Finding the right mix of the 'everyday' benefits for your employees.
By Marty McGhie
Second, you should align yourself with a good third-party
benefits broker. Choosing the right benefits broker for your
company is one of the most critical things you can do when
establishing or changing your benefits program. If the broker
does its job, it will make your life much easier. Because benefits
brokers are paid by commissions from the various insurance
companies they represent, however, you need to be careful
when deciding which company to hire. A few points to consider:
Another difficult decision regarding your benefits plan deals
with the level of participation that you, as the employer, will provide.
It certainly isn't a news flash that insurance costs"?particularly
health care and worker's compensation"?have increased
in the past seven or eight years at an unbelievable pace. These
expenses have become a major line item on corporate America's
financial statement, and they have the ability to paralyze a company
if they aren't well-managed.
While it's unrealistic to absorb 100% of your employees'
healthcare premiums, it is equally unrealistic that your employees
carry this burden all by themselves. If healthcare becomes
too costly to your employees, you will find some of your employees
will leave while others will elect to go without coverage. Both
actions will prove to be damaging to your company. Your goal
should be to maintain the best balance possible that will be fair
to both parties.
One option, by the way, is to offer some of the less-expensive
benefits free to your employees. For example, many employees
"?particularly your younger (more "invincible") staff"?may
not elect to pay for term life insurance. But your benefits broker
may be able to find you a relatively inexpensive term-life insurance
plan that provides $10,000 to $20,000 in coverage that
you can afford to pay for. This type of perk can sweeten the pot a
little for your employees without breaking the bank.
Each business needs to evaluate what's important for its own
needs in terms of the type of benefits coverage, as well as the level
of participation between the employee and the employer. I recognize
that the company-benefits program is never a favorite issue
to tackle. But ignoring it can be disastrous. Whether you address it
semi-annually or annually, you must spend the time needed to
determine the best possible plan for you and your employees.
Marty McGhie (firstname.lastname@example.org) is VP finance/
operations of Ferrari Color, a digital-imaging center with Salt
Lake City, San Francisco, and Sacramento locations.