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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

Companies Getting Benefits Right

There are some companies who’ve clearly thought about their benefits packages.

They are usually the businesses you’ll see receiving rave reviews from their employees and topping lists of best places to work.

Here are a few businesses — of all sizes, covering a wide variety of industries — that seem to be getting it right when it comes to offering benefits.

Radio Flyer

There’s a reason this toy-wagon maker has been going for almost a century. It attracts and retains employees with a wide range of great benefits like flexible working and generous maternity leave as well as some fun perks like free fitness classes.

Facebook

Facebook’s employee benefits are widely praised, even those they offer interns. They provide interns with a competitive benefits package which includes health care coverage and free housing.

PPR Talent Management

Sta at this recruiting firm benefit from unlimited paid time off, as well as salary continuation up to four weeks for personal sickness, disability, injury or medical leave.

Etsy

Etsy came in 6th on the 2015 Great Places to Work medium company list. Staff enjoy a great mix of quirky and practical benefits — from dog-friendly o ices (their employee directory even has a page dedicated to employees’ dogs!) to paid sabbaticals, blood pressure screening and 100% employer-paid standard medical and dental plans for both employees and their dependents.

Insomniac Games

Following in the footsteps of tech giants like Google and Facebook, this gaming company uses a range of unusual perks to keep its employees happy. On-site massage therapy, free lunches, fitness classes, car washes and dry cleaning services are all offered.

Snagajob

The company benefits are surely one of the reasons why a massive 97% of employees at Snagajob say they feel proud to work there. In addition to three free days of backup childcare a year, workers are matched up to 6% in their 401(k) plans.

 

We’d love to help you create an amazing benefit plan for your staff.

 

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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Is It Too Early To Think Of The Holidays?

School has started, the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting cooler, and before you know it, the holidays will be here begging for every cent of your paycheck.

We’ve gathered suggestions for you to stay within your budget and ideas for free / minimal cost gifts to begin preparing for the holiday season.

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1) Creative Gifts are Memorable
Think about gifts that you can make instead of purchasing.  You don’t need to be a “crafty” person to make a creative gift. You can bake your favorite recipes and include them in a box, basket, or jar. Purchase small or relatively inexpensive items that you know people will enjoy. A small thoughtful something is better than an expensive gift that someone will never use.

2) Divide Large Gift Baskets
Purchase a large gift basket from a place like Costco or Sam’s Club then divide it into several smaller gifts. Doing this may cost you $50-75 initially, but you may also be able to give 5-10 people gifts from one purchase.

This splitting idea also works with other multi-packs. Think about fuzzy sucks, golf balls,  beauty sets, coffee mugs etc. You will save money and be able to personalize gifts as well – a double win!

3) Clearance & Discount
There is no reason to buy into the belief that you need to pay full price for a gift. Even if you strategically budgeted full price for an item, try to find coupons or sales for the item. There’s never a good reason to overpay for an item.

Look at secondhand items that don’t show worn signs. These are also great places to find baskets to gather treats into for people to give a polished look for low cost.

4) Unused Giftcards
Think about the gift cards you have yet to use and don’t intend to use; these are easy to give to someone else. Some places, especially restaurants, will have deals to purchase two or more gift cards for a discounted cost. Take advantage of these opportunities.

Whether you’ve started looking into your holiday budget yet or you’re simply getting back into the swing of school starting, the holidays will approach quickly. We’re hoping with these savings ideas you can not only save money but also be ahead of the game by getting things early and being on the lookout for the discounted items.

Happy Fall everyone!

Best wishes,

Stacia

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Awarding Vacation Requests the Easy Way

As the holidays begin to quickly approach around the corner, employers need to begin thinking about when their employees will be taking their time off. Balancing who can take time off and when can be a challenge for some businesses, but it does not have to be. We have accumulated some easy planning steps to help you plan for your employees to take time off; which ultimately helps your business thrive.
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Begin by planning ahead. If you have yet to ask your employees about their holiday plans, do this immediately. To plan accurately, you will need to begin the planning phase no later than the end of summer / early autumn. Try having a calendar (virtual or paper, whichever fits your business needs best) available for time off requests that has dates 6-12 months out from the current time period. Weddings, anniversaries, baby showers, and holiday plans are usually planned months in advance so if your employee is attending something important, chances are they have already begun planning.

Getting the request in writing will be a short and long term benefit for everyone involved. (Another benefit to having a time off calendar available for employees to write requests on!) Additionally, having a form accessible for employees to fill out will help with consistency. Relying on your own memory is relying on a detail to be forgotten or a message to be misinterpreted. This form should have the employees name (and identification number if your business location uses which), the date they are putting in said request, the date(s) the employee will be out of the office, who they report to, and (if applicable) any allotment of PTO/Sick/Vacation time to be used.

Does it seem like everyone in your office wants the exact same day off? Unless you plan to have your business closed that day, make certain days “Premium Time Off” as a privilege. Reserve this “Premium Time Off” for high-performers or employees who have made significant sacrifices during the rest of the year or constant team players. Reward their good actions and they will continue to contribute well to the success of your business.

Lastly, make sure employees fully understand the business needs and goals. Do not be afraid to black out certain dates when projects are typically due for completion or high business traffic happens.

When these steps are put in place and your employees are fully aware, you will have a successful plan in action for meeting business needs and giving your employees the vacation times they request.

Highest regards,

Stacia