Employee Navigator

Choosing Cost-Effective Benefits that Foster Healthy Company Cultures

Company benefits are becoming an increasingly important factor in attracting and retaining talent, and employer-sponsored health insurance is seeing a new surge in demand. While adding or enhancing group insurance seems like an additional cost for employers, it can provide benefits that improve a company’s balance sheet. In other words, group insurance is an investment rather than an expense.

While choosing a budget-friendly plan is essential, employers may be short-changing their employees and their bottom line by chasing upfront cost savings that have back-end consequences. As consultants with years of combined experience, we have a front-row seat to data-driven trends, industry changes, and employee demands.

Here are five important considerations for employers to keep in mind when choosing company benefits:

1. Understand the Landscape

In the last decade, benefits have taken center stage in employees’ minds. A few years before the pandemic, a Glassdoor survey found that 80% of employees would prefer new or additional benefits over a pay increase. Then the post-pandemic “Great Resignation” led to record-breaking numbers of people leaving their jobs and employers scrambling for talent. While in the past, companies provided coffee bars or ping-pong tables, now employees want benefits that allow flexibility and promote physical and mental wellness. Investing company dollars in meaningful wellness benefits has higher payoffs than more frivolous perks.

2. Consider Long-Term Cost Benefits, Not Just Short-Term Savings

For many businesses, mental health programs have become critical in supporting their workforce through these stressful times. However, the majority of organizations only have an Employee Assistance Program. These programs seem inexpensive but aren’t enough to move the needle on employee needs. Providing more substantial mental health programs can make a huge difference for employees. Some recent studies show that companies prioritizing healthcare benefits have lower turnover rates than 75% of other businesses. Turnover is expensive and time-consuming, and investing in healthcare can provide savings down the road while also keeping employees healthy and happy.

3. Create a Strategic Plan

It’s easy for employers to make the mistake of amping up a benefit and assuming this will automatically attract talent or satisfy existing employees. Companies need to do more than just boost coverage – they need to become strategic about benefits and insurance. For example, where is a company headed in the next five years? If a company is anticipating rapid growth, it must choose a plan that allows for an influx of new employees. Aligning long-term business goals with a benefits strategy can generate savings without sacrificing employee benefits.

4. Strike a Custom Balance

Another way that employers can manage their cost/benefit analysis is by considering the employee pool and the company structure. If the average age of your employees is 50, disability and life insurance may take precedence over enhanced parental leave. Some offices have opted to stay permanently remote since the pandemic, and they can funnel some of the dollars that used to go to overhead toward employee benefits.

5. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Sometimes companies will go all out to expand their benefits but miss the communication front. Employers must ensure their employees understand the “why” behind their benefits, not just that they exist. For example, a company that adds disability insurance can ensure employees know that the probability of short- or long-term disability is higher than death for most of the workforce, which is why it’s in the benefits mix.

Ultimately, employees want to know they are valued and appreciated. Companies can succeed by “walking the walk” regarding benefits, delivering meaningful programs, and making it clear they care about employees’ well-being. Contact Cara Kahan RFC®, Lang Financial CEO to discover a cost-effective employee benefits package that will allow your employees and business to thrive.

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