Attraction & Retention

Once you have great employees on board, how do you keep them from jumping ship? One way is by offering a comprehensive benefits package. Many small-business owners mistakenly believe they cannot afford to offer benefits. But while going without benefits may boost your bottom line in the short run, than penny-wise philosophy could strangle your business’s chances for long-term prosperity. “There are certain benefits good employees feel they must have,” says Ray Silverstein, founder of PRO, President’s Resource Organization, a small-business advisory network.

Heading the list of must-have benefits is medical insurance, but many job applicants also demand a retirement plan, disability insurance and more. Tell these applicants no benefits are offered and often top-flight candidates will head for the door.

The positive side to this coin: Offer the right benefit, and your business may just jump-start its growth. “Give employees the benefits they value, and they’ll be more satisfied, miss fewer workdays, be less likely to quit, and have higher commitment to meeting the company’s goals,” says Joe Lineberry, a senior vice president at Aon Consulting, a human resources consulting firm. “The research shows that when employees feel their benefits needs are satisfied, they’re more productive.”

Determining Needs

Population Analysis
By way of biometric screening, individual and aggregate health risk assessments, and available historic pharmacy and claims data we are able to determine the overall risk profile of your employee population.
This is an important step in our process as we utilize the analytics to identify your employee population’s chronic diseases and adverse lifestyles and develop a wellness and benefits strategy to enhance their overall health and productivity.

Employee Demographics
We identify the unique demographics of your employee population:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Dependent Status
  • Employee Income
  • Employee Turnover

The demographic analysis will enable us to develop a customized plan design to meet your specific employee needs. Some of the distinctions we look for are populations of high family participation or single coverage, overall health risk, high wage earners or low wage earners, and high male or female enrollment.

Meeting Needs

Ancillary Plans – Non-Medical Benefits
While offering a medical plan to your employees will address a large area of concern for your employees, on its own it is not a comprehensive solution. Typically employer sponsored (paid) and/or voluntary ancillary plans round out the overall benefits portfolio. Plans such as dental, vision, short- and long-term disability, life insurance and EAP (employee assistance program) all offer additional value to the core benefit plans and can go a long way in meeting your employee population’s needs.

Dental Plans
When taking part in regular oral examinations, employees will likely be seeing their dentist more than their doctor. Because of this a dentist may be the first health care provider to observe the symptoms of a health problem while it is still in its early stages. Many major diseases have oral indicators, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Multiple types of cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease

Vision Plans
Vision examinations are an important tool in receiving a comprehensive view of health. Like dental exams, vision exams can reveal symptoms of major diseases, and can sometimes be the missing link in properly identifying the specific affliction. Diseases with optic indicators include:

  • Diabetes
  • Advanced hypertension
  • Sickle cell anemia

Disability Plans
For most workers, the ability to earn a living is their most significant financial asset, and a lengthy period of disability can be devastating. Employers can help protect against that risk by providing group disability income insurance — a group insurance product that provides income replacement benefits to an employee should he or she become sick or injured and unable to work.

Disability insurance protects workers and their families against financial catastrophe by helping them meet daily expenses — bills, mortgages and other expenses — and maintain their standard of living. Disability insurance replaces a percentage of pre-disability income if an employee is unable to work due to illness or injury for a specified period of time. Employers may offer short-term disability coverage, long-term disability coverage, or integrate both short- and long-term disability coverage.

Why Provide Disability Insurance?
Disability insurance is both an employee benefit and a health and productivity tool. The rehabilitation and management tools available from most insurers can yield significant savings to employers. While helping your employees avoid financial disaster, disability insurance also helps you mitigate the indirect costs of disabilities, such as finding replacement workers and the costs incurred by time and productivity losses. These problems are amplified for small businesses where the absence of just one key employee can have a lasting impact on productivity and can even impact the continuation of day-to-day operations.

“I already provide workers’ compensation coverage. Doesn’t it help?”
Not if the employee became ill or was injured off the job. Workers’ compensation is state-mandated insurance that covers both lost income and medical expenses for work-related illnesses or injuries only. Workers’ compensation cannot help for injuries or illnesses that occur outside of work. This is where STD and LTD provide protection.

Retirement Plans
Retirement plans can go a long way in addressing your employee population needs. These benefits will not just benefit those who are soon to retire. The meltdown of the financial markets in 2007 has left many middle-aged workers with fears that they will not be able to retire at the end of their careers and has renewed interest in aggressively preparing for retirement. For many employers, the middle-aged demographic represents a large portion of their educated and experienced workforce, making it important to both attract and retain such assets.

Virtual Medicine
Virtual medicine plans are yet another option that will both address the needs of your employees while positively affecting your business. Virtual medicine plans allow employees to get non-emergency diagnosis, opinions and if need be, pharmaceutical prescriptions from doctors through the computer and phone. This allows for more flexibility as employees will not need to schedule a time with their doctor (often during the work week) just to get a minor issue diagnosed. This flexibility can mean less time missed by your employees, leading to hire productivity.

Employee Assistance Programs
Employee productivity is important for any business’ success, but sometimes employees are too overwhelmed by personal or behavioral problems to perform at their highest level. High stress, psychological problems, substance abuse, legal troubles and other personal issues can lead to lower productivity and focus during work, increased absenteeism and higher health care costs. An EAP can address these issues and help your employee’s tend to their personal needs.