The past few weeks have found me spending most of my time talking with the leaders of small businesses about employee benefits. The starting place for most of these conversations has been the question, “what can I do about benefits when I don’t have any money in my budget to pay for that”? It’s a great question and it touches lots of pieces of the small business owner’s team building strategy.
In a recent article Corporate Wellness Magazine hit this topic dead on. (see the article at http://bit.ly/2JHpEWp) They wrote that the solution for many (most?) small businesses is to offer voluntary benefits. This is most certainly the right option for almost every small business and there are lots of ways to put them in place. Here are some things to consider.
- Any business with 3 or more employees is potentially eligible to add voluntary benefits to their benefits plan.
- You have a number of options for insurance carriers to find the right fit for your small business. While we prefer and usually recommend Aflac, they are not always the right solution and we believe every business should have an adviser who brings all of the options to the table.
- Voluntary benefits offer flexibility to the team because each individual can choose the benefit options that best meet their budget and best cover their individual or family risk.
Now consider this. Many small business owners in the process of exploring voluntary benefits discover that one of the best ways to attract new talent and reward their current team members is to offer to pay for one or more “supplemental” or “voluntary” products. And the cost is surprisingly low. Here’s an example:
We recently worked with a small business (only three employees) to help them develop a benefits strategy. In the process we helped them figure out where to get health insurance for themselves without paying the high cost of an individual market place plan. We also helped them review voluntary options with Aflac. As we were going through those options the business owner had an ahh haa moment. They realized they could offer every team member Accident/Injury coverage for less than $34.00 per month per employee. When they did the math they figured out their total cost for this plan was equal to less than .20 cents per hour. They had been considering offering a .50 cents per hour raise to their team.
The business owner discussed this with the employees and learned, much to their surprise, that the employees would rather have the benefit than the raise. Why? The raise, after taxes, would net the average employee somewhere around $18.00 per week. The insurance plan would give them coverage to protect against accident or injury that could be worth thousands of dollars to the individual employees. For this team, that mattered more than the small increase in weekly pay.
Here’s the point. Small business owners have options. Too often the problem is that you don’t know what the options are. We are here to help with that. Contact us today to schedule a review of your benefits options. We promise, the time will be well spent.