Mon 28 Sep 2009
Do you think your employees are desperately seeking healthcare benefits from your small business? It's completely natural for a business owner to assume that employees are interested in benefits. Whether it's a retirement savings plan, incentive program, or health insurance, these are perks that people definitely want.
However, it's unclear as to which benefits employees desire the most. An employer may automatically assume that healthcare benefits are at the top of employees' wish lists. A recent survey revealed otherwise.
Is Healthcare a Concern for Your Employees?
George S. May International, a management consulting firm, recently conducted a survey of 1,046 small business owners. The study asked if the business owners had ever questioned employees directly about healthcare coverage. The survey revealed that 55% of small business owners had never even asked if their employees wanted healthcare benefits. The same survey indicated that chief complaints from employees of small businesses included salary size, pay equity within the organization, and poor benefits programs. Healthcare coverage was not specifically addressed by the majority of respondents.
What does it all mean? Employers need to start taking a different approach to addressing the needs of employees. Based on the survey, employees are indicating an interest in taking ownership over their own money and investing it as they see fit. For example, if an employee was given the choice between an increase in salary or health insurance, odds are that they would opt for the salary increase. This money could be invested in a retirement fund, placed in a high yield savings account, or used to participate in a healthcare savings plan.
Save Money by Asking Your Employees about Their Benefits
Modern employees want flexibility and input when it comes to the dollars they earn. Small business owners can actually save money in the long run by taking employee needs into account and responding accordingly. Healthcare coverage is extremely costly for small business owners, and it might be possible to save big in the long run by beefing up on salaries rather than investing in an expensive group policy.
The U.S. Census Bureau identifies 47 million Americans as uninsured. However, it is interesting to note that many employees, 43% of those 46 million, are categorized as "voluntarily uninsured." This means that they have access to healthcare coverage from employers; however, they opt not to take it. This is evidence that employees want to exercise control and stewardship over their money. In summary, it is important to take the needs of employees into account when developing benefits programs. They are the backbone of your small business, and keeping them satisfied will provide magnificent long-term results for your organization.