company match, and a 10% discount on store merchandise. I believe that Wal-Mart can benefit from additional voluntary benefits; firstly, while the fact that hourly employees are able to purchase low cost health insurance is admirable, hourly employees who are full-time (work 40+ hours per week) should receive this benefit without any additional cost. In addition, it would be useful if all employees received vision benefits; since most Wal-Mart’s have a vision center, a reasonable benefit would be to allow all full-time employees to receive 30% off at the vision center in order to make this expense more affordable. These more optimal benefits will increase retention of talented employees within the company and this would not lead to a high expense on the company’s end.
Two benefits that would be unsuitable for the company include discounted vacation travel and prepaid legal services. If the company provided discounted vacation travel, they would be supporting employee vacation time which would likely hinder their day to day operations; furthermore, this would be too expensive. In addition, the company should not support prepaid legal services; similar jobs do not offer this benefit and Wal-Mart would not increase retention and recruitment by a significantly for the cost and effort to be worthwhile.
Atkinson, W. (2009). Filling in around the edges. HRMagazine, 54(11), 55–58.
Smith, S., & Mazin, R. (2004). Benefits: What makes a benefits package competitive? In The HR answer book (pp. 117–142). New York NY: American Management Association International.
Society for Human Resource Management. (2010) Introduction to the human resources discipline of employee benefits. Retrieved from PDF. Introduction to the human resources discipline of employee benefits PDF.
Weatherington, B. L. (2008). Income level and the value of non-wage employee benefits. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, 20(4). 291–300.