Benefits renewal season is right around the corner; does your total benefits offering differentiate you within your marketplace? Are you considered a preferred place to work due to your benefits offering?
In this time period of employees working remotely or flex-work programs due to the pandemic, are there changes you should consider to your total benefits offering?
To start off, let us ask a few questions to get us thinking…
- As an employer, do you know why you provide benefits to your employees?
- What is your goal in providing benefits; is it for attracting good employees or for keeping them around, or both?
- Do you know which benefits should be included?
Understanding, of course, there are budget constraints to keep within, the challenge is to optimize the value of the investment you are making in your benefits package, and then making sure it is communicated well to employees.
Employers believe health-related benefits are very important or extremely important to their workforce, so we begin with health insurance.
- Do you have the right plan or plans in place, and do you have your cost support set where it is affordable for employees to enroll? If enrollment is lower than you would like, then maybe you can consider increasing the company cost support over what it is currently; or changing the plan design.
- If you have a High Deductible Health Plan option, a consideration may be to provide some company funding into a Health Savings Account, for those employees who enroll.
- Having a Telemedicine, or Wellness program with your health/benefits program is another value-add which often is included with the health coverage or can be added for minimal cost.
Do you make available the comprehensive array of health-related benefits?
- such as dental and vision coverage…whether the company cost supports or not.
- Have you considered company paid Short-Term or Long-Term Disability insurances – these are income protection coverages which have nominal costs?
- Or, company paid Life Insurance, which protects assets of the employee. Again, a nominal cost item.
Once you have your benefits package in place, it is important to educate your employees on the options available, to make sure they understand what it is they have in place when they make their selections, and to remind them of the value of these items in their total compensation.
Employees are typically amazed when they understand you, the organization they work for, is contributing a large amount towards these coverages on their behalf.
A total benefit guide or summary document can be produced simply which gives an overview of all benefits available and is very helpful for use with employees and prospective employees. It really is an opportunity to showcase the overall benefits value you are providing as an employer.
- Do you remind employees throughout the year the various aspects of the benefits you make available?
Additionally, you may want to consider adding benefits offerings which could include the following; fitness club membership, or financial assistance with student loan/debt payments, enhancing or modifying your paid time off policies, or others. Many companies are utilizing these types of programs to help their employees, and generally these do not have to be high additional expense items.
You can customize your benefits package to be a differentiator for employee retention and attraction, and it certainly is a component of a total compensation package.
An experienced benefits specialist can help you with making good financial decisions based on your work group and will help with educating employees.
So, how will you differentiate your organization’s benefits package in the coming year?