Introducing and maintaining an employee benefits plan can be a challenge for any business; and for small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the balance between employee satisfaction and bottom-line is only the tip of the iceberg. With a major and rapidly approaching demographic-shift, corresponding rise in healthcare costs, and employee absenteeism, presenteeism and happiness becoming prominent issues in today’s workplace – employers of every size are looking for innovative solutions to manage these risks, without reducing their bottom-line.
Benefits are a vital component in employee compensation. The decision to offer a benefits program or not, has a direct impact on the type of people an organization will attract and their productivity. With baby-boomers, gen-X, gen-Y and millennials all in today’s workforce, SME leaders are faced with the even greater task of managing multi-generation satisfaction and its influence on business cash flows.
Today, market-leading employers need to evaluate their employee benefits plan as part of a total rewards strategy and not another cost centre. The ability to offer a competitive compensation program that brings (true) employee value and support for issues, like mental health, can be the business-change essential to attracting and retaining key employee talent, long- term. SMEs must also consider changing economic landscapes, trends in benefits and fluid employee demands, if not, they risk losing key employees to industry competitors and becoming reliant on an unmotivated workforce.
For many employers, navigating the Canadian benefits and insurance marketplace can be both time consuming and costly; as product offerings grow and benefit plan designs become more complex, it is important to stay current. Too often, businesses make benefit plan decisions based on price alone, which can negatively impact the sustainability of the plan and undermine the total rewards strategy.
Several solutions are available for businesses to transform their benefits and compensation program(s), they include: healthcare spending accounts (HSA), health and wellness platforms (focused on employee physical, mental and financial well-being), member- voluntary insurance products and technology- integrated administrative services. In addition, alternative plan cost-arrangements exist in the form of pooling, which allow standalone groups to share in a collective claims experience beyond its own demographics. These are typically found in affinity programs offered by industry associations. The above solutions and arrangements can help employers control plan costs and bring exceptional value to employees.
When selecting a partner for your total rewards strategy, select a benefits advisory firm that is current with technology and innovative in addressing the needs of both management and the multi-generational workforce.
Article written by Madison McKimm, President & CEO, BioBenefits Inc.
Madison McKimm is a Certified Health Insurance Specialist (CHS) and Financial Planning Standards Council Level 1 Certificant.
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