Colonial Life, The BeneChoice Companies, Stacia Robinson, insurance, education, community, contribution, employer, employee, benefit, benefits, benefit administration, benefit administrator, life, health, accident, long term disability, workers compensation, planning, The BeneChoice Companies, workplace, employees, turnover, benefits, insurance, turnover, Stacia Robinson, Montgomery, AL, Colonial, accidental, voluntary, communicate

Benefits: 10 Key Take Aways

Over the last several weeks we went over the no or low-cost ways to make your company a great place to work. We went over many tips on what you can do right as far as offering benefits to your staff to make them want to work with you and your company. 

We talked about:

  • Why you need to look after your employees
  • Good leadership
  • Creating the right environment
  • Challenges, training and development
  • Employee perks
  • Company benefits
  • Choosing the right benefits
  • Communicating benefits correctly
  • Ways to get benefits wrong

In a nutshell, here are 10 most popular takeaways from this series on benefits.

  1. It pays to make your company a great place to work. Although base pay is still vitally important, it is not the only thing talented employees are looking for.
  2. Good leadership is vital. 27% of people who don’t trust their managers, don’t plan to stick around.
  3. Workplace culture starts at the top. To created a culture of communication, collaboration, fun and respect, the boss has to lead by example.
  4. Millennials rank training and progression opportunities as a top reason to stay in their job.
  5. Flexible working is a popular perk and could improve your employees’ productivity.
  6. Voluntary benefits enable you to offer attractive benefits at no or low cost.
  7. The benefits employees want are dependent on their circumstances and their outlook – so flexibility is key.
  8. Company-offered benefits such as accident insurance and hospital indemnity insurance can fill in the gaps in health care coverage.
  9. With paid time off plans and incentives to reduce unscheduled leave, offering paid leave can be a cheaper and more realistic option for small businesses.
  10. By effectively communicating benefits to your employees you help them understand the value of offering, which helps them get the most out of it. Voluntary benefits providers can help with this.

 

Highest regards,

 

 

Stacia

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Colonial Life, The BeneChoice Companies, Stacia Robinson, insurance, education, community, contribution, employer, employee, benefit, benefits, benefit administration, benefit administrator, life, health, accident, long term disability, workers compensation, planning, The BeneChoice Companies, workplace, employees, turnover, benefits, insurance, turnover, Stacia Robinson, Montgomery, AL, Colonial, accidental, voluntary, communicate

Communicate Your Benefits Effectively

For employees, understanding their benefits can be intimidating. It takes a whole lot of math – probabilities, prices, copays and deductibles — not to mention trying to weigh up the other options outside of what their employer o ers. So what do they really need to know? And how can you help?

 

Make sure staff know the value of their benefits

To get the credit you deserve for sta benefits, you need to communicate effectively about what you’re offering.

 

Not many people could accurately tell you what their health care package costs their employer. Not many know that, on average, their benefits package makes up just under a third of their compensation (31.7%).29 The better employees understand the value of their benefits, the more likely they are to judge their employer as a good place to work.

 

Help people get the most out of their benefits

Most employees don’t feel informed. They don’t feel comfortable making decisions about their benefits. It’s especially a problem for people with lower household incomes. And that means they don’t make the most out of the benefits offered to them.

 

Giving people reading material doesn’t work unless they’re already engaged and enthusiastic. More likely, that email will be deleted, or the booklet will end up forgotten under a pile of paperwork. Combining these methods with more direct benefits communication is usually the most effective option.

 

Keep your staff informed. Do your employees know the value of their benefits?

 

Highest regards,

Stacia

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Colonial Life, The BeneChoice Companies, Stacia Robinson, insurance, education, community, contribution, employer, employee, benefit, benefits, benefit administration, benefit administrator, life, health, accident, long term disability, workers compensation, planning, The BeneChoice Companies, workplace, employees, turnover, benefits, insurance, turnover, Stacia Robinson, Montgomery, AL, Colonial, accidental, voluntary

What Is Your Retirement Plan?

A good retirement plan can be the difference between a comfortable old age and slipping into poverty – yet one in four U.S. working adults has no retirement savings.

 

More and more employees are looking ahead and wondering what their future holds. Less than half of workers are confident they’ll be able to retire when they want.

