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Benefits

The Who, What, When, Why, and How of Employee Benefits

No matter your company size, your people are your most important asset. They’re the backbone of your business. That’s why one of the most important aspects of running your business is keeping your employees happy.

Offering high-quality employee benefits is a key way to do so.

Employee benefits refer to all non-wage compensation provided to employees in addition to their salaries.

Also called perks or fringe benefits, employee benefits can include health insurance, paid vacation, pension plans, and much more. The type of benefits your company decides to offer will vary based on your organization and industry.

A strong benefits plan will set your company apart from competitors and improve your bottom line. When you offer your employees the right benefits, you show you’re invested in their health and their futures.

 

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30% of an employee’s compensation comes from benefits

(National Payroll Week)

60% of people report that benefits and perks are a major factor in considering whether to accept a job

(Glassdoor)

90% of millennials would prefer benefits over a pay raise

(Glassdoor)

1. Why Are Employee Benefits Important?

Are you wondering whether you should offer health benefits to your employees? Not sure if you can afford it? For many small businesses, it’s a tough decision. It’s normal to worry about the costs and administrative headaches .

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But offering employee benefits is in fact one of the smartest choices you can make for your business. It’s a win-win for both your employees and your company overall.

Here are five reasons offering employee benefits is so important:

Improve Productivity and Engagement

Lack of adequate health benefits can negatively impact your employees’ focus. How? If employees are worried about illnesses and finances, they’ll be distracted at work. They may even lose sleep worrying about such issues, and sleep-deprived employees can’t bring their best selves to the workplace.

Offering a competitive benefits plan will ultimately improve employees’ morale and boost their engagement. By offering your team health benefits, you help relieve their stress and empower them to be more present and productive at work. When your employees feel their employer cares about them, they’re more likely to reciprocate.

Show your employees you value their hard work, and they’ll show you they value your company by giving their best every day.

Increased Attendance

Offering employee benefits can help increase employee attendance in a number of ways. The main causes of absenteeism are health issues, family commitments, and finances. While you ultimately can’t prevent your employees or their families from getting sick, you can support their wellness and contribute to an environment that is conducive to work. iStock-840579474

For example, when your workforce has access to great health benefits, they’re less likely to miss work for health reasons. Additionally, offering flexible work schedules as a benefit can reduce the amount of work your employees miss. When they’re able to work from home and at times more convenient for them, they can take care of family and financial matters while remaining productive at work. Plus, offering benefits can reduce the number of financial errands your employees must make.

Increased Loyalty and Retention

Employee loyalty is generally declining. One in four millennials say they’d leave their companies for a new job if given the opportunity, according to a  2016 survey by Deloitte .

Employee turnover costs your company both time and money. But how exactly can you gain your employees’ commitment?

“One in four millennials say they’d leave their companies for a new job if given the opportunity.”

It’s important to note that millennials think about work differently than previous generations—especially since they’ll make up 75% of the workforce by 2025 . Millennials don’t primarily judge a company’s success based on its financial performance but by how the company treats its people.  

To boost employee loyalty, you need to offer the right benefits. In fact, 70% of employees believe that benefits customized to their needs would increase their loyalties to their companies. Employee benefits offer an opportunity to exceed the expectations of both your current and future employees.

While offering a competitive salary will, of course, help attract candidates at first, offering great benefits will help you retain them once they’re hired.

In fact, 79% of employees say they’ve quit jobs due to a lack of appreciation. A great benefits package tells your employees that you do care about them and have their best interests in mind.

“Employee benefits offer an opportunity to exceed the expectations of both your current and future employees.”

Millennials want to find an organization where they fit in and build long-lasting careers. By offering flexible work schedules, encouraging work/life balance, and offering mentorship and professional development opportunities, you give your employees a reason to commit to your company.

When your employees are more loyal to your company, you can build a strong, long-lasting team that will contribute to your business growth.

Better Recruiting

One in four small businesses rated the quality of recruits for their open positions as poor, according to the 2017 MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index.

Providing great benefits allows you to attract the top talent in your industry. After salary, benefits coverage is the most important tool in attracting quality candidates, and 57% of Glassdoor survey respondents said benefits and perks play a major role when deciding whether to pursue a particular job.

“After salary, benefits coverage is the most important tool in attracting quality candidates.”

