Benefits

What SMBs Should Think About When Creating and Managing an Employee Benefits Program

August 2, 2016

Employees today expect a lot more than a paycheck from their employer.  They are looking for work-life balance, good medical coverage and even some ancillary benefits. The competition for great employees is stiff so if you aren’t offering employees what they want, you are going to have trouble attracting and retaining the top talent you need to succeed.

Let’s face it – understanding benefits is not in everyone’s wheelhouse. Small and midsize businesses may struggle even more with benefits planning due to a lack of time, people power and expertise. One of the best things you can do to provide your employees with benefits they value is to turn to benefits experts for advice. That’s where TriNet comes in. 

To offer a benefits program that works for both your employees and your bottom line, without making some common benefits mistakes, take into account these tips for developing your benefits strategy. Then talk to TriNet or your HR team about next steps.

How to decide which medical benefits to offer
Medical insurance is the foundation of most employee benefits programs. Under the Affordable Care Act, medical plans are required to offer many benefits. There are, however, additional things to consider when selecting medical benefit plans, such as:

  • How many different benefit plans should I offer?
  • How much can my company contribute toward the premium cost?
  • What about coverage for holistic treatments, such as acupuncture and chiropractic care? 

A great medical plan, just like all benefits, should take into account the demographics of your organization.The plans you offer should emphasize benefits that the talent you want to hire will find attractive.

Consider ancillary benefits
Ancillary benefits include dental, vision, disability and life insurance, employee assistance programs (EAP), retirement plans and even other perks like health club memberships, legal assistance programs or pet insurance. Some companies send out surveys to employees to gauge demand and get a sense of what types of benefits would interest their employees.

If you consider the needs of your employees, you can create a benefits package that will make you an attractive employer to both your current employees and the talent you want to hire. Whatever you can do to distinguish your organization from the competition will serve to draw the talent you want and keep them engaged with your company.

Managing your company’s benefits program
Once your plans are in place, the work is not done.  Making sure your employees are supported and educated regarding their plan choices and how the plan they elect works is very important.  Offer your employees comparison charts of their benefits options and provider information so they can call each benefit provider directly to have their questions answered. This is another place where an HR services provider or PEO would come in handy and help employees make the choices that are right for them.

This communication is for informational purposes only; it is not legal, tax or accounting advice; and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance.

This post may contain hyperlinks to websites operated by parties other than TriNet. Such hyperlinks are provided for reference only. TriNet does not control such web sites and is not responsible for their content. Inclusion of such hyperlinks on TriNet.com does not necessarily imply any endorsement of the material on such websites or association with their operators.

By Janice Scherwitz

Janice Scherwitz is a benefits compliance analyst at TriNet.

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