The need to offer employee benefits appears important if not essential to stand out from your peers in the ever more competitive employment market.
For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who often don’t have their own Human Resource department, researching, setting up and managing benefits for employees will present a time-consuming task. It can be hard to prioritise alongside the need to focus your effort and resources on running your business.
The Cost of Group Insurance
Group Life Assurance can often be bought for less than 1% of your salary roll per year, and Group Income Protection can be around the 2% of payroll mark. A good price is important, but it is also vital to understand what you are paying for. Value for money is a better indicator than absolute cost when considering employee benefits.
- Service – some companies are easier to do business with than others and while this may not be explicit in the price, the time and peace of mind you save with a service-oriented provider can be well worth it.
- Proposition – as well as the insurance benefit, many providers’ offerings have support services which can be used by your employees without the need for a claim to be made. These are usually free for the user and add an extra layer of utility and engagement for you and your employees. Early intervention and rehabilitation services may also be available for Group Income Protection policies, which can limit the duration and impact of absences.
Using a specialist employee benefits consultant and broker
Many small organisations may think they can’t afford to pay for a consultant to lend them a hand to help set up the group employee benefits they wish to offer. But there are affordable SME specialists that can help. Most quality companies do not put you under obligation for a proposal and will be happy to talk you through the processes as well as the pros and cons of going with different policies and providers.
A broker with a strong presence and large group of clients can negotiate special arrangements with their insurer partners and provide access to better and exclusive terms on benefits than those that can be bought direct. The strength of your adviser’s brand and their number of clients will often contribute to the strength of the contract they offer you - and make your pricing more competitive.
Some SME specialists have negotiated propositions aimed specifically at the needs of smaller organisations, which helps reduce the limitations that often come with insuring a small number of employees, as well as containing cost.
Finding the ideal benefits package for your business
A specialist adviser or consultancy firm provides services designed to make your policies simpler, streamline processes and improve response times, saving you valuable time. They can help you identify efficiencies in your strategy, prevent costly oversights and put important legislative changes on your radar. That way, you get value for money and won’t have to worry about getting a degree in HR.
You can easily waste your time and money setting up employee benefits that your people do not want or use, which is why effective communication is so important. Consultants can equip you with all the tools and resources needed to make your benefit uptake as good as it can be and engage your employees in what you are doing, and some will even do it for you.
The role of an adviser does not stop once the benefits are set up. Alterations, revisions, negotiations and proactive decision-making to adapt to your changing needs all fall within their remit. Your adviser should also regularly assess the benefits market, offer insight and recommendations to help you make the right decision and get the best outcome for you at every opportunity.
If you are looking for a way to reduce your time spent on reading up on or setting up benefits, speaking with a benefits consultant or broker could well be worth your time.