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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 Are 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.

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

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 o er interns. They provide interns with a competitive benefits package which includes health care coverage and free housing.

 

PPR Talent Management
Staff 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. Sta 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.

 

Follow their lead!

 

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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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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Protecting Our Families

Most employees want to feel sure that if something happened to them their loved ones would still have financial stability. And yet many people don’t prioritize having sufficient coverage in place, and 2 in 5 people don’t have any life insurance in place according to Life Happens, 2016 Insurance Barometer Study, 2016.

 

This is just scary. Look around at work. Yes, right now. Look to your left and look to your right and identify 5 people. Two of those five people don’t have any life insurance and their families would be left to cover funeral costs, and figure out how to replace your co-worker’s wages if something were to happen to them. If you work in an insurance office like I do, go talk to those 5 people and ensure they are all covered for their families sake.

 

Life insurance is for the survivors. It usually brings them great peace and comfort knowing they have a little bit of financial stability – at least for a little bit.

 

Life insurance is one of those things people procrastinate about. They know they need it — but there are other pressing bills to pay, and other things to think about, and somehow it never ends up at the top of the list.

 

On top of that, there’s the question of how much to buy.

 

For both of these reasons, it’s a great thing to o er as part

of a workplace benefits package as it provides an easy route for employees to get insurance. With a small, straightforward selection of policies to choose from, employees can more easily decide which one is the right choice for them.

 

30% of Americans admit they know they need more life insurance. Factors like cost make them put off buying it according to LIMRA, 2015 Life Insurance Awareness Month, Sept. 2015.

 

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

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.

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

  • 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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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

Keep Your Staff – Employee Perks

As you sit at your office and think about all of the other things you’d rather be doing or the things you would like to make your job or workplace more enjoyable, jot them down. I’ll be asking you in a minute for some feedback on how some employee perks could make your life better. If I don’t cover what you want, feel free to give your suggestions below.

 

When it comes to keeping and retaining talent, a few simple perks can increase productivity and overall happiness. Some only cost a few dollars, and some are completely free.

 

Think about offering such things like:

  • Break-room cookies and meeting treats
  • Free lunch once a month
  • Picnic tables outside where people can gather
  • Firepit
  • Bring your pet to work day
  • Holiday decorations
  • Casual Fridays, or a general no tie policy
  • A game room – if you can’t afford a ppo table, try a second-hand game console
  • Happy hour (for employees who are not driving!)

 

The biggest thing you could offer…and it is a big one…flexible working.

 

Flexible working means scheduling a doctor’s appointment without needing to take a sick day. It means the ability to take that evening class, or pick up the kids from school one day a week. It costs you nothing and it can mean the world to your employees.

 

Flexible working can include:

  • Working from home one or more days a week
  • Allowing employees to work a compressed work week
  • Job-sharing arrangements
  • Working a reduced schedule as part of a phased retirement plan

 

80% of employers reported an improvement in productivity as a result of a flexible working plan.


Remember you list? Look at it and tell us what we’ve missed. We’d love to know what kind of employee perks you would like (if we didn’t mention them here)?

Highest regards,

Stacia

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Do you really know what comes with “Whole” Life? A Whole Lot More

Authored by Blake Rogers, Jimmy Hinton and Ricky Reynolds, Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company

Life insurance is always a little tricky to talk about. You have dental insurance to keep your smile healthy and car insurance so you can afford to repair your car after a fender-bender. But life insurance is different: In most cases, it’s your beneficiary who receives the benefits.

 

Most of America’s workers sidestep the issue by relying on the group life insurance they get at work. You likely offer your employees group life coverage with a flat dollar amount benefit or a multiple of salary. And don’t get us wrong: This is an extremely important benefit to offer, and employees value it highly. LIMRA’s 2015 Life Insurance Awareness Month Facts reported nearly seven in 10 employees have access to this type of financial protection at work, and 80 percent of those participate.

 

A growing gap in coverage

The problem is employer-provided group life coverage is all the life insurance most people have — and it’s not nearly enough. LIMRA estimates there’s a growing trillion dollar gap between the amount of life insurance we need and the amount we have (news release, Sept. 8, 2015). And most U.S. workers know it. Sixty-five percent of employees with group life coverage believe they need more life insurance beyond what their employer provides.

 

It isn’t just the dollar amount that’s a concern. Your group life insurance only covers your employees while they’re working for you. If they change jobs, or retire, or have to leave work for any reason, the coverage usually ends. If that reason was a serious health problem, they may not be able to get coverage elsewhere later.

 

That’s why it’s important to offer your employees supplemental life insurance. Voluntary life insurance employees select and pay for themselves can provide additional coverage and an ongoing financial safety net families can rely on.

 

Offer choices for different needs

Just like the other benefits you may offer, life insurance shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all.

 

Term life insurance is less expensive but covers only a set period of time, such as 10 or 20 years. If you have younger or lower-income employees, term can help them get started with some coverage. It also can be a good fit for those who want to protect the “if” — if they die prematurely and need income replacement or help paying off a mortgage.

 

Permanent life insurance can provide lifelong protection for the “when” — the idea is it’ll still be in place when you die. Unlike term insurance, permanent coverage accumulates cash value. You could say it’s more like buying a house than renting an apartment. The policyholder can take out a loan against the cash value if needed for unexpected expenses or even to pay the premiums.

 

There are several types of permanent plans, but perhaps the best choice in today’s economic environment is whole life insurance. Interest rates have been low for years, and that’s likely to continue. Whole life premiums and cash value don’t depend on current interest rates as much as universal life or variable life, so it offers more stability.

 

For example, Colonial Life’s recently enhanced whole life plan features a “triple guarantee” — the premiums, cash value and death benefit are all set at the point of sale and won’t fluctuate based on economic conditions. That means your employees know exactly what they’re buying now and what they can expect in the future, as long as they pay premiums and repay any loans.

 

Removing the interest rate rigmarole means whole life is a much less complex type of life insurance for enrollers to explain and for employees to understand. That also makes it a better fit for your workplace benefits enrollment. Even if you take advantage of no-cost one-to-one benefits education sessions for your enrollment that providers such as Colonial Life offer (and we certainly hope you do), the time each employee has for decision-making is limited. In this case, simpler is better. Today’s enhanced whole life plans also can include valuable additional coverage, such as an accidental death benefit rider or long-term care benefit rider. Paying for long-term care is a top financial concern for American consumers, according to LIMRA’s 2016 Insurance Barometer Study. A significant number of those who took the survey said they’d be interested in a plan that combines life and long-term care coverage. A long-term care rider can pay a monthly benefit amount if the policyholder qualifies for certain types of long-term care assistance.

 

No need to kid around

 

Whole life insurance also is a valuable voluntary benefit your employees may want to select for their children, grandchildren, stepchildren or adopted children. This can begin a lifetime of protection at affordable rates. The younger children are when their coverage starts, the lower the rate. In fact, LIMRA’s 2015 Insurance Barometer Study says 45 percent of those who purchase juvenile life insurance do so to lock in a low rate. Buying whole life for a child also protects them against the chance an unexpected accident or illness could make life insurance more expensive — or even unavailable — later on.

 

Just like adult coverage, juvenile whole life accumulates cash value at a guaranteed rate as long as the policy is in effect. Of course, life insurance isn’t designed as a savings plan. But it can help play a role in providing a financial safety net, now and in the future.

 

Whole life offers a whole lot of value for your employees. If you’d like to learn more about how you can make this benefit —or other life insurance — available to your employees without affecting your benefits budget, give any of us a call.
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