[This article was written by Kate Russell.]
The consequences of the novel coronavirus have left many businesses in search of support. The public health crisis and subsequent economic downturn transformed daily operations.
For the majority of businesses, this transformation was not for the better. More than half (51%) of small business owners state that they will not be able to operate for more than 3 months under the current circumstances.
Significant reductions in revenue result in drastic responses. Many businesses have cut salaries or reduced benefits such as delaying or halting contributions to 401(k) accounts.
To navigate this chaotic moment, businesses should review all of their available options.
1. Access Industry Expertise
Benefits consulting companies provide industry expertise to craft solutions optimized for your business.
It’s difficult to find a benefits plan that’s cost-effective and provides robust coverage to employees.
In the US, there are more than 900 health insurance companies that offer medical coverage. This means businesses must sift through hundreds of different providers that offer various levels of coverage for various levels of costs to employees and employers.
Rather than leaving this task to yourself or an HR team with varying areas of expertise, you can defer this task to benefits consultants who specialize in navigating the expansive market.
Benefits consultants consider your unique employment situation to execute an effective benefits analysis.
Their industry expertise ensures benefits consultants ask critical questions. By analyzing your business’s existing compensation and benefits policies, benefits consultants can focus on your contributions in light of your goals and your employees’ needs.
Benefits consultants many not only review the differences between plans but also consider employees’ engagement and preferences. This will help you to avoid offering unnecessary or unpopular benefits to reduce costs.
2. Manage Costs of Resources
Benefits consultants present businesses with a cost-effective alternative to full-time employees.
Businesses make significant cost and time investments to onboard a new employee.
After an employee is onboarded, you sustain the cost of additional salaries and benefits.
A partnership with a benefits consulting firm eliminates significant organizational costs, since they are employees contracted to work for a specific period of time.
Benefits consulting agencies are bound by timelines and objectives outlined in contracts. This encourages them to strive for an effective solution efficiently.
Benefits consultants also remain up to date with industry trends. At the cutting edge of industry advancements, benefits consultants can help craft innovative programs and review alternative funding methodologies.
For example, you could consider funding your company’s benefits plan. If your employees are generally healthy, you may profit from a self-funded plan through lower premiums. Benefits consultants can walk you through a cost-benefit analysis.
Benefits consultants can identify alternatives for your businesses to establish cost conservation strategies.
3. Encourage Employee Engagement in Your Benefits Package
Businesses can increase employee engagement in benefits with the help of benefits consultants to activate a greater return on investment.
Benefits can only support employees when employees know those offerings exist. Unfortunately, many businesses’ investments in robust packages fail to achieve a return.
It’s likely a portion of your employees don’t fully understand their benefits. More than one in three (35%) employees either only partially understood or didn’t know about their healthcare coverage. As a result, many benefits may be unused and others overused, which can cause a rise in premium costs.
Despite potential confusion, employees may not seek your help. A majority (62%) of employees feel their employer does not serve as a resource for healthcare-related questions according to a survey conducted by Maestro Health.
Benefits consulting agencies bridge the gap between employees and their benefits. Consultants specialize in benefits management, which positions them as dedicated and informed resources to guide employees through their plans.
Consultants also gather useful data and information about plan performance to not only build more effective plans for your employees but also identify potential gaps in knowledge. This data informs communication strategies to increase employee engagement and mitigate the impact of exacerbated benefits.
Benefits consultants can not only answer employee questions and promote little-known benefits, but also explain any restrictions. This may help to reduce any employee frustrations.
Businesses can maximize their benefits packages by leveraging the resources and knowledge of benefits consulting agencies.
Increase Support for You and Your Employees
Businesses should consider the advantages provided by benefits consulting companies to increase cost-efficiency and support for employees.
You can leverage the benefits consultants’ expertise to optimize your benefits packages according to your business goals and employees’ needs.
You can also reduce cost with the help of a benefits consulting agency. These firms can not only streamline your benefits package, but also eliminate the cost of onboarding another employee to manage benefits.
By tracking participation and strategic communications, benefits consultants can help you to maximize your investment in benefits.
Kate Russell is an Editorial Associate for Clutch — an Inc. 1000 private company that helps decision-makers determine the best B2B service providers to solve business challenges. She is also an HR research and content lead.