Bryce Harper is one of the top players in Major League Baseball. The 25-year old is considered a “5-tool athlete,” which means he can do it all. After this 2018 season ends, Harper will become a free agent. He can sign with any team he chooses. Ever try to attract a talent like that in your organization? As the top talent on the market, Harper may attract offers as high $400 million. But because he’ll make so much money, Harper will weigh other factors before choosing his next team:

  • Does he head south to warmer weather?
  • Does he head to New York to grow his brand?
  • Does he head west to be closer to his family (he grew up in Las Vegas)?

The best talent—in any field—wants more than just money. Harper could wind up staying with his current team, the Washington Nationals. He doesn’t need to find a new job. But whatever team does sign Harper will do it with a package of money and perks, a seduction of benefits, security, and a great experience. Compensation, alone, will not reel him in. In business, human resource departments face this scenario every day. They focus on recruiting, attracting, and retaining the top talent in the market. And like Bryce Harper, the best recruits already have great jobs. Throw in an unemployment rate below 4% and the odds of landing an employee with “5-tool” ability becomes even more difficult.

What are you doing to win the war on talent?

Winning this war on talent requires a Total Rewards package, a seduction of perks, security, and a great experience. That begs the question: What are you doing to a create a Total Rewards package, outside of lucrative compensation, to make your organization the destination for the top free agents in the market? In this blog, I share 4 tips you can use to improve your organization’s results in the battle for the best.  

Tip #1: Your wellness strategy must encompass the 5 pillars of health

Have you ever been told that a corporate wellness program will impact your insurance costs? It doesn’t. However, that’s not why you develop a strategic wellness plan. The purpose is to impact culture. The best wellness programs in corporate America leave employees feeling confident they’re being taken care of. They create a workplace employees love coming to everyday. However, “wellness” is not just 10,000-step campaigns and Biggest Loser challenges. An effective wellness initiative must address the five pillars of health: 1. Physical

2. Financial 3. Mental 4. Workplace 5. Community Successful wellness programs draw from each of the five pillars of health to enhance employee well-being, loyalty and satisfaction. So, the next time your “pitched” the end-all-be-all of wellness programs, don’t believe the hype. Focus on the five pillars of health and watch your culture and productivity soar.  

Tip #2: Don’t let generational bias impact your decision making

If your organization is like most, you have three, maybe even four, different generations in your workplace. Each generation places different values on different factors making decision making very difficult. For example, think about how the different generations make healthcare decisions.

  • Baby boomers have an immense amount of trust in their physician, so they will often do exactly what the doctor orders them to do, despite the cost impact.
  • Gen Xers, Millennials, and Gen Z are much less loyal to the healthcare system and are more apt to shop around for a better price and use the smartphone to make healthcare decisions.

Now, if you have a decision maker, who’s a member of the baby boomer generation, making health insurance decisions for a workforce full of Gen Xers and Millennials, his or her view of healthcare could have a huge impact on the quality of your health plan and your ability to attract top talent. The plan may fall short of creating the kind of healthcare experience the younger generations are looking for because the decision maker is allowing his or her own generational bias to get in the way. When making big decisions that will have an impact on culture, recruiting, and your bottom line, don’t let generational bias deter you from the doing the right thing for your employees.  

Tip #3: Manage risk, not insurance

Imagine being understaffed, wearing multiple hats, and tasked with the responsibility of controlling one of the biggest expenses within your company? Oh, wait, this is reality. Your plate is full leaving you little time to properly address your rising health insurance costs, so you delegate this responsibility to your broker and your insurance company, and costs continue to rise. Sound accurate? When you give control to the broker and the insurance company, you’re playing a game you cannot win. Why? Both profit at the expense of your bottom line. The higher your premiums go, they more money brokers and insurance companies make. So, how do you fix this? Simple. Manage risk. Right now, your focused on buying insurance and insurance is THE MOST EXPENSIVE form of risk management. However, when you focus on effective risk-management strategies, you give your organization the ability to purchase health insurance at a much lower price and you create a world-class healthcare experience for your employees. Here are three areas of risk you need to manage to enhance your Total Rewards package: Financing RiskHow you finance your health plan will determine your ability to control costs and create a world-class healthcare experience.Catastrophic Risk

What are you doing to help those that need the most help with healthcare decisions?

Healthcare Purchasing Risk

What strategies are you using to help employees buy high-quality healthcare services at reduced prices? If you want to make sure your health plan is attracting the top free agents in the market, manage risk, don’t just buy insurance.  

Tip #4: Educate, educate, educate

If you already have an amazing Total Rewards package, shout it from the rooftops! However, far too many would-be excellent benefit programs are undermined by a lack of effective education. If employees don’t understand what you’re giving them, they will not see the value.

Every year, employers sit the workforce down to explain the benefit package (mainly the insurance package) and the message sounds like a broken record.

“Here’s what you have. Here’s how much it costs. Here’s how you sign up.” Don’t be that company! Properly educating employees about the quality of your benefit package is a key driver for employee retention. Educate early, educate often, and educate effectively. Don’t just focus on how, what, and when. Focus on the why. Get your employees amped up about where they work. Use the technology platforms available today. Remember what I said about the generational gaps in the workforce? When it comes to smartphone technology, they’re all the same. They’re all using it. Leverage it. The companies able to best market a strong Total Rewards package will reap the spoils of having a roster full of top free agents.  

Now, go land that top free agent!

The market for top talent is tight. Compensation will be an important factor. However, developing a world-class Total Rewards package is more than money. The team that lands Bryce Harper’s services is going to have to offer one heck of an experience. Use these 4 tips to help you design an experience that no free agent can pass up. Who knows? Your industry’s “Bryce Harper” just might be waiting for you call!