Small business owners know that it’s getting more competitive than ever to hire the best and brightest people.  Employee benefits remain a top differentiator for small businesses and yet many are still struggling to deliver just the right benefits.  One idea to consider is to take a fresh approach to employee benefits cost management and innovation for the coming year.

Benefits Customization

According to a recent study, 72% of employees agree that the ability to customize benefits increases loyalty with their employer.  For instance, where are your employees in the game of life . . . newly graduated, married, parents?  Are they caring for aging parents or on the track for retirement?  A benefits program and enrollment system should be in line with these demographics and allow each employee to self-select the benefits that make the most sense for each phase of their journey.

Creative Funding of Health Plans

It’s also important for small business owners to think outside the financial box when it comes to their healthcare plan design and arrangements.  This is being achieved through creative funding models.  Self-funding was once held strictly for employers with upwards of 1000 employees.  Now employers with as few as 10 employees in some states can take advantage of alternate funding models to leverage their positive experience into cost and risk containment.

Digitization of Benefits

Benefits are a key component of a recruitment and retention strategy, but delivery in an outdated paper format with tedious requirements can easily create a negative experience and perception with employees and top candidates.  Today’s employees expect easy-to-navigate smartphone applications and respond best to real-time access to information from anywhere at any time. Migrating benefits administration to cloud-based software/systems will yield efficiency gains and enhanced employee experience.

As 2020 approaches, the benefits landscape will likely become even more complex and small business owners will need greater support to navigate changes and develop optimal benefits strategies for the future of their business.

If you are a small business that is interested in discussing fresh approaches to employee benefits for 2020 and your available options, please contact Fahmy & Associates today at 703-760-4630.

— Ken Fahmy

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® CHARTERED LIFE UNDERWRITER CHARTERED FINANCIAL CONSULTANT