 

48% of millennials expect their 401(k), 403(b) or IRAs to be their primary source of retirement income.

 

Workplace retirement plans are the major way that people save successfully. Without a workplace retirement plan, fewer than 10% of workers contribute to retirement savings on their own.  It’s not just older workers who care about retirement.

 

90% of millennials and Generation X employees and 87% of baby boomers all believe that a 401(k) plan is an important employee benefit.

Government assistance and tax credits

According to the IRS, small businesses may be able to claim a tax credit for some of the costs of starting a retirement plan if:

  • You had 100 or fewer employees who received at least $5,000 in compensation from you for the preceding year.
  • You had at least one plan participant who was a non-highly compensated employee.
  • In the three tax years before the first year you’re eligible for the credit, your employees weren’t substantially the same employees who received contributions or accrued benefits in another plan sponsored by you, a member of a controlled group that includes you, or a predecessor of either.

 

Take a look at the IRS website or talk with your tax advisor for full details.

Highest regards,

 

Stacia

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Do You Offer Paid Parental Leave?

Parental leave has been a hot topic in the United States in recent years with the federal government starting to offer paid parental leave and San Francisco becoming the first U.S. city to mandate full paid parental leave in Spring 2016.

 

However, only a minority of America’s workers have dedicated paid parental leave according to the the Paid Family and Medical Leave Fact Sheet produced by the United States Department of Labor.

 

Most have to patch together different types of paid leave if they want any time to recover from childbirth and bond with their children. It means that even if they do come back to work, they’ll be struggling to manage parenthood without any sick leave or vacation time remaining, which isn’t healthy for them or your company.

 

While offering paid parental leave may not be right for every business – and small businesses in particular understandably have concerns over the cost implications – it is worth weighing the pros and cons carefully.

 

If you make paid maternity available, it’s more likely that a mother will come back to her job after the birth of her child, according to the Office of Management and Budget of the US Government, saving you recruitment and training costs down that line. In addition, if moms are returning to work soon after their child is born due  to financial pressures, there is a risk that they’ll be distracted and less productive. Offering some paid leave could help ensure that whey they do return, they are fit for work and at their most productive.

 

And it’s not just for mothers.

 

All parents benefit from time off to bond with their child. It can lead to better health for the child, a better family life, reduced stress and increased happiness and productivity.

 

Highest regards,

Stacia

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Do You Offer Paid Leave For Employees?

“How much paid leave will I get?” is a common question of people considering joining your company.

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Part of the perks employees are looking for when they join a company or are considering staying with an organization – is paid leave, or paid time off.

 

In most cases, companies are not obligated to offer employees paid leave, but many long-term and full-time employees feel entitled to their 10 days a year – not to mention all national holidays (such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and other federal holidays). They wouldn’t and don’t think how expensive paid leave is to an organization.

 

So what does an employer do? To keep good people, you have to offer paid leave – but it can be hard to find the money to do so, especially if you are a small company.  Fortunately, there are a couple of strategies we can recommend that can make paid leave less expensive.

 

Paid Time Off Plans

 

Instead of splitting leave into sick days, personal days and vacation days, some companies put it all into one bucket under the name paid time off (PTO). This has two benefits: it cuts down on administration, and it means that employees may be happy with less leave, since a PTO package gives them more flexibility of choosing when they are at work and when they are not.

 

Unscheduled Leave Reduction

 

While all paid leave is expensive to an organization, unscheduled leave has the biggest impact. Unscheduled leave affects all team members, with other scrambling to pick up the slack of the person absent. It can mean missed deadlines and even lost clients.  That is why many companies have an incentive plan to reduce unscheduled leave.

 

We want to make sure you know some of your options so that you can effectively communicate this to employees and offer an attractive package to your staff without too much impact on your business operations.

