February 22, 2019
In today's world, many employees look at what an employer calls their "benefits package" as a right. Why shouldn't they? The Affordable Care Act has mandated that employers of certain sizes offer benefits like medical and prescription drug coverage. With the cost of this coverage rising faster than most cost-of-living salary adjustments, is the employee’s perceived value of your benefits program growing at the same rate?
Every company that provides insurance and benefits to its employees is attempting to do two things at the same time:
Given the current frustrations of rising healthcare costs, focusing on the budget may seem like the obvious choice, and easier than considering culture. Any employer can save a few bucks by slimming down their benefit offerings, but in doing so, are they undoing the hard work they put into building their company culture?
With the influx of the millennial generation in the workforce, company culture has become an integral selling point to attract talent. Millennials want to align themselves with the vision, values and strategy of a company. We can’t invite prospective employees into our offices and expect them to grasp our company’s culture in the window of an hour-long interview. So we demonstrate it in our employee benefits package.
Less than 20 years ago, benefits packages were what we now consider indemnity insurance programs, with first-dollar coverage for everything. Pension plans were funded by the employer (rather than the employee). The benefits of those days are long gone – unaffordable for any employer to offer.
Employers now offer High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs), with a tax benefit for setting money aside for healthcare expenses in a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Employers are looking outside of the traditional medical insurance package to relay benefits to employees. They are considering things like:
And the list goes on…
So while we all look at the bottom line cost of benefits each year, are you also considering the effect your benefits have on your employee culture? Company culture is something that is done with purpose and intent, your employee benefits package is one of the most impactful ways of relaying that. So I ask, does your employee benefits package exemplify your company culture? Do your employees see their benefits package as a true benefit? Employees are living breathing beings, that adapt and change and grow; shouldn’t your benefits program do the same?