With unemployment rates at a record low, it’s a candidate-driven market and top performers are shopping top companies for the best jobs. What’s the one deciding factor ? Look no further than your employee benefits package.
Why? A company’s benefits package reveals much more than wage, health insurance and paid time off. It also provides candidates and employees alike with valuable insight into how a company values its workforce and the company’s future. And employers are taking note.
According to a study conducted by the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM),The Evolution of Benefits, employers that had improved their benefits package reported better overall employee performance and improved recruitment and retention results. But enhancing benefits is no easy task, especially if you're a small business. In the same study, employers named the following top challenges related to providing benefits:
- Increasing Costs of Healthcare (70 percent). Unexpected rate hikes and lack of control make it difficult to manage budgets.
- Cost of the Overall Benefits Package (41 percent). Standard cookie-cutter policies can be costly and may not meet the needs of employees.
- Recruitment (31 percent) and Retention Tools (28 percent). Benefits may not be strong enough to attract, hire and keep the best of the best, and costs to make improvements may not be in the budget.
- Compliance and Keeping up with Regulations (24 percent). Employment laws, regulations and filing requirements are constantly changing, making it more difficult for companies to invest the time and staff necessary to stay compliant.
The Right Tools to Attract the Right Talent
Great benefits attract, motivate and engage workers. A few essentials include:
Affordable Health Insurance. Affordable health insurance plans with more options and better access is at the top of the list.
Financial Benefits. Paid leave, retirement savings, planning benefits and financial incentives, such as stock options, and bonuses for employee and business referrals are attractive reward benefits.
Training and Development. Professional development and training programs enable workers to step into roles with growth opportunities and preparation for changing job functions.
Workplace Wellness Programs. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, indirect costs associated with sick days can be as much as $1,685, per employee, per year. From boosting morale, enhancing mental well-being and managing work-related stress, wellness programs are effective preventative measures that benefit long-term health.
Flexible Work Options. Thanks to technology, employees can be productive from any location. Benefits, such as flextime and telecommuting, encourage a work life balance for employees and may also lead to reduced real estate costs.
Innovative Benefits. From pet health, caregiving and divorce insurance to fertility benefits and adoption assistance, companies are looking for more innovative options to meet the needs of their workforce. And perks like free tech tools, parking, and transportation are other ways that make a benefits package more attractive. According to SHRM's study, more than half of organizations surveyed offer employees free computers for personal use and company smart phones, as well as discounts for employee-owned devices.
The Perks of Using a PEO
Driven by changing labor laws and increased regulations, the responsibilities of HR are now more complex and time-consuming than ever before. And often too costly for small businesses to manage on its own. Professional Employer Organizations, (PEO), entered the market to help with HR-related tasks, such as payroll, taxes, compliance, recruitment and training. Here are a few ways a PEO can make a difference with employee benefits:
Benefits Assessment. PEOs can help with assessing current benefits packages and provide recommendations for the most effective options that are tailored to the needs of your employees and the long-term business strategy of your company.
Cost Savings. Recruiting, retaining and training employees is costly. According to a study conducted by McBassi & Company, companies that use a PEO grow 7 to 9 percent faster, have 10 to 14 percent lower employee turnover, and are 50 percent less likely to go out of business. In addition, a National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) study found that companies that use a PEO benefited from access to more HR services at close to $450 lower per employee, as compared to companies that used an in-house HR department. That’s mean more money to reinvest back into your business.
Preventing Compliance Issues. Cyber-security, privacy, mental health parity, and shared responsibility of reporting coverage are a few of the top compliance issues according to Employee Benefits News. Certified PEOs are current with the latest regulatory issues and labor laws and can provide guidance to stay compliant.
Access to Affordable Health Insurance. By working with a PEO, small businesses have access to quality health insurance plan with stable and affordable rates. This is because of the PEO’s ability to pool employees together into one group in order to negotiate better rates.
Is It Time To Improve Your Employee Benefits?
While an employee benefits package is a strategic recruitment tool, it's also an extension of your brand and investment in your workforce. To determine if you need to reboot your employee benefits, take an in-depth look at your current program, including surveying employees, reviewing costs and assessing benefit options which are meaningful to your workforce and right for your business.