Nothing Wrong With Having Extra

When it comes to coverage it is often said that it’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to insurance benefits.

 

Voluntary benefits are benefits that your employees are solely responsible for paying for.

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You may be thinking that paying extra money to enhance benefits they are already being offered is not the best strategy; but in all reality it is quite opposite. In fact, 81% percent of employees say they will buy voluntary benefits because of the convenience of purchasing through the work place.

 

Voluntary benefits benefits make a lot of sense for various reasons including; they help fill the gaps in medical coverage for high co-pays and deductibles, they fit the diversity of your workplace by letting employees choose the areas they need more coverage to suit their lifestyle and needs, and you’re allowed to offer more benefits at little to no cost to your company!

 

These extra benefits fall into 3 categories with subcategories.

 

The main categories are health, wealth/lifestyle, and security.

 

Health has 4 subcategories.

  1. Vision, which includes regular eye exams to help maintain healthy vision and are the first line of defense in detecting more serious eye conditions, such as glaucoma, high blood pressure and diabetes. This type of benefit typically helps pay for eye exams, glasses and contact lenses. They may also offer discounts on treatments such as laser eye surgery or eyecare accessories.
  2. Dental, which can provide benefits for both routine and more expensive dental procedures that are not covered by most health insurance plans. They typically include cleaning, fillings, sealants, tooth removal, crowns and dentures, and may also provide benefits for regular dental appointments.
  3. Accidental, these include the unexpected happenstances of everyday life. Typically, they help cover some of the expenses for initial care, surgery, transportation and lodging, and follow-up care.
  4. Hospital confinement indemnity insurance provides a lump-sum benefit to help with out-of-pocket costs related to a hospital stay. This may include outpatient surgery, diagnostic tests, doctor’s appointments and emergency room trips.

 

Wealth/Lifestyle has 3 subcategories.

  1. Disability insurance replaces a percentage of an employee’s income if they become disabled as a result of a covered accident or sickness, to help them continue to make ends meet while they’re out of work.
  2. Legal typically gives employees access to qualified attorneys at a reduced cost. Coverage usually applies to the most common personal legal matters including family, vehicle, real estate, civil lawsuits and wills.
  3. Financial counseling helps employees manage their finances. Traditionally, this has mainly focused on retirement plans, but as baby boomers approach the end of their working careers, financial counseling now also includes a range of topics such as credit card debt, investment advice, tax advice, saving and budgeting.

 

Security with 3 subcategories.

  1. Life insurance pays out a lump sum to help provide financial protection for an employee’s family members in the event of the employee’s death. Coverage can be updated to reflect changes in life such as getting married, buying a home or having a child. Most plans offer spouse and child coverage.
  2. Travel accident insurance is designed to provide extra protection while travelling internationally, supplementing coverage typically provided by an accidental death or dismemberment policy. It typically covers emergency medical and legal fees.
  3. Identity theft protection does not cover any financial loss as the result of identity theft. Instead, it may include monitoring public records and alerting the employee of any fraudulent use of their personal details, including attempted loans and credit applications. It also covers the cost of repairing the person’s credit history.

 

When it comes to keeping your employees and their families protected, there is nothing wrong with a little extra.

 

Warmest regards,

Stacia

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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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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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leadership, 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

Create Good Leadership Within Your Company

My friend in Colorado was a corporate recruiter and she told me that for 14 years, the number one reason people left their positions or even changed companies was because of poor leadership.

 

We are not just talking about the immediate boss, but the leadership team.

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Your day to day interaction at work will primarily be with your co-workers and your immediate boss but there are others who will have an impact on your life with that company.

 

Consider these things:

  1. When your current staff does a good job at something, what does your company do. Do they get a thank you, a pat on the back, recognition? It takes less than a minute to do any of those things, yet the value they bring to the environment is unmeasurable.
  2. When someone makes a mistake, do they get yelled at, taken into a private meeting room, is there a grudge held against that person forever? No one is perfect. At least not where I am from.

