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When it comes to recruiting and retaining top talent, benefits matter. Maybe more than you think. A 2015 study showed that 55 percent of employees say they consider affordable benefits more important than salary when job hunting.1 And, once they’re hired, 72 percent of employees report that the ability to choose the benefits they need drives increased loyalty to their employers.2

Here’s some good news: Adding benefits beyond medical such as dental, vision, disability, or life insurance doesn’t have to break the bank. Instead, small business owners are finding cost-effective ways to expand their benefits programs to better serve employees — it just takes a little listening and long-term planning.Here’s how companies are successfully going beyond medical when it comes to their benefits strategies:

  1. Listen to what employees have to say. According to HR experts from around the country, gaining a real understanding what your employees want can help you focus on which benefits they most likely will value and use. After health insurance, employees rank benefits like 401k (or other retirement plans), dental benefits, life insurance, vision care and disability insurance as “must-haves.”3 Seek input from employees, either through formal surveys or voluntary discussion groups to find out what matters most to your workforce. It’s also an important topic when talking with prospective hires.Taking the pulse of employees pays off. Nearly one in four employees admit that they’re less productive at work because of financial worries.3 Exploring the addition of benefits to help employees address financial concerns, such as taking care of their family in the event of a disability or premature death, can take some of the pressure off. Seventy-four percent of employees say that having insurance benefits gives them peace of mind for the unexpected.3
  1. Don’t break the bank. Adding benefits isn’t always about adding to the budget. Once you know what employees want, consult with ABC’s insurance agency. While some employers may not be able to pay for a lot of additional benefits, ABC Insurance Trust’s expertise and insights into local markets and the construction industry can be invaluable. They will collaborate to help you identify the right mix of options to fit diverse employee needs and stay within budget. ABC Insurance Trust understands the latest trends and what similar ABC member contractors are offering, so they’ll bring creative and relevant solutions to the table, including employee-paid options that add value to the offering, but don’t add to employer costs. Plus, employees don’t expect their employer to take on all of their costs. Fifty-six percent say they are willing to bear the cost of their benefits in order to have a choice of benefits that better meet their needs.3
  2. Revisit benefit needs annually. Treat benefit programs as an ever-evolving strategy. Evaluate the offering on an annual basis to ensure that it continues to match up to employee and competitive needs. Continue to seek regular input from employees to see if any adjustments are needed. Often, not understanding benefits can impact an employee’s loyalty and intent to stay with their employer. Establishing ongoing education about how different plans work can go a long way toward helping employees make more informed decisions and increasing appreciation for a benefits program.
Adding benefits beyond medical can help boost productivity and loyalty, giving small businesses a competitive advantage.

Find out how small businesses evaluated their employee benefits strategies in our study, "Beyond Medical: Why Small Business Owners Offer Added Benefits — and How They Do It."

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1 Finding a New Job Among New Year’s Resolutions at Work.” CareerBuilder, January 20152 MetLife’s 15th Annual US Employee Benefits Trend Study3 MetLife’s 14th Annual US Employee Benefits Trends Study4 MetLife’s 13th Annual US Employee Benefits Trends Study

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