Flexibility is trending in employee benefits programs and this is good news for small businesses looking to attract and retain top talent. Today we’ll talk about why flexibility matters and what small business owners must consider when choosing a flexible benefits plan.
Why Flexibility Matters in Benefits Plans
According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), there are now five generations in the workplace1. From youngest to oldest, they are Generation Z, Generation Y (also known as the Millennials), Generation X, the Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation. The age range is under 20-years-old to more than 71-years-old. These groups value different aspects of work, leadership styles, and work perks including benefits programs.
And because of this, a flexible benefits program is more likely to be appreciated. Traditional benefits typically have a one-size fits all approach which simply doesn’t provide the flexibility required to appeal to such a diverse group of employees.
For example, younger employees generally don’t appreciate high-value drug plans because they’re young and robust—which means this part of their benefits program is often useless to them. Instead, they’d value a plan that allows them to visit the massage therapist regularly or covers the entire purchase of a funky pair of prescription glasses.
With every age and life stage, employees and their families have different medical and wellness needs—and for parents going through the orthodontist years, being able to apply their benefits to where it’s needed the most is a real relief.
Businesses of all sizes consider benefits packages as part of their recruitment and retention strategy and are discovering that flexible programs are more effective than a one-size fits all approach when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent. To learn more about simple, flexible and affordable benefits for small businesses, click here to read about what’s covered in the Benefits Wallet.
Case Study: KPMG Redesigns their Benefits Plan for Increased Flexibility
Benefits Canada reports that KPMG, one of the Big Four accounting firms, redesigned their benefits program to simplify options, increase flexibility and make the program easier for employees to understand and use. Before the redesign, there were 20 lifestyle programs that employees could use-or-lose each year. The new flexible program includes basic to comprehensive options for medical, dental and drug benefits plus a wellness pool. Employees get a certain amount of money in their wellness pool that can be attributed to whatever programs they prefer. This includes a healthcare spending account (HSA), a lifestyle spending account and tax-free savings and retirement savings plans.
The new program is a hit with employees. Emilie Inakazu, a senior manager on the Total Rewards team at KPMG Canada, told Benefits Canada, “We got lots of good feedback on how the experience simplified the process and brought everything together in one place so people could have a much clearer sense of what the firm was giving them in terms of funding.”
Five Questions for Small Business Owners to Consider when Designing a Flexible Benefits Program
If you’re a small business owner looking to start or refine your benefits program, flexibility should be at the top of your must-have list. But before making changes, it’s important to design your program based on the needs of your business and your employees.
Ask Yourself these Five Questions while Designing Your Flexible Benefits Program:
- What do we want to achieve with this program?
- Is this program valuable to employees across all generations?
- What are we willing to do to make sure employees understand what the program is, why it’s a valuable benefit and how to use it?
- Will the cost of the program increase dramatically if one or more of my employees gets sick with a catastrophic illness?
- What’s our budget for a benefits plan and how likely are surprise rate increases?
A properly designed and communicated flexible benefits program helps small business owners compete with bigger companies for top talent. If you’re ready to learn more about how to add a flexible benefits program to your total rewards package, take 10 minutes today to get a quote.