 

Managers need to treat their staff with respect, and in turn, employees respect them. Respect breeds trust. Trust keeps people engaged.

 

So how do you fill your company with amazing leaders?

  • Inspire your employees – ask them for their ideas and thoughts on what your company is trying to do.
  • Get on the same page – when employees feel heard and know the big picture, they can see how they can fit in.
  • Celebrate success – not matter now big or how small. Make all success worth celebrating. It is about creating a culture of celebration and success.
  • Learn from the failures. Seek the lesson and then drop it. Forgive and grow together.
  • When your customers are happy, let your staff know that they are part of something bigger than they can possibly see from their desk.

 

Colonial Life says, 73% of people who trust their managers plan to say at their workplace a long time. Which means 27% don’t plan to stick around.

 

Be a good leader no matter if you are the direct boss, a neighboring departmental boss, a director, an executive or even the CEO.

 

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

The True Cost of Turnover

If you are in business to stay in business then you must take care of and retain your best team members and continually attract new top performers.

 

So what do you need to do to look after your employees?

 

The simple answer is take care of the people in your employment fold. You want to attract them and keep them.

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According to Colonial life, 65% of employers are experiencing problems attracting top performers and 54% are having difficulting retaining them. So it is clear employer are struggling with retention.

 

When an employee stays with your organization long term, there are some measurable benefits:

  1. You gain from their business experience
  2. You make more money
  3. You save money on recruiting
  4. You save money on training and development
  5. You keep employee morale intact as people are building relationships

 

This handy calculator can show you how much you save when you reduce employee turnover. Consider all that goes into finding your next best top performer. You have to write the ad, run the ad, sort through resumes, interview, check references, do background checks, welcome them on their first day, have other employees cover the work during the process, train them, mentor them and give them time to learn the ropes before they might even make a financial impact.

 

So how do you get employees to stay with you?

 

Maybe you can not give company cars, huge bonuses, etc. That is alright. Employees don’t just care about the money. What they want most is to fit in, feel valued and that they are part of a team. They want to enjoy going to work and they want to know that there is a plan for their future in regards to opportunity, benefits and financial stability.

 

If you are in a situation where you have high turnover, please watch our blogs over the next few months as I’ll be giving you some thoughts on how to make your workplace the place to be.

 

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

Stop the Headache of Turnover

For myself and many other small businesses, employee turnover is a huge issue.  When you have a small team and on person leave, it leaves a gap in what others have to do to make up the difference or it just not get done at all.

 

This doesn’t even take in the amount of stress it puts on anyone or the cost of replacing them. This shift in responsibility can create productivity issues and lower moral.


So the more we can keep our talent, the better.  The number one thing at the top of the list for why employees leave is money. Pay a solid base pay. This is at the top of the list for both employee attraction and retention.

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So what are the things we can do as employers to keep our top talent?

  1. Be A Good Boss. According to the Society for Human Resources (SHRM), “28% of employees say they would rather have a btetter boss than a $5,000 raise, it’s clear that having a good boss is something that is highly rated by your team.
  2. Provide clear developmental opportunities. Have you ever thought that you were going nowhere in a job? If you have thought that ever, then your team has too.  As an employer it is vital so show your team where they can go – what skills they can grow and contribute, opportunities to serve, and really dial into their heart’s desires.
  3. Create a great place to work.  Think about your idea workplace. Most people seek stimulating projects, organizational and personal well-being, and dedicated teammates. Allowing others to be toxic poisons the whole. Be an employer who is mindful of what is truly happening around you.
  4. Get creative with employee perks. If you don’t have a huge budget, that is is ok. YOu just have to think outside the box and even ask your team what they want. Perhaps they would like to have game consoles, pet to work days (people are gaga about their pets), or even just extra recognition. People will do more for recognition than money somet
  5. Pay attention to employee benefits. According to  SHRM, 63% of employee s say benefits are “very important” which was even ahead of compensation/pay at 61% and job security at 59%.  If you are a small employer that can not afford benefits at the level of a large organization, consider voluntary benefits to your team.