When it comes to benefits, don’t just offer the bare minimum. Giving your workforce paid vacations and holidays, flexible health plans, retirement plans, and more will help you acquire the best talent.

Offering an attractive benefits plan is a surefire way to set your company apart from your competitors and bring talented individuals on board. A strong staff is crucial to your company’s success—investing in your employees is investing in your future.

Healthier and Happier Employees

Offering benefits means your employees will most likely be in good health. They’ll go for more medical checkups and proactively take care of themselves. Your employees will likely treat illnesses rather than coming into the office sick and infecting everyone else.

Presenteeism—working while sick—can even be worse than absenteeism. When your employees come to the office while sick, their quality of work declines, they’re less productive, and they’re more likely to make costly errors.

Simply put, offering great benefits results in a happier and healthier workforce, which translates into greater business success.

2. What Benefits Do Your Employees Really Want?

There’s no doubt that offering great benefits is key to building a strong workforce. But if you want to go above the bare minimum, how can you choose the best benefits to offer? What do your employees really need and want?

From health insurance and paid time off to flexible schedules and mentorship opportunities, benefits come in many forms. It’s important to listen to what your employees want and stay on top of the latest benefits trends.iStock-827498250 (1)

Rather than making assumptions, you can send out a poll or survey to learn what benefits your employees value. Find out what your company can spend on benefits, and price out several different options based on your employees’ unique wants and needs.

To help get you started, here are some health benefits employees most value:

Health Insurance

Health insurance was ranked as the number-one most important health benefit, according to Glassdoor research. Taking on out-of-pocket healthcare costs is simply not an option for many people considering the uncertain state of today’s healthcare industry. Thus, health insurance is a top priority for job seekers.

In addition to being the most important benefit, health insurance is also the most expensive to provide. Fortunately, there are healthcare solutions available that minimize the costs while still satisfying your employees.  

Most employees are fine with paying a portion of the costs when they can customize their benefits plan to their needs. Flexible spending accounts are thus a great option for many small businesses.

While many traditional plans allocate a set amount for dental and vision care, not everyone needs the same treatment. Let your employees pick and choose the benefits that suit their needs by offering flexible spending accounts.

Paid Time Off

Workers from all backgrounds and with a range of lifestyles all value paid vacation time.

Studies have shown that workers are less likely to take time off if it’s unpaid. This is problematic, as employees who don’t take enough breaks become unhappy, unhealthy, and unproductive.

If your employees seem exhausted and unmotivated, it could mean they need to take some time off to recharge. Giving your employees paid time off keeps them happy and healthy, which allows them to be more creative and fully engaged and productive at work.

Paid Parental Leave

When deciding whether to accept a job offer, many employees state the company’s paid parental leave policy as an important factor.

Many new parents who don’t have paid leave end up returning to work sooner than they’d like. This can result in them being more distracted and stressed at work, which isn’t good for them or your company.

If it’s possible for you to do so, offer more than the bare minimum parental leave. This will tell both prospective hires and your current workers that you value them and their families.

Pension Plan

Are you helping your staff prepare for retirement? The average Social Security benefit is simply not enough for most people to live on.

Thus, employees of all ages will appreciate a good pension plan. Offering your workers a pension plan will give them peace of mind, allowing them to work without worrying about how they’ll save for the future.

“Take care of your employees’ future so they’ll care about your company’s future.”

You can choose from several different types of pension plans to offer based on your company’s unique situation. Take care of your employees’ future so they’ll care about your company’s future.  

Wellness Program

While it may not be the most crucial benefit to offer, many employees cite perks like wellness programs and gym memberships as important when considering a job offer.

Wellness programs focus on preventing your employees from getting sick and keeping them healthy. And there are many ways to develop health and wellness programs for little to no cost! Providing this benefit will help create a culture of health and boost your employees’ engagement and productivity.

Mental Health Insurance

One in five adults has a mental health condition. But unfortunately, most Americans lack access to care.

Caring for your employees’ mental wellbeing is just as important as caring for their physical health. If your employees are struggling with their mental health, they’ll be less engaged and productive at work.  

“Caring for your employees’ mental wellbeing is just as important as caring for their physical health.”

Show your workers you care about their wellbeing by giving them the tools, resources, and information they need to manage mental health issues in the workplace. Offering mental health insurance will empower your workers to be at their best.

