Our society rarely exalts “middle” anything. For example, it’s common for a family’s middle child to feel as though they get less attention than their older and younger siblings. Likewise, it’s also common for members of the middle class to feel left out, compared to their wealthier and lower-income counterparts. And isn’t it always good to cut out the proverbial “middle” man?
The effect is similar for mid-size companies when it comes to benefits. Because such concerns are not “small,” employees still expect a favorable benefits package. However, these employers can’t match a larger organization’s resources.
But there is good news: your mid-size company can, indeed, provide a competitive benefits package.
Read on for how.
Explain What’s Meant by Benefits
No, it’s not just health and dental insurance, although “benefits” probably conjures up those. Benefits packages can also include, say, commute assistance, flexible work schedules, pet insurance, fitness membership, retirement plans, and more. Generally, what your package will look like will depend on the type of business you have, the state or region you’re in, and your competition.
Benefits of Flexible Plans
When it comes to benefits, many employees prefer something of a smorgasbord, if offered. With such a plan, employees get a certain amount of money and can use a portion of it for benefits they need and want. The balance will make up their salary.
Another approach is to limit the number of paid benefits and provide the option to buy, with pre-tax dollars, any benefits they’d like above the established amount.
What Goes into Such Plans
You likely know that the basic benefits plan includes paid time off, dental coverage, and health insurance, in addition to the minimum wages and overtime pay that federal and state laws require. You also must provide unemployment, worker’s compensation, and disability insurance, plus family medical leave.
It’s also common for organizations to include as part of their benefits package life and legal insurance, vision care, retirement benefits and college tuition. Some companies go so far as to offer perks such as monthly bring-your-dog-to-work day, massages, after-hour experiences, surprise trips, and even chore help.
How Consulting Can Help You
Your No. 1 task is to make sure your people have the benefits they need and want, even on a mid-size company budget. Assistance from a leading global benefits consultant Mercer can help, particularly with executive compensation plans.
For one thing, the consultant will examine your current offerings to assess how competitive they are, then make short- and long-term recommendations that are in line with your objectives.
In so doing, you can put together a package that meets not only your employees’ needs, but yours as well. Further, the best benefits consultants are well connected in the provider space and privy to special rates that they then share with you.
Moreover, consultants can also help with plan implementation and monitoring, plan management, employee communications, and strategy tweaking along the way. They’ll also make sure you comply with government regulations, keep costs as low as possible, and produce outcomes that promote employee satisfaction and loyalty.
PPOs and ASOs
Employers can also suppress costs by joining a professional employer organization. Because such groups pool the needs and related costs of several companies, they empower you during price negotiations with providers. These organizations also typically provide HR services.
Then there are administrative services organizations (ASOs), which provide you with the resources to outsource benefits, payroll, and other HR functions. You can then use savings for other business aspects. So, yes, your mid-size company can indeed provide a competitive benefits package. You’ll simply need to determine as best you can what your employees want – then deliver it within the parameters of your organization’s objectives.
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