Why Employee Benefits Impact Employee Loyalty, Performance
Aflac’s 2017 Happiness Report revealed that an incredible 84 percent of small-business employees are happy in their current job; however, the report also showed a recurring weakness among small businesses: their benefits offering.
For a small-business owners and the brokers who advisre them, it can be difficult to understand exactly what makes an employee happy and what they can do to ensure they are providing employees with a happy workplace. Fortunately, the report also revealed that nearly 3 out of 4 (72 percent) small-business employees stated that an improvement to their benefits offerings would make them a happier employee.
Maintain a happy workforce
This presents advisors with an opportunity to step in and help small-business employers improve their benefits packages and increase their employees’ happiness. With May being National Small Business Month, below are three tips to share with clients to make sure they’re making the right decisions when it comes to benefits and maintaining a happy workforce.
1. Offer a wide range of health benefits
Nearly one-third (31 percent) of small-business employees feel that their companies’ benefits portfolios were missing health benefits. To address this issue, advisors should educate employers on the benefits of supplemental insurance, showing them that these benefits options can allow companies to offer a robust benefits package at little to no direct cost to their bottom line. Offering supplemental insurance, including products like accident, disability, critical illness and hospital insurance, as well as value-added services such as telemedicine, medical bill negotiation and fraud protection, allows employees to customize their benefits package according to their individual needs, family history and lifestyle. These benefits appeal to employees at all different stages of life, from a young adult needing accident insurance to cover intramural basketball injuries, to parents using hospital insurance to help cover treatment for appendicitis or a child’s earache. Employees can have peace of mind knowing they’ll receive cash payments quickly if an injury or illness were to occur and possibly keep them from going to work.
2. Improve communication around benefits
Several of the report’s respondents (13 percent) stated that improving communications around benefits is the best thing employers can do to improve employees’ benefits experience. Therefore, throughout the year, advisors should remind clients to maintain open communication about their various benefits offerings, especially during the open enrollment period. Advisors can also encourage clients to regularly distribute informational materials to ensure employees understand who and what is covered by benefits plans, when they should use specific services and why certain products are preferred in certain situations. These materials can include monthly emails, pamphlets or fact sheets. Employees will be better situated knowing exactly how to put their benefits to use.
3. Tailor benefits to meet employee needs
When asked if anything was missing from their current benefits offerings, 21 percent of employees expressed a desire for more non-health benefits. Advisors can help small-business owners determine which non-health benefits best fit employees. Although the top three benefits among survey respondents included paid time off (39 percent), retirement contributions (34 percent) and flex time (34 percent), advisors can assist employers in communicating directly with employees to learn what benefits would be most appreciated in their specific workplace. By tailoring benefits options to meet employees’ needs, employers can make their business an even more satisfying place to work.
As the 2017 survey showed, small businesses are already succeeding at making employees happy, but keeping them happy is no easy task. By providing benefits guidance, advisors can help ensure small-business employers and their businesses are constantly progressing and helping employees find happiness in their daily work.