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By Andrew Hinchliff

Topics: Employee Benefits

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There are many good reasons to offer benefits to your employees. The right benefits package can help you attract and retain the right talent for your business while also lowering turnover costs. In turn, you can also improve employee engagement and productivity.

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The best reason to offer an employee benefit plan is, of course, to help your employees live their best lives. With the right medical benefits, insurance, and retirement planning options, you can help your employees prepare for almost anything in their futures.

Many small business owners ask the question, “Do I have to offer my employees benefits?”

You do not have to offer your employees benefits. Even with the Affordable Care Act in place, you don’t need to offer medical insurance. It’s a good idea, however, for all the reasons discussed above.

One of the major concerns employers have is the cost of a benefit plan. By following these steps, you can set up a small business employee benefit plan designed to fit your employees’ needs and your budget.


Design Your Employee Benefit Plan

The first thing to do once you’ve decided you’re going to offer employee benefits is begin designing your ideal plan. What kinds of benefits do you want to offer to your employees? Take a look at lists of the most popular employee benefits.

You should also survey your employees about the kinds of benefits they want and need in their plan. You should consider their feedback carefully. Think about flexible structures and options if you have a wide range of diversity in your workforce.


Talk to a Broker

The next step in setting up your employee benefit plan should be to talk to a broker or two. Brokers can help you find the right options for your benefits plan. They can help you finesse the offerings in the plan, as well as determine the right structure of the plan.

The right broker will work with you closely to find the right plan for your business. They’ll help you find and design something as close to your ideal employee benefit plan as possible. A broker can also help you find the right price for your plan.


Implementing the Plan

Once you’ve designed your plan and worked with your broker to find the right options for your employees, you will need to set up the plan.

You’ll need to decide on the administration of the plan. Will it be handled in-house, or will you outsource it? You may want to invest in software to help you with the management and administration of benefits.

You should create a schedule for the roll-out of the new benefits plan. When will it be effective? You’ll also want to ensure employees have the information they need. Educating employees about their benefits helps them understand the coverage you’re providing. It also helps them use the plan correctly.


Monitor Plan Usage and Revise

Once you’ve implemented your plan, you may think that your work is finished. You should continue monitoring plan usage. Be sure to review the plan on a regular basis. Updating the plan every so often will ensure it continues to meet your employees’ needs.

Your broker should assist you with this task. If your broker doesn’t switch you between insurance providers every now and then, you may want to ask if they’re truly doing the best work they can.

Implementing an employee benefit plan doesn’t need to feel like rocket science. It can be quite simple. Work with a broker or other experts who can help you make the right decisions about what benefits to offer and how to offer them to your employees.


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Andrew Hinchliff

With over 30 years of experience, Paymedia’s Chief Operating Officer Andrew Hinchliff is a seasoned global business leader and results-driven human capital and workforce strategist who is well-versed in human capital management, workforce management, payroll outsourcing, and benefits administration. He’s passionate about strategy and innovation and is regularly sought out for assignments that create disruptions to current business models and practices. Andrew is actively involved in coaching youth football and is an avid golfer. His strong beliefs in philanthropy have him “giving back” by volunteering for a host of charitable foundations and community-based events.

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