Flexible Schedules

There’s a lot of talk about work/life balance (or, more appropriately, “work/life fit”) in the HR community. For many employees today, having a flexible schedule is a must. In fact, 34 percent of millennials have quit their jobs because work flexibility wasn’t an option, according to a FlexJobs survey.

“34 percent of millennials have quit their jobs because work flexibility wasn’t an option.”

While flexible work has long been associated with mothers, it’s time for companies to broaden their understanding of it.

Workers of all backgrounds today are increasingly looking for a non-conventional work schedule to achieve a better work/life fit. Allowing your employees to make their own schedules—with the expectation they will still perform at a high level—is key to attracting and retaining a high-quality workforce.

Telecommuting

While several companies now allow employees to work remotely when possible, many still haven’t come this far.  

“Offering remote and telecommuting options is a great way to land great hires.”

Giving employees this type of freedom, however, is an important way to attract and retain top talent. In fact, 36 percent of Dice survey respondents said they’d take a 10-percent pay cut to be able to work from home at least half the time.

Especially for small businesses that can’t afford to compete with big corporations on salary, offering remote and telecommuting options is a great way to land great hires.

Professional Development

Offering professional development opportunities like courses, workshops, seminars, and conferences can help employees learn the skills they need to take on new projects and responsibilities.iStock-690028746

You can organize a training program for your whole team or allow individual employees to choose what would work best for them.

The more employees learn and improve their skills, the more your business benefits.

Mentorship

Mentorship programs play a key role in reducing employee turnover and boosting your business. Plus, many programs are inexpensive and easy to implement.

Everyone from new hires to company executives can benefit from mentorship. By implementing a mentorship program, mentors can improve their management skills and increase their self-confidence, while mentees can gain valuable feedback and speed up the learning curve.

You’ll be better able to retain quality staff of all levels, improve communication and collaboration, and help your employees gain new knowledge and improve their skills.

Non-Traditional Benefits

There’s an almost endless list of benefits you can offer your employees. For example, some companies offer non-traditional benefits including:

  • Caregiver leave
  • Puppy parental leave (“pawternity” benefits)
  • Performance-based initiatives (bonuses, profit sharing, and stock options)
  • Home services (laundry, cleaning, meal delivery)
  • Free coffee, snacks, and meals
  • On-site gym
  • Productivity tools (printer, scanner, noise cancelling headphones, online tools)

Can You Afford to Offer Benefits?

Many small business owners worry that offering employee benefits will be too expensive. But you don’t have to be a massive company to offer the benefits your employees really want.

“If you don’t take care of your employees, your competitors will.”


The truth is you can’t afford not to offer benefits. Investing in your employees’ wellbeing will definitely pay off. And there are many cost-effective options out there. If you don’t take care of your employees, your competitors will.

3. How to Seamlessly Manage Employee Benefits

Managing your employee benefits can be an arduous process. From handling enrollment and calculating benefit deductions to maintaining compliance, it’s easy to become overwhelmed.

But the process doesn’t have to be so complicated! If you’re struggling to stay on top of benefits management, follow these simple steps.

Analyze Your Current Employee Benefits

First and foremost, examine the benefits you’re currently offering your workforce and look for any inefficiencies. For example, are you offering benefits that no one is using?

After taking stock of where you stand, eliminate any unnecessary benefits. After all, you want to give your employees the best benefits for the least amount of money. By only offering the benefits your employees actually need, you’ll save money and reduce your administrative burden.

Align Your Benefits Strategy to Your Long-Term Goals

Designing a strong benefits strategy goes beyond knowing your employee demographics and company budget. You need to align your strategy with your company culture and long-term goals.

Are you aiming to boost employee retention? Improve recruitment? Reward your current staff?

Make sure any secondary benefits you offer complement your core benefits. Your benefits package should provide real value for both your employees and your business.

Customize Your Benefits Plan

Customizing your benefits plan might sound like more work than simply offering a cookie-cutter package. But the reality is you need to cater your plan to your unique workforce and offer a variety of benefits to stay competitive.

When it comes to benefits, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Every organization is unique and every employee within your organization has a unique health profile, family situation, plan for the future, and priorities.

“When it comes to benefits, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.”

Did you know 58% of employees want customized benefits options? Giving your current and future employees what they want shows you truly care about them and helps you compete with bigger companies.

