Most of you, regardless of your position in a company, inherently know the reasons why employers should have voluntary benefits packages, so I have to say – I’m a little surprised that you even clicked to read it.
You clicked on it for a reason, so here we go.
1. They’re affordable, regardless of your size or revenue. Why do I say this? Because YOU as the employer don’t even have to pay for them. Now, if you have 50 or more FTE employees, you do have to offer Minimum Essential Coverage health insurance, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. While employees care about health insurance, they also care about other coverages: vision, dental, short and long term disability, cancer and critical illness. These bring great value to employees. The greatest value comes when you as the employer pay for them, (they’re super inexpensive compared to health insurance) but you can also pass some or all of the cost over to the employee – just the fact that you OFFER the benefits is attractive. And if you offer them, they [employees] will come. I’m summoning my inner Kevin Costner/Field of Dreams right now…
2. They improve retention of your top recruits. No one wants to lose a great employee. And depending on your industry, it may have taken a long time and a lot of money to GET that great employee. The last thing you want is for that employee to go across the street to Company B just because you didn’t offer a $6 vision insurance plan. Don’t be that guy/gal.
3. They may benefit your employees twice. First of all, when your employee breaks his shoulder while wrestling with the kids at home, he’ll receive cash from his accident plan to help with medical expenses or taking time off work – that’s Benefit #1. Secondly, if the cost of that accident plan and/or similar plans were deducted from his paycheck under a Section 125 plan, his taxable income may be reduced by as much as 30%. That’s Benefit #2.
4. You don’t have to be a “large” small company to offer a benefits package. Even if you have as few as 3 unrelated W-2 employees, a benefits package can be easily designed for your company.
In summary, the question shouldn’t be “Should my company offer voluntary benefits or not?” – it should be “How much can we cover for the employee to maximize our retention and their wellbeing?” Just as there are many ways to skin a cat, there’s more than one way to approach to constructing a benefits package for your company. Build that Field of Dreams for your employees, not just so they have a place to “play”, but so that they have a place they want to be.