A great benefits package can be one of your most powerful tools in attracting and retaining top-notch talent. It is a critical part of the total compensation package you offer your employees, so it makes good business sense to ensure the plan you’re offering is up to date and achieves the goals you desire. Changes in your firm’s financial position, regulatory concerns and changes in your workforce can knock your plan out of alignment with employee needs and desires. If an annual review of your benefits and perks is not on your to-do list, it isn’t too late; the end of the year is a great time to assess your plan.
Legal and Regulatory Requirements
The state and federal regulatory landscape is ever changing; it’s critical to stay on top of these changes to ensure your firm is complying with mandatory healthcare and retirement obligations. Build and maintain a good working relationship with your benefits broker and your attorney to make sure you don’t run afoul of these requirements. These minimum standards are the foundation on which to build your other offerings.
The increasing costs of basic healthcare are an unfortunate reality. These increases may impact your firm’s ability to continue to offer the same basic benefits your employees have come to expect. Or, you may be forced to pass the increased costs on to your workforce. Work closely with your broker to find the right package for your firm and employees. While your current carrier may offer incentives to keep you from shopping around for options, a new vendor may enable you to maintain or even cut your expenses. Don’t wait until the last minute to start looking at renewal; and when you do renew, make sure to educate your employees about the process.
While legal and financial considerations are fundamental to driving your benefit offerings, aligning your plan with the needs and desires of your current and future employees is essential to the health of your firm. With the continued climate of firm growth, retirement of the baby boomers and the tight hiring market, the needs and makeup of your workforce can change significantly in a short period of time. While health care benefits and retirement plans continue to be cornerstones of a good benefits package, today’s workforce wants more out of a benefits’ package. Firms wanting to keep up with employee expectations and best practices should be looking at continuing education benefits, tuition reimbursement, flexible work schedules, health and wellness plans, as well as paid time-off and parental leave offerings. Stay on top of what options your employees are looking for through one-on-one check-ins, employee surveys or focus groups.
Employers with an eye on the bottom line may look at employee benefits and perks as a financial drain on the business, but those who are savvy will see the opportunity they present. Wellness programs are another way to engage and motivate your workforce. Tuition reimbursement and continuing education benefits ensure your employees have the knowledge and tools essential to meet client needs and move the firm forward into the future. Time off allows employees to recharge and return to work energized and excited. Employees who feel their company is invested in them will, in turn, invest themselves in the future of the business.
Firms can’t afford to treat their benefits package with a same-as-last-year approach. Tune up your plan regularly, and it can help keep your business on track and moving forward toward your goals.
Source: Tune Up Your Office Perks and Employee Incentive Plan, Tax Pro Center
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