Educate Your Employees

Are all your employees aware of their benefits options? You need to educate your team on your benefits plan to ensure they’ll get the most out of it. Otherwise, you’ll be spending money on benefits that nobody is using.

It’s best to make this information available online. That way, it’s easily accessible for all your employees whenever they need it. With cloud-based technology, your employees will be able to log into your system and view all the details of their compensation packages. Having an employee portal will also free up your HR team’s time from answering multiple employee questions about benefits.

By prioritizing transparency, you also build employee trust and ensure they grasp the full value of their benefits.

Invest in the Right HR Tools

Take advantage of technology solutions that automate HR processes and make it easy to offer a range of benefit options. The right HR tools can dramatically impact your company culture. They can make benefits enrollment a breeze and significantly boost employee engagement.

HR technology can offer your employees greater control of their benefits and keep them in the know. When they have an in-depth understanding of what benefits are available, they’ll truly appreciate everything your company has to offer.

When calculating the cost of benefits, you also need to factor in the time and money spent on administration. When you embrace automation, your HR staff can spend less time on enrolling employees, managing employee files, and processing benefits. The right tools can also give you insights into your workforce from both an enrollment and demographic standpoint.

Train Your Employees

The right HR software can take the stress out of benefits management, but once you find the right platform, you need to properly train your employees.

The time you invest in training your staff will be worth it—the better they understand the new system, the smoother things will go.

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4. Who Can Help You Simplify Benefits Management?

It’s easy to get caught up in your everyday business functions and lose sight of how inefficient your HR processes might be. In fact, many companies don’t realize how much time and money ineffective HR processes are costing them.

But what can you do if you lack the in-house resources to properly manage HR tasks—on top of tackling your core business functions?

This is where getting some outside help makes sense. A human capital management (HCM) company can help you simplify complex HR processes like benefits management.

What Is an HCM Company?

An HCM company can help you manage all your internal HR processes. They’ll help you design a benefits plan that works best for your company and employees. Plus, they’ll help you administer and manage benefits so you can focus on more strategic work.

Partnering with an HCM company is your best bet to manage your people more efficiently. They’ll provide a truly holistic HR solution. Many HR functions, like benefits management and payroll, go hand in hand. The right HCM company will provide you with a solution that houses all your HR functions in the same application, enabling you to be much more efficient and effective.

On top of gaining access to HR software, you’ll also gain access to the expert knowledge of HR support staff when you partner with the right HCM company.  

Of course, there are tons of companies out there that promise to help streamline your HR processes. How can you find the right one that will truly help your business?

When searching for an HCM company, look for one that offers the following services:

Innovative Technology

The right technology is vital for efficient benefits administration. Not just any technology platform will do.

Find an HCM company that uses powerful, user-friendly, and scalable technology. Modern technology is meant to simplify the complex task of managing your workforce benefits—not complicate it. Many organizations are thus turning to iSolved® companies to get the help they need.

“Find an HCM company that uses powerful, user-friendly, and scalable technology.”

iSolved can be deployed seamlessly within companies both small and large. The system is easy to use and allows you to quickly set up your benefits plans. It puts you in control of benefits management and organizes enrollment. You can easily view details of your benefits plans, make changes to them, and see reports.

Unlike other benefits administration software, iSolved has carrier connectivity, ensuring all life events are communicated to the carrier on time. Plus, it empowers your employees by allowing them to access benefits information whenever they need it through self-service capabilities.

With iSolved, benefits planning and decision making have never been easier. By partnering with an HCM company that uses iSolved, you’ll get the modern technology you need plus the personal service you deserve.

Benefits Advice

The right HCM company will not only provide modern technology—they’ll also offer expert advice to ensure you have the right benefits program in place.

Most business owners have heard of benefits acronyms and terms like HSA, HRA, FSA, cafeteria plans, POP, section 125, TPA, self-funding, and level funding, but they aren’t clear on what options they should consider.

Partner with an HCM company that offers both innovative technology and benefits advice to make sense of all the benefits lingo. They’ll review all your options, explain how you can save money, and enhance the benefits you currently offer your employees.

Compliance Counsel

Offering your employees health benefits not only represents a large percentage of your budget, but it also opens your company to potential legal issues. Most employers only focus on benefits cost and coverage, not on avoiding legal complications.