Highest regards,

Stacia

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Colonial Life, The BeneChoice Companies, Stacia Robinson, insurance, education, community, contribution, employer, employee, benefit, benefits, benefit administration, benefit administrator, life, health, accident, long term disability, workers compensation, planning, The BeneChoice Companies, workplace, employees, turnover, benefits, insurance, turnover, Stacia Robinson, Montgomery, AL, Colonial, accidental, voluntary

“Brace” Yourself! A Great Addition to Your Benefits Package

Brace Yourself! Picture this: you wake up early on a bright, sunny Tuesday morning, you go to the kitchen and brew your daily cup of coffee and pop some bread in the toaster. You turn on the morning news as you do every other morning, and you sit at the table as you wait for your coffee and toast. Then you notice a strong, sharp ache in your tooth. You take some ibuprofen and hope with all your heart that it goes away, are at least becomes a duller pain, but sure enough, it doesn’t. You still go to work and carry on with your day, but you’re absolutely miserable. Your toothache seems to make everything hurt.

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You don’t want to make an appointment because it’s so ridiculously expensive.

 

Then you remember, your work has a dental insurance plan that would cover your appointment. You call and make an appointment with your dentist right away, and he can get you in. You’re so happy, and you think how you wouldn’t be able to afford an appointment if your work didn’t cover you.

 

So many people don’t have the luxury of being covered by a dental insurance plan, which forces them to overlook their dental issues. There are so many people that are quick to overlook a tooth ache and call it a minor issue, when in all reality, dental hygiene or a lack of it, has been a proven contributor of diabetes, heart disease and blindness. With this realization, many companies are beginning to offer dental coverage as part of their benefits package. In fact, ninety-six percent of employers are offering this kind of coverage to their employees, and it’s becoming a huge factor when people are considering careers.

 

As an employer, you most likely offer sick leave or a similar type of coverage, so your employees are able to get better faster and miss less work.

 

Having a dental insurance plan added to your benefits package is the same concept. With the amount of conditions linked to dental problems, your employees could miss more days than they need to because a dental package could have prevented all of it. Not good for you, not good for your employees. By covering procedures like root canals, routine cleanings, and crowns, you can save yourself and employees a lot of money with flexible plans and family coverage options.

 

What are you waiting for? Don’t miss out on a great candidate and more opportunities. Get your dental coverage package today!

Warm regards,

 

Stacia

Colonial Life, The BeneChoice Companies, Stacia Robinson, insurance, education, community, contribution, employer, employee, benefit, benefits, benefit administration, benefit administrator, life, health, accident, long term disability, workers compensation, planning, The BeneChoice Companies, workplace, employees, turnover, benefits, insurance, turnover, Stacia Robinson, Montgomery, AL, Colonial

Know What Coverage Options Benefit You and Your Team Most

When choosing coverage for your company, there are many factors that you need to keep in mind.

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  • Should your coverage include families?
  • Should your benefits be offered to part-time workers?
  • What demographic works best for you and your team (Millenials, Baby Boomers and Generation X)?

 

It is always important to think about how the benefits you want to offer will fit with factor such as the key objectives of your business, what competitors are offering to their employees, the budget you have to work with (are you going to fully fund these coverages, share the cost with your employees, or make your employees solely responsible to fund them), and the wants of your employees. Most employee demographics today span a wide range of generations.

 

Another important thing to consider is what millenials are looking for in coverage as opposed to Generation X.

 

To explain this further, Millenials have a lot of the same values as the older generation, along with benefits that will help with the balance of work and other aspects of their lives.

 

Some of these coverages include, paid leave, retirement plans and parental leave.

 

On the other side of the spectrum, Generation X looks for an employer who will fill the gaps in regular coverages they already have.

 

They ask themselves about the “what ifs” in life, things that will require immediate attention; not later in life like Millennials. Coverages they look for include, hospital indemnity insurance, life insurance, accidental insurance, and disability insurance.

 

Once you know the coverage options you want to offer, it is important that you consider the legal matters, large mistakes can result in large penalties and greatly affect your ability to offer benefits to your employees.

 

Follow these rules, and you will come up with the perfect package to not only benefit you, but your employees and their families as well.

 

Warm regards,

 

Stacia

Colonial Life, The BeneChoice Companies, Stacia Robinson, insurance, education, community, contribution, employer, employee, benefit, benefits, benefit administration, benefit administrator, life, health, accident, long term disability, workers compensation, planning, The BeneChoice Companies, workplace, employees, turnover, benefits, insurance, turnover, Stacia Robinson, Montgomery, AL, Colonial

The Complications Of Offering Company Benefits

With 77% of workers saying the benefits package is an important factor in their decision to accept or reject a job, it’s clear that, even for smaller companies, offering a competitive employee benefits package is a must.

