Robust Benefit Plan Options are Must-Haves for Small Businesses

All things being equal, 96 percent of the Millennial workforce you’re trying to attract (or retain) would jump ship in favor of a better health plan.

That doesn’t change the fact that every dollar matters in a small business. So when it’s time to decide how much to invest in your employee benefit plan – the healthcare, insurance, 401k, retirement packages and more – how do you get the most from your money? And how do you know that what you’re spending is really worth it?

“Benefits are the second-most important driver in job satisfaction, coming in just behind job security,” writes Mike Simonds in Bloomberg Business, citing research that shows “a direct connection between how well employees understand such benefits as health, disability, and life insurance and whether they feel valued and engaged at work.”

For younger workers, particularly millennials in the 18 to 34 age bracket, satisfaction with a benefits package comes down to having options that fit their lifestyle. Growing up in an era of niche marketing and lifestyle choice, this generation expects the same from the benefits their employers offer.

What interests them most? The robust health care plan is a high priority, but so are financial investment options. Millennials may also find appeal in certain “voluntary benefits” – life insurance, pet coverage, identity protection, legal services and financial counseling, among others. And, of course, workers of all ages want to be able to manage their benefits themselves via their mobile device or laptop, not on paper.

For a small business wanting to keep up with the changing workforce, this can turn into an expensive proposition. However, new outsourcing options in the benefits marketplace have made top-tier benefits offerings more affordable to employer and worker alike. Additionally, by outsourcing employee benefits plans, business owners can take advantage of tangible economies of scale. For example, a small business may be able to offer a top-tier insurance plan to its workers that rivals what the Fortune 500-company down the street has put together. Beyond employee satisfaction, plans like these, usually offered by Professional Employer Organizations, or PEOs, may also be bundled with other traditional HR services at scalable pricing models, all of which help level the recruitment/retention playing field, too.

In addition to offering competitive, affordable benefits, Steve Parrish, a business advisor writing in Forbes, also recommends small businesses refocus their view. “Rather than ask, what is the ‘return on equity’ from a particular benefit, shouldn’t the question be, ‘what is the return on employee’? It’s not a return on an investment; it’s a return on an individual, and in turn that provides a boost to the employer’s bottom line.”

Businesses know that satisfied employees are the foundation of a thriving, successful company. Now, as the Millennial mindset replaces the retiring wave of Baby Boomers, providing competitive benefits at affordable prices may pay back better than ever.

Learn more about ways to offer competitive benefits, including health insurance and more for your small business, by contacting us at benefits@stratus.hr.

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Photo credits: JustJobs.com

In a recent survey by Glassdoor Economic Research, four in five workers today would prefer new benefits or perks rather than a pay raise.  In their research, they discovered that the three core employer-provided benefits that increased employee satisfaction the most were:

  1. Health insurance
  2. Vacation/paid time off
  3. 401(k) plans

See more here.

John Farnsworth, Chief Executive Officer

Author John Farnsworth, Chief Executive Officer

John learned at an early age the value of hard work, forming his first company before his 18th birthday. He co-founded Stratus.hr (originally “Innovative Staffing”) in 1999 and has an established reputation for his expertise, work ethic, and love for traveling.

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