Employers must comply with the law, but it can be challenging to keep up with all the new legislation changes—on top of running your business. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), for example, has made some major changes to workplace health insurance and benefits packages.iStock-810559690 (2)

An HCM company will take the stress out of compliance management. They can structure your benefits program to minimize possible future attorney fees. Plus, they’ll streamline compliance management by automating the process. An HCM company will monitor any changes to federal, state, and local laws that could affect your compliance. And they’ll help you create strategic plans to ensure you always maintain compliance.

Excellent Customer Service

Not all HCM companies are created equal. In fact, many customers have complained about receiving poor service from the bigger players. Fortunately, you don’t need to settle for this.

Some smaller HCM companies out there still care about quality customer service. These companies usually assign dedicated staff to every account so you’ll always connect with people you’ve already spoken with in the past. This way, they’ll already know you and your business needs.

Smaller companies will prioritize phone and online support so you can get the help you need whenever you need it. And unlike the bigger companies, when you do finally get someone on the phone, HR experts will be fully capable and happy to solve your problems.

Partnering with a company that prioritizes personal service will help you avoid the headaches of benefits administration and give you true peace of mind.

Affordable Prices

You’re already concerned about the cost of offering employee benefits. Won’t partnering with an HCM company be too expensive?

Not necessarily. Partnering with an HCM company is a worthwhile investment that will help your company in the long run. They’ll help you set up an affordable plan for your business and provide ongoing benefits support.

Streamlining benefits administration with the right HR technology will significantly cut costs. It’ll help your HR team refocus on their core functions rather than on administrative tasks. Partnering with a company that offers a cloud-based solution will also be much more affordable.

You can get the latest technology along with the benefits expertise you need at an affordable price.

5. When Does It Make Sense to Invest in Benefits Administration?

With all the business expenses you face, you might wonder if you can put off investing in benefits administration right now.

But doing so can actually do more harm than good to your business. While you might think handling benefits administration on your own will save you money, the opposite is true. Using manual processes takes up too much of your HR team’s time and is more prone to error.

So when is a good time to invest in benefits administration?

Here are five signs your business will benefit from HCM software that includes benefits administration capabilities:

Your HR Team Is Overwhelmed

There’s no doubt benefits administration is overwhelming. Your HR staff needs to manage the benefits selection and enrollment process for every new hire. Registering a new employee—let alone managing your entire team’s benefits—involves a lot of tedious work.

That’s why partnering with an HCM company that offers benefits administration is crucial.

Remember that the software you choose should be user-friendly and intuitive. After all, you want to ease your HR team’s burdens, not add to them. No matter how many advantages an HCM software solution promises, you won’t realize any of them if your team doesn’t use it because it’s too difficult to learn.

When introduced for the first time, most new software programs have a tough time gaining traction with users. But iSolved is different. Its user-friendly interface makes it easy for your whole team to learn the program.

iSolved takes the headaches out of benefits administration, making it easy for HR professionals to choose and customize plans and for employees to register for those benefits through an automated enrollment process.

You’re Spending Too Much Time on Admin

When you cut down on repetitive and time-consuming administrative tasks, your business can start saving time and money every day.

The best way to do so is by automating and streamlining as many of your HR processes as possible. The right benefits software can keep track of contributions, benefits eligibility, and more to smooth out the complexities of this process.

With their newfound time, your HR team can focus on more strategic work.

You’re Using Disparate Tools

You already know you need to offer the best health benefits you can afford to your employees. But you also need an intuitive way to manage these benefits.

Instead of using different tools for payroll, time tracking, benefits, and other HR tasks, use one single powerful tool. In doing so, you’ll streamline virtually everything your HR team does.

iSolved enables you to manage all your HR tasks in one central location. It allows you to see your historical and pending claims. It also enables you to automatically track start dates, eligibility dates, and enrollment dates. You’ll be able to see all your employees’ levels of coverage as well as the premiums you pay.

As an integrated system, iSolved offers you holistic insights into all your HR activities.  

You’re Struggling to Maintain Compliance

The law plays a big role in determining what benefits you provide your employees. With the legal framework set by local, state, and federal governments always changing, remaining compliant is a big job. It can quickly become stressful.

With all the time and effort required, you may be tempted to neglect this process and bend the rules. But you’re better off remaining compliant. Doing so is ultimately more economical than fighting a lawsuit or paying fines.  

“By combining benefits administration with your HR compliance efforts, your team will be well-equipped to handle all HR compliance issues.”

