High employee retention is sure to have a positive impact on your business. Some companies are known for great employee retention, causing you to wonder: why? Have you ever considered that a good employee health benefits plan may be part of the answer?
Employee Retention is Important
Employee retention refers to the ability to keep talented employees working for your organization. It means a low turnover rate where employees do not seek out alternative employment.
There are many reasons why employee retention is important. First off, there are huge financial costs to a high turnover rate. With a high employee turnover rate, your organization is paying to recruit, train and onboard new employees. These costs can be substantial.
You also have to consider that the knowledge possessed by existing employees represents a significant – possibly the most significant – investment your organization can make, one that takes years and years to replace. When an existing employee moves on to other roles in your organization, they carry with them company knowledge that makes them more effective in their new role. They are also well-equipped to support and train the person taking over for them – this has a positive impact on productivity. In contrast, filling a position with someone new to the company means months (if not years) of learning about the company.
Achieving a good employee retention rate is important now more than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a huge increase in remote working arrangements. The absence of the need to work in person makes it easier for employees to change to jobs that are further away than they would previously have considered.
Employees are your best asset. Learning how to retain good employees is essential for your business to prosper. A good employee health benefits plan can help with this.
A Good Employee Health Benefits Plan
When trying to leverage your health benefits plan to improve employee retention, you’ll want to focus on providing benefits that are meaningful for your employees. Each organization is different, and each employee is different. Keep in mind that a young, single employee will have different benefits needs and priorities as compared to an older employee with a family. Try to build choice into the plan so that employees can have input about how their benefits dollars are spent.
Start with the Basics
Traditionally, a basic employee health benefits plan includes:
- Extended health – One of the most well-known of all employee benefits is prescription drug coverage – this falls under the category of “extended health.” Paramedical services like massage therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy and others are also an important element of extended health. Vision care also falls under this category, but it isn’t necessarily offered with every plan. Some plans provide coverage for eye exams and glasses, while others are more comprehensive and cover prescription sunglasses and laser eye surgery.
- Dental – Dental coverage is another high-profile employee benefit. Typically, it includes coverage for routine examinations and cleaning, along with some coverage for major restorative and/or orthodontics. Just like prescription drug coverage, dental is a high value benefit that is used regularly.
- Coverage for Accidents – Traditionally, accident coverage is provided as Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) coverage. Employees receive a lump sum payment if they are injured or killed in an accident. This type of coverage used to be the standard, but in many cases there are now better options for accident coverage.
- Disability Coverage – Disability coverage provides employees with a portion of their income if they become disabled and unable to work. Disability coverage can be for short term disability, mid-term disability or long-term disability. Long-term disability coverage is most common, but what’s needed really depends on the employer.
- Life Insurance – Life insurance provides a lump sum payment to an employee’s beneficiary if the employee dies. It is common in most plans, and often employees have the option to purchase additional life insurance if they so desire.
Take it to the Next Level
If you’re trying to leverage your employee health benefits plan to help with retention, a basic plan with traditional coverage isn’t going to do it. You’ll have to start with the basics, then take it to the next level by including innovative coverages and benefits. Some examples include:
- Accident and Serious Illness (ASI) Coverage – This coverage is the more sophisticated cousin to traditional Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage. It provides coverages for accidents, but also adds coverage for serious illness. This is significant because serious illness does occur more often than you think, and without coverage it can devastate a person’s financial stability.
- Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) – An employee and family assistance program provides 24/7 access to counselling and support for issues related to work, family, health and everything in between. It is an essential tool to support mental health and is fast becoming a “must have” for employees.
- Health spending account – A health spending account means employees have access to a set amount of money to spend on eligible health expenses. It functions like a bank account for health expenses. Employees can use it to cover co-pays and deductibles or for new health expenses.
- Virtual Healthcare – Virtual healthcare means employees can connect with a doctor or nurse practitioner using technology. This has been a game changer during the pandemic. It’s available 24/7 from anywhere in the world, so makes it easy and convenient to access healthcare.
- Central Dispensing Pharmacy – Depending on your employee group, providing access to a central dispensing pharmacy can be a popular benefit. The younger generation is used to purchasing anything and everything online and having it shipped to their door. For younger employees, having their prescriptions shipped to their door (like everything else they purchase) makes a lot of sense and is very convenient.
- Wellness Benefits – There is a lot of variety in the types of wellness benefits that can be offered. A wellness spending account (similar to a health spending account) can be a great way to encourage wellness, but still give employees choice. Other options are subsidized gym memberships, personal training sessions and lunch and learns. The possibilities are endless. Wellness benefits are a great way to take your traditional employee benefits to the next level.
It helps with Recruitment too
A good employee health benefits plan not only helps you retain your employees, but it’s also an important tool for recruiting. It’s a competitive labour market out there! Because remote working arrangements have become so common, you’re now competing for workers across a much larger geographic area. This means more competition.
Studies have shown that the presence and quality of an employee benefits plan can make or break whether or not a prospective employee accepts a job offer from your company. Having a good employee health benefits plan makes all the difference.
Good Advice is Key
Is your employee health benefits plan to help to retain your employees? If not, it’s time to charge up your plan with new and modern benefits. Explore your options with one of our licensed advisors on the phone, or contact us for a comparison quote.
Whether you’re looking for extended health and dental coverage, disability coverage, or life and critical illness coverage, GroupHEALTH has affordable benefits packages that work as hard as you do.