Top 3 Strategies for Effectively Managing Small Business Benefits Plans

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Your small business has a lot going on. Everyone has a lot on their plate, and you’re all pushing forward doing what you do best, while trying to attract new clients and grow your business. While you might have set up a benefit plan to offer perks to those hard-working employees, it can be difficult to stay on top of everything. Employee benefits plan costs can increase at renewal, your plans might be overused, or people might be asking for different kinds of benefits. How do you really know if what your paying for is really what your employees want? And, do you really have the time to figure it all out? Here are the three most common challenges small businesses face when trying to manage employee benefits plans, and go-to strategies which make everything easier.

1. Ensuring Employee Benefits Plan Spending Is on Target – Every company is looking at their bottom line, but when you own a small business every penny counts. The good news is unexpected increases in employee benefits plan costs can be avoided. Usually, every plan is costed for an anticipated amount of usage. It’s when employees start claiming a lot of expenses that plan costs can start to climb. One of the best strategies to ensure your employee benefits plan costs remain stable and on budget is monitoring its usage.

Working with a benefits consultant that regularly provides you with quarterly plan updates, and takes the time to discuss how the plan is performing is key. These quarterly updates allow you to dive deep into the information and see which services or drugs are being claimed most by employees, and which are not being used at all. This information can help you tailor your employee benefits plan more specifically to the wants of your employees. So, instead of paying a premium for all kinds of health coverage or paramedical services that may or may not be used, you can narrow the plan offering and allocate costs to the services that you know your employees appreciate.

2. Keeping All Employees Happy with the Benefits Offering – Sometimes small businesses have a mix of senior-level personnel, mid-career employees and up-and-coming talent from all walks of life. Some employees might be more interested in massage services, orthodontics and dental coverage, while others might want full vision care and drug coverage. Everyone might be asking for different benefits, so how do you please all of your employees?

As suggested above, you can look at your plan performance to see what’s most popular. However, outside the scope of your existing plan, anonymously polling your employees about the various types of coverage and options could help you figure out what they value most. This can include anything from asking them to rate specific services, or seeing how much they would be willing to contribute in a plan cost split between employer and employee. With information in hand, you can then work with your benefits consultant to modify your plan and find the right balance in the employee benefits offering that will meet everyone’s expectations.

3. Efficiently Managing Long-Term Benefits Plan Strategies –Within a small business, many people are likely wearing many different hats and your employees are juggling a lot of different priorities at once. It becomes easy to treat your employee benefits plan like another checked-off item on the long list of things that needs to be done, without investing any additional thought. Even with an assigned office or human resource manager overseeing the employee benefits plan, it can be hard to find the time to manage everything efficiently, and plan your benefits strategies. The right benefits consulting firm can work as an extension of a small business’ HR department to assist in developing a prudent, long-term strategy. For example, questions such as ‘What is the long-term hiring plan of our company?’, ‘How is our company leveraging the benefits plan to attract the right talent?’, ‘Does our benefits plan meet the expectations of our targeted employee demographic?’, and ‘Does it send the right message about our organization?’ should be thought through annually.

Small businesses with high growth rates are usually more susceptible to this situation. The plan you created five years ago might no longer be aligned with your evolving corporate objectives, recruitment, and compensation strategies. A benefits consultant helps you take stock of all these important aspects, and re-evaluate your plan to make sure it measures up to new corporate objectives such developing executive-level compensation plans, attracting the top talent in a certain industry, or enhancing notoriety as a top employer.

Focus on Your Job, BenefitDeck Will Handle Your Employee Benefits

Small businesses face many challenges on a day-to-day; managing a benefits plan shouldn’t be one of them. Working with an experienced benefits consultant can help you efficiently maintain an employee benefits plan that makes everyone happy, while keeping you on budget. The added-value service of a seasoned consultant also means that you will spend less time making that happen. For assistance or a second opinion on your small business’ employee benefits plan, contact our team at BenefitDeck.

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