Our team would love to help you see the value in offering a solid employee benefit or voluntary benefit plan to your organization – no matter what the size.

 

Highest regards,

Stacia

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Live Wellness At Work

The #1 resolution for every new year is health and wellness related. Consider linking the considerable amount of hours employees spend at work with this.

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Consider some of these options for your Employee Wellness Program:

1. Home cooking recipe club

Obesity, heart disease, diabetes… they’ve all been linked to diet in one way or another. Thinking about wellness and food made a few of us in the team review our cooking habits. We quickly discovered that there was a whole lot of healthy eating expertise right here in the office waiting to be shared.

Home cooking recipe club is an email trail that we add to when we’ve made something delicious and healthy at home. From baked sweet potato with yogurt slaw to a humdinger of a healthy hotdog recipe, we’ve had some eye-opening contributions. Sometimes if we get lucky, the meals make it to work for a lunchtime bring-a-dish party.

2. Standing desks

Sitting down for long periods of time isn’t great for your health – ask any long distance truck driver. So why not give your people the option to work standing up for a while? When I looked at a few sites the other day, you could pick one up a standing desk for under $200 – less than the price of many office chairs (which you’re hopefully going to use less of).

Standing desks first became popular in the tech industry, where workplace wellness was also pioneered in the early 2000s. But they’ve been around way longer – did you know Hemingway used one?3 They apparently reduce your risk of obesity, diabetes and even cancer. Sounds like a good investment to me.

3. Plants

Do plants really make a difference? Heck yes! According to this article on the CIPHR website, as well as making employees feel more relaxed they can also boost morale and improve air quality. Many varieties of plant can live happily alongside your staff without too much effort from you. Succulents and cacti are easy to care for, while tough specimens like the spider plant will grow enthusiastically with basic care (think once-a-week watering and the occasional drop of plant food). You could even invite staff to bring their own from home if they like.

Highest regards,

 

Stacia

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The BeneChoice Companies, workplace, employees, turnover, benefits, insurance, turnover, Stacia Robinson, Montgomery, AL, Colonial

Stop High Turnover With Your Team

Turnover is always a huge issue when it comes to being an employer. Why? Well, life happens. Let’s look deeper than that though. There might be a reason people are not staying with you or your organization long term. It is costly to your organization to have an ongoing turnover problem.

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So let’s look at how to keep your top talent, grow them and in turn, grow your business.

You can keep employees by:

  1. Paying well. Base pay is still at the top of the list for what employees are wanting.
  2. Be a good boss. Not that you ever have the intention to be a terrible boss but what if some of your actions are driving people away? Are you open to ideas of your team? Do you recognize your team for little and big accomplishments? Are you rigid or open and positive? Normally liking your boss has nothing to do with if you would be friends with them outside of work. It has everything to do with trust, respect, encouragement, listening and accountability.
  3. Provide opportunity for your team to develop and grow. People want to be considered for leadership, mentored and their leadership skills developed. That is your job as their leader. If you don’t have the skill, time or resources to do this, you’ll need to spend the money on third-party trainings or seminars.
  4. Ensure your environment is stimulating vs. toxic. No one wants to come to a toxic work place. Energetically it affects everything when you or your team are fostering the right environment and not allowing the wrong one to live. It really stinks when the leader is the toxic one. Take responsibility for your environment, even if it is you causing the discomfort.
  5. Offer perks. This could be as simple as coffee/tea, breakfast, meals, napping room, ability to play games or go on social media during breaks. Make your place of work a place people want to be at.
  6. Benefits! Along with base pay benefits are important. If you are an employer who does not offer benefits, please look into supplemental voluntary benefits or third party perks like mentioned in #5. Chair massages would go a long way with many people and it is very healing.

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Make your place of work a great place to work.

Highest regards,

Stacia

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