Group Benefits for the Cannabis Industry
For many industries, group benefits have long been an important way to support employees and strengthen recruitment and retention efforts. If you’re part of the cannabis sector, your industry is no different; the right employee benefits plan can positively influence your company.
A New and Growing Industry
Since 2018 when recreational cannabis became legal in Canada, the industry has experienced exponential growth. The infrastructure and production of legal marijuana requires a significant number of workers, performing all sorts of jobs. Many people may envision the industry as requiring sales staff to sell the product, but the process is much more complex. The scope of roles in the sector is large:
- Laboratory science
More than a few of the jobs listed above are required in a huge assortment of industries. This means you and others in the recreational cannabis sector are competing with many other industries for the same workers.
When competing for these workers, in many cases the cannabis industry may be at a disadvantage: because the sector is relatively young, employers are less likely to sponsor an employee benefit plan, making their ability to attract qualified employees more difficult. The same is not true for many other well-established industries; often it’s almost a given that an employee benefits plan is part of their total compensation package. For many employees, an employee benefit plan is a “must” and given two job opportunities, they will choose the one with employee benefits.
Over the past year the recreational cannabis sector has seen many of its new workers come from the hospitality and retail sectors – this is partly due to COVID-19 restrictions, which greatly reduced the number of jobs in these industries. As restrictions limited the number of jobs in these sectors, workers were willing to venture out of their current industry. Now, as restrictions are lifted and these industries re-open, the challenge for many cannabis employers is to retain the workers that they have recently acquired. Sponsoring an employee benefit plan can be and important part of the strategy to do so.
Group Benefits to Attract and Retain Workers
Employee group benefits are an important part of today’s total compensation packages. When given the choice, employees have been known to choose benefits and perks over higher wages. As such, employee group benefits have emerged as a very valuable way to attract and retain employees.
Recruiting, hiring and training new employees is costly. It can also reduce your organization’s focus on increasing productivity and sales. As a cannabis employer, this alone should be something to consider when exploring the idea of introducing a group benefits plan. Employee benefits may be one way to discourage employees from looking elsewhere for work.
In addition to a positive effect on recruitment and retention efforts, employee benefits are also a valuable way to support your employees. They encourage employees to get the physical and mental support they need, so they are happier, healthier and more productive. It’s a way to reward employees, and it’s also a tax-deductible business expense.
Employee Health Benefits: The Basics
There are a number of different employee health benefits that can be offered through an employee benefits plan. Some common benefits include:
1. Extended health and dental. This usually includes coverage for prescription drugs, paramedical services, vision care and travel medical coverage. Often when employees think about employee benefits, this is what they think of. There are many options around what is covered, how it is covered and how costs can be contained. You can tailor coverage for your workforce to ensure that, if your employees need something special, your employee benefits plan can include it.
2. Disability. Common disability coverages can include short, mid-term and long-term disability benefits. GroupHEALTH’s mid-term disability coverage is a unique option that helps control costs. Disability management services can also be included in a plan to help control costs and support ill or injured employees.
3. Life and Critical Illness. This coverage is for life’s most difficult times, such as a death or serious illness. These benefits provide a lump sum payment if a covered illness or event occurs. Again, these benefits can be customized to fit the needs of the employer.
4. Employee Wellness. These benefits are focused on supporting employees in pursuing a healthy lifestyle. Providing resources for mental wellbeing and encouraging employees to get active are just some of the wellness supports available.
Smart Plan for Small Business
If you’re in the cannabis industry and you’re considering introducing an employee benefits plan, GroupHEALTH’s Smart Plan for Small Business may be the right place to start. If you’ve never sponsored an employee benefits plan before you’re probably looking for cost transparency and flexibility along with excellent benefits. These are a big reason the Smart Plan for Small Business was created. The plan includes all of the common benefits (prescription drugs, paramedical coverage, dental and disruptive health events), and it’s customizable so you will not pay for benefits that you don’t need. You’ll have a clear picture of how much the plan will cost, so you can plan for the future.
The Smart Plan for Small Business is just one option. The right employee benefits provider can walk you through many different options to find a solution that fits with your goals and your budget. The right plan can pay off by helping retain employees and grow your workforce. If you and others in the cannabis industry really want to compete for the best workers, an employee benefits plan may be an important addition to your strategy.
Good Advice is Key
Are you an employer in the cannabis sector who is interested in sponsoring an employee benefits plan? Do you want more info on what is involved in sponsoring a plan and how it will support your efforts to grow your company? Review your options with one of our licensed advisors on the phone, or contact us for a comparison quote.