Fortunately, HCM software can help you achieve and maintain compliance with ease. How? Automating HR compliance will help you boost efficiency. You can input your metrics, then monitor how well things are going. The right software can also help you keep track of when new laws are passed and when they come into effect.

By combining benefits administration with your HR compliance efforts, your team will be well-equipped to handle all HR compliance issues.

Your Employees Don’t Know Their Total Compensation

It’s not just the benefits themselves that matter to your employees. The way these benefits are communicated and presented is also important.

Your workforce needs to know what benefits are available to them, but giving your employees extensive reading material about their benefits simply isn’t effective. In fact, 80% of organizations reported that their employees don’t open or read communications material about their benefits. Lack of familiarity with benefits can create enrollment barriers for your employees, and this can put them at a greater health and financial risk.

“80% of organizations reported that their employees don’t open or read communications material about their benefits.”

Fortunately, strong HCM software can better communicate your employee benefits. It allows benefits administration to be integrated with payroll and other HR information. When everything is automated in one place, employees can easily and quickly access their benefits information.

You’ll eliminate the guesswork when it comes to healthcare, vacation time, and all other benefits. The right platform will empower your employees to get the information they need whenever they need it.

You Lack Insights into Your Business

One of the greatest advantages of HR software is its ability to provide you with insights into your business. Manual HR processes are both time-consuming and ineffective. Software, on the other hand, both automates these processes and gives you access to analytical tools.

Wondering what benefits your employees are using the most? Benefits administration software lets you see what benefits your employees are loving, and which ones they’re not using at all. Simply run a report to determine how many claims were processed, or what you paid out in any given timeframe.iStock-696570136

These insights allow you to better tailor your benefits and better spend your money. Plus, when you know what happened in the past, you can better predict what will happen in the future and make more informed business decisions.

6. 9 Essential Benefits Administration Software Features

If you’re still managing HR processes with pen and paper or with basic computer programs, now’s the time to take your business into the 21st century.

By adopting modern HR software, you can completely change the way you manage employee benefits.

To get the most out of your HCM software, make sure you choose one that has these essential features:

1. Employee Self-Service

Give your employees the freedom they want by choosing software that enables employee self-service. This feature will allow them to quickly and easily complete claim forms and check their current benefits allowances and spending.

Especially if you offer flexible benefits options, employee self-service is crucial to allow your staff to revise and select their options. It makes open enrollment a breeze and frees up your HR team’s time to focus on their core activities.

2. Reporting Tools

Reporting is a key feature of any software. The software you choose should never purge data so you can pull reports from any period and for any individual employee. You should also be able to easily customize reports and get only the information you need.

The right software should prevent you from ever hunting for information again—it should always be right at your fingertips.

3. Carrier Connectivity

Your HCM software should offer connectivity to most insurance carriers. This will allow you to provide better benefits to your employees and reduce your administrative burden.

Carrier connectivity makes it easier to switch providers, cuts down on paperwork, and streamlines communication.

4. Benefit Recommendations

Some HCM software vendors are just technology companies. But to truly improve your benefits management, you’ll want to invest in a solution with trusted advisors who can offer benefits expertise.

These experts can provide the guidance you need about benefits, insurance, liability, and more to help you make better-informed decisions. Since the benefits plans you offer have a direct impact on your employees and their families, getting expert advice in this area is key.

5. Streamlined Open Enrollment

From communicating your benefits options to ensuring each individual has made the necessary changes to their packages, a lot goes into the enrollment process.

Fortunately, the right HCM software can take the headaches out of open enrollment.

When the software you choose is user-friendly and has employee self-service capabilities, open enrollment becomes a breeze. You can send them all the information they need prior to enrollment so they understand all their options. They can then log into an employee portal to choose the benefits they want and adjust their current plans or coverage amounts.iStock-843177220

HR professionals will be able to easily access all the enrollment data in one simple platform. You can set up alerts to ensure all employees have completed the necessary changes and set up reminders when updates need to be made.

6. COBRA Administration

The Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act (COBRA) gives your employees the right to continue participating in health insurance coverage after they leave their jobs at your company.

While it’s necessary to manage COBRA administration in a timely manner, the process can be complex. Make sure the HCM software you use can streamline the process.

