A strong employee benefits package is a powerful tool to attract and retain staff.
In a 2011 Harvard Business review survey of human resource leaders, 60 percent said an attractive benefits package is “very important” in recruiting and retaining quality employees, as opposed to 38 percent who said a high base salary is very important.
Benefits play an integral role in employee satisfaction. A recent survey by Met Life found that roughly 49 percent of polled employees said benefits were an important reason they came to work for a company. Additionally, 60 percent said benefits are an important reason for staying.
It may seem that the cost and compliance involved with benefits packages is daunting for small business owners. However, those benefits packages pay dividends in terms of long term success. This is where The Merriam Agency comes in, as we will help you tailor a program that is best for your business and your employees.
Employee interests guide benefits There are numerous choices when considering benefits. It would be wise to consult with your employees about what is important to them. Medical insurance regularly tops the list of employee demands by a significant margin. Employee interests vary depending on company size, industry and demographics, as well as their family circumstances. It does not make sense to offer a benefit that no one will have an interest in or take advantage of.
Optional Coverage Once you have major benefit components in place, like a Health plan and 401(k), it is fairly simple, as well as cost effective, to include other popular programs such as dental, vision and life insurance, and short or long term disability. If the costs of providing these plans is still too high for your business, but you believe that it is important for your employees to have this coverage, you may choose to offer these plans on a voluntary basis. By doing so, you provide your employees the opportunity to purchase coverage on a group basis, which offers discounted premiums and less restrictions on underwriting, while giving them the option of purchasing the coverage they feel is most important to their current situation.
Education is critical Whether it is true group coverage (employer-paid coverage) or voluntary work site coverage, educating your employees is critical. According to a 2012 WorkForce Report, 46 percent of employees at small companies say their HR departments communicate too little about employee benefit plans. The Merriam Agency is a strong advocate of employee education. It is imperative that employees understand their benefit options and what they provide. We will assist you with posting information in your offices, mailing information to employee home addresses, having a company- wide meeting to roll out a benefit, or better yet, have one-on-one meetings with each employee to explain what is available to them.
The Merriam Agency emphasizes that the key to a quality benefits package is for employers to understand their people. It is important, now more than ever, that employers take the time to find the right benefit programs and invest the time to educate their employees. This time well spent will pay off in right-sized premiums, higher quality plans, and increased employee satisfaction.
Please call us to set up a meeting in order to discuss your employee benefit offerings. We look forward to helping you customize a plan that fits the needs of your business and your employees.
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