A recent post, 4 Keys to Creating Great Employees, pointed out that “perks” are key to creating great employees. Whether you have 1 or 60+ employees, benefits play an important part in the development and growth of your employee and company. As mentioned in the blog, and something I totally agree with, you need to offer your employees the same choice of benefits that you expect your clients to have in a successful financial plan.
Planning and communication are key to a successful benefits plan, but, unfortunately, a lot of companies fall short.
Even if you have only one employee, call a group benefits insurance broker/provider. They provide a wealth of information even if they can’t do business with you. If you belong to associations, societies, or organizations, see if they provide group benefits options.
If you can offer more than one plan, consider offering a choice. For example, switching to a Health Savings Account (HSA) may not be a “good fit” with an employee or family member with a chronic illness, but other employees could clearly benefit from an HSA.
When hiring, present your benefits at some point in the interview process so that candidates can evaluate the options. You don’t want to wait until you offer the position, only to have the potential employee decline because she/he requires medical insurance.
When changing plans, have meetings with employees regarding contemplated changes. Talk about it first before choosing a plan or implementing any changes . While you can’t specifically inquire or expect an employee to talk about their or family’s medical conditions, you and your group insurance provider should be able to arrange a suitable presentation that encourages employee feedback. Being upfront about your reasons for contemplating a change, while asking for feedback, can really help the employee understand why change is being considered as well as show them that you value their opinion during a possible change. Direct and honest communication also helps prepare your employees for upcoming changes.
This is just an overview. This article is for informative purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. You need to consult your experts, such as insurance broker/ provider, human resource consultant, attorney, to be aware of federal, local and state regulations and exceptions.
Mary Dunlap, CFP®
Mary Dunlap Consulting