Sutton Turner on How Employee Benefits Can Help Churches Attract Better Workers

For you to attract the best candidates for your organization, you need a competitive compensation package. In this day and age where remote work is on the rise and workers value work-life balance more than ever, a reasonable salary is no longer enough. It takes a well-rounded compensation plan to wow the talent you’re looking for.

So, what all is included in employee benefits?

Ultimately, benefits include everything outside of an individual’s salary. This means health insurance, bonuses, 401ks (4013bs for churches), and vacation days, but for churches, it can also include life insurance, housing allowances, sabbatical packages, education allowances and so much more. Benefits are critical because they help employees by cutting out some of their expenses so they are able to use their salary on their other expenses. Providing this added cushion to employees helps them feel more appreciated, boosts their morale, and shows that leadership is dedicated to their quality of life. Because of the highly-positive impact benefits have on employees inside and outside of work, most organizations spend 25-35% of an individual’s salary on benefits.

Courtesy of Sutton Turner

How do benefits impact overall compensation?

Benefits range from less generous of less than 25% of total compensation to very generous benefits of above 35% of total compensation. Many times, during the hiring process, these details are not fully discussed but very important in the long run. In the example below, the Executive Pastor receiving less generous benefits will be required to take more dollars from the salary of $75,000 to cover health insurance, dental, vision, phone bills, etc. for his or her family.  The Executive Pastor receiving very generous benefits will not have to remove salary dollars to pay for these benefits and might even have money to put away for college savings, retirement, or vacations.

Additionally, health costs normally increase faster than salary year over year. Over the last couple of years, these costs have increased between 4% and 6%. For the Executive Pastor with very generous benefits, these annual increases are included in his/her benefits package and paid for by the church. However, for the Executive Pastor with less generous benefits, these costs cut into the salary of the pastor trying to keep up with these increased costs.

Here is an example of how benefits impact overall compensation when both employees make $75,000.

Over the course of seven years, the employee at Organization B will be compensated $63,000* more than the employee at Organization A. You can understand the pull that this difference would have on potential employees considering your organization.

*This includes 3% cost of living appreciation

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Sutton Turner

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