 

Consider your last job interview. Did you consider the company benefit package as part of your total compensation or did you just expect that you’d be offered that?

 

The larger price tag that can come with offering some the more conventional benefits, such as health care and life insurance, and even softer benefits such as pet insurance and concierge services, can understandably be a major barrier for a number of companies.

 

There is always a way around this.

 

Voluntary benefits – at no cost to you.

 

Voluntary benefits are benefits that are offered by the employer through the workplace. To suit their budget, employers can choose whether or not they are 100% employee-funded or partially funded by both employee and employer.

 

Many employers offer them in addition to their core employee benefits package, to enable employees to enhance their coverage where they feel they need it most. Employers who are unable to offer core benefits often offer voluntary benefits to provide their employees financial protection in key areas. Either way, voluntary benefits can provide an employer a competitive advantage when it comes to benefit packages.

 

81% of employee say they buy voluntary products because of the convenience of purchasing at work.

 

Right now, voluntary benefits make sense for a lot of reasons:

  • They can help fill in the gaps in health care coverage caused by high co-pays and deductibles.
  • For a diverse workforce, the element of choice means they can handpick benefits that best suit their lifestyle, needs and budget.
  • They pay benefits regardless of any other insurance coverage employees have in place, including policies available through government health care exchanges.
  • They let you offer attractive benefits at no or low cost to your company.

 

Highest regards,

Stacia

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Millennials Want Your Investment

If you were to ask a Millennial what is their number one thing they want in a company? They would tell you a great training and development program.

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Why would this be? Well a Millennial is focusing now just on having a job now but what opportunities will allow them to move upward into leadership roles. Most millennials today are concerned about their contribution to the whole. They do want the skills to make them successful now but they are looking for workplaces that they can be loyal to today and in the future.

 

I opened this with what Millennials want but come to think of it, that is what all generations want. They want to be developed. They want to know that they belong. They want to know that they have something to contribute. They want to know that they have a home in an employer group.

 

When you give employees the space to be innovative it can create a win/win for the employee and the business.

 

Colonial Life did a survey and 78% of all employees report they would stay with their current employer if they knew there was a career path they could follow.

 

  • Have conversations. Development should be discussed annually at every performance evaluation and at every review in between
  • Ask your people what development looks like to them and how they’d like to grow.
  • Let your employees decide what skills to develop.
  • If you can, give them a budget and freedom to choose their own courses – except for underwater basket weaving of course.
  • Tell people what they can work towards – promotions, responsibility, project management
  • Reward people for taking initiative.
  • Ask your team for their suggestions and proposals.

 

Earning their loyalty will not only bring you new and innovative ideas but it will build their trust as well.

 

Highest regards,

 

Stacia

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Create A Great Workspace

In looking at your company, are you creating a great workspace for your team to come to? Most people when asked say “of course” my team and I are.

Now that we have the immediate response out the way, I’ll ask again. Are you really creating a great place to work?

This isn’t about the paint on the walls or the carpet on the floor. Any building can look nice from an aesthetics point of view but what I am referring to is are you creating the right environment from the people point of view.

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The workplace that helps employees thrive is one that is respectful of every. People communicate openly, honestly and they function from a place on integrity. Everyone is just happier and more productive.

HALT. You are thinking that this doesn’t exist. It does. You must create it and get others to buy into it.

A good workplace starts at the top. If you want others to work as a team, you must be the leader that is a team player. Leading by example is the most effective way to transform a work environment.

Have some fun! Sometimes work can just be so serious. What if you chilled out a little bit more. Others might chill as well. Celebrate birthdays, dress up for the holidays, run an occasional competition.

The other thing that must be mentioned is be aware of bullying. 27% of workers have a current or past direct experience with abusive conduct at work. Everyone has something to contribute and people want to know they are valued and that their ideas and thoughts will be valued.

You should watch for bullying and your managers should watch for bullying. Take care of the situations at  hand immediately by following the proper chain of actions that your organization has outlined. If they haven’t outlined them, do this immediately.

Highest regards,

 

Stacia

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