Employee benefits are becoming commonplace in many work environments. A happy and healthy employee means a productive employee. As a result, many companies are offering additional health packages. These group benefits are great incentives for potential recruits, and help in attracting and retaining top talent.
1. Get to know your employees
Remember, communication is key. Before every decision, we should address the stakeholders. Employees are always keen to offer their opinion, especially on an important topic such as benefits. When you incorporate their opinion into the final decision, it also lets them know that you care. I’m sure most people would prefer a personally selected list of benefits over a pre-existing template.
2. Look internally
Compare your company to its competitors. Try and learn what other companies are offering. See what people in your industry look for (in terms of benefits). Are they looking for gym memberships or a flexible schedule? This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have both, but think about the typical routine and lifestyles of those working in this industry. Are they looking for year-end bonuses, medical benefits, personal days, or a flexible health and dental plan?
3. Consider your workforce demographics
Are your employees generally older or younger? Do they share commonalities in their daily commute or eating habits? Many companies have already begun to determine that millennials share very different values than baby boomers. Several studies have determined millennials prefer flexibility and wellness over job security. While this might not be the case for everybody, an employer must look to the needs of his/her workforce.
4. Do your research
Employee benefits can be a big investment, especially for a small business, so do your research. With thousands of options to choose from, creating an employee benefits plan for small business can be a complex decision. Research the various benefits you can offer as an employer. There are hundreds of benefits that aren’t traditionally advertised. Keep in mind, several new benefits, such as an HSA, have risen in popularity in recent years.
Consider reading our Supreme Guide to Employee Benefits Plan for Small Business to quickly become accustomed to an employee benefits plans.
5. Compare benefits providers
Once you have some idea of what benefits you want to provide, it’s important to pick a company that can safely and efficiently carry out your needs. The benefits industry is very large with thousands of providers. Make sure to do your research when determining whether the provider can be trusted with your company funds. Some providers might offer better service for a higher price, while others might have a high price simply because they invest more money into marketing. Be sure to compare pricing, reviews, and features for any benefits plan.
6. Consider a Health Spending Account (HSA)
Many employers choose a Health Spending Account because it delivers non-taxable dollars directly to your employees, for them to spend on any medical expense (yes – even pre-existing ones). It provides cost control for the employer, choice for the employee, and flexibility for everyone. Furthermore, the money spent on employees qualifies as a business tax deductible under CRA guidelines. It’s the 100% legal and efficient way to write off taxes on medical expenses which aren’t traditionally covered by the province’s medical plan.
If you want to learn more about an HSA – read the Top FAQ for HSA employee benefits
7. Keep employees updated
Employees appreciate when a company takes the time to explain their benefits. Just like training for a new job, people want to be aware of changes. When possible, keep employees updated during the process of acquiring a new benefit. Even knowing your office has a new toaster could make a difference! Ongoing communication with employees is good for morale on all accounts.