7. Retirement Plan Services

While the type of retirement plan a company offers will vary, it’s a critical component to include in your benefits package. Offering a retirement plan is a great way to attract and retain top talent, and it helps your employees and their families plan for their futures.

The software you choose should have built-in retirement plan services. This will help you ensure you deduct the right amounts from your employees’ paychecks, issue the right payments to retirees, and streamline the process overall.

8. Flexible Spending Accounts

Offering flexible spending accounts is a great way to reduce the cost of benefits and give your employees what they want.

Unlike traditional group benefits, flexible spending accounts allow your employees to only spend what they need to on the benefits they want. You’ll save money by not spending on benefits your team doesn’t value.

Using the right software is especially important when offering flexible benefits as your employees need a simple way to view and select their options.

9. Performance Management

Are your employees using all the benefits they have? Do you know how well your benefits are performing for your company?

Your software solution should answer any question you might have about your benefits, including whether they’re helping you meet your company goals. It should help you assess whether your health plans fit your team’s needs, or if your workers would prefer different options.

7. How to Find the Benefits Broker You Deserve

Your benefits broker is responsible for finding and maintaining the best benefits plan to meet your specific company needs. If you’re not offering the best possible benefits within your budget, you’re doing your business a disservice.

That’s why the relationship with your broker is so important.

It’s their job to help you navigate the complex world of benefits products and advocate on your behalf to ensure you get the best benefits solution.

“If you’re not offering the best possible benefits within your budget, you’re doing your business a disservice.”

Many business owners don’t realize their brokers are better compensated than any of their employees. A major problem with brokers today, however, is their unavailability and inactivity. You might be paying your broker—someone you rarely speak to—more than your most senior employees!

Is your broker really doing all they can to earn your money and trust?

If not, it’s time to shop around. Here’s what the right benefits broker should do for you:

Regularly Connect with You

The majority of brokers only connect with their clients once a year. You probably haven’t heard from your broker since they signed you up with an insurance carrier.

But if your broker doesn’t regularly speak with you, how will they understand your needs? How can they know how happy you are with your current services?iStock-804500502

Your broker should be more than just a salesperson—they should act as your trusted advisor and always be available to listen to your needs and answer your questions. To help you reach your company goals, your benefits broker should be knowledgeable and accessible.

Shop around for the Best Policy and Rates

Many companies pay their brokers for doing virtually nothing. Most brokers leave you with the same insurance carrier simply as a matter of convenience. They probably don’t propose alternative solutions to what you currently have. This means you won’t always have the right policy at a fair market price.

No matter the type of insurance you require, your broker should always be shopping around for the best policy and rates for you. Benefits plans and rates are always changing. Thus, it’s your broker’s responsibility to stay up to date with all policy changes, research new deals, and present the best option for your company.

Your broker needs to develop a strong relationship with you in order to keep you well-serviced. They should remain aware of all the options out there that could better suit your needs.

Manage Workers’ Compensation

Many companies dread the annual audit process for their workers’ compensation coverage. In the end, they often feel like they owe money. U.S. companies spend $170 billion a year out of pocket on costs associated with occupational injuries and illnesses.

iStock-841526196While it’s true that workers’ compensation rates are dictated by the law, there’s always an opportunity to save premium dollars through strategic partnerships that pay dividends and offer scheduled credits. By establishing safety and health management systems, you can reduce your company’s injury and illness costs by 20 to 40 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Your broker should eliminate the annual audit hassle so you no longer dread the process and generally no longer owe money.

Protect Your Company with Life Insurance

Are you in a business partnership without an agreement? Most business owners don't consider what would happen if their business partner died. Without an agreement, all rights would be passed to your partner’s heirs, and the heirs would be working with you.

What’s more, most companies aren’t prepared for the death or disability of one of their valuable employees. While you can’t prevent an employee’s death or disability, you can protect your company.

Your benefits broker should ensure you’re always in control of who you partner with and do all they can to protect your business.

Conclusion

Managing a benefits program is a difficult task that requires streamlined communication between your HR team, your employees, and any third-party vendors.

However, offering quality benefits is well worth the cost and effort. It’s one of the most significant ways to keep your employees happy, healthy, and productive. After all, your company is only as good as your employees. Especially if you own a small business, offering benefits your employees love helps you stand apart from your competitors.

With the right HR tools and expertise at hand, businesses of all sizes can offer great—and affordable—benefits that will delight their current and prospective employees.

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