By Kip Havel
When you run a small business, you don’t take your resources for granted. You have to rely on your workers’ skills, interests and abilities for your business to thrive. In return, your workers rely on you to provide a great place to work with competitive pay and benefits.
In fact, a recent survey discovered key HR and benefits best practices revered by best-in-class companies that can help small businesses better compete. In the 3rd annual Aflac WorkForces Report, only an elite group of businesses earn the title “Talent Attractor.” These companies make up about 15 percent of U.S. businesses today; however, small businesses with fewer than 50 employees make up less than 3 percent of these companies. The study reveals Talent Attractor secrets that small businesses, even with limited resources, can leverage to attract and retain the best workers.
Try to understand and prepare for health care reform: Uncertain outcomes make the impact of health care reform difficult to discern. In the study, 40 percent of Talent Attractor companies say they understand health care reform legislation extremely or very well (compared to 27 percent of all U.S. companies). They are also significantly more likely to be taking steps to prepare for health care reform.
If you’re not at a Talent Attractor’s level of understanding yet, you should discuss health care reform with a broker or consultant. You can also use reform as a place to begin talking about the value of your benefits with workers.
Link benefits to profitability: Talent Attractors see a significant correlation between benefits options and other important human resources outcomes, such as job satisfaction, loyalty to employer, and workforce productivity. They are also more than twice as likely to agree strongly or very strongly that their organization’s profitability is due in part to offering a robust benefits package (71 percent vs. 28 percent of all other companies). This means you can make decisions based on data and then measure and track your success through compensation claims, sick-days, absenteeism, and attrition rates.
Provide robust benefits options: There is strong evidence that a company’s benefits program significantly influences employee attraction, engagement and retention. Talent Attractor companies are significantly more likely to offer their employees a comprehensive menu of insurance options, wellness programs and workplace benefits.
To improve your rating, offer a range of insurance and non-insurance benefits and choose supplemental offerings to help workers cover costs associated with being sick or injured. You should also encourage workers to take an active role in their health decisions.
Engage in frequent, two-way communication: Improving benefits communications can help support important business results. Talent Attractors are nearly one and a half times as likely to communicate about benefits three to ten times throughout the year, compared to all U.S. companies. Here are tips to make your benefits communications more effective:
· Communicate about benefits 3+ times each year.
· Tailor your benefits communications and resources, and ask for life-stage appropriate communications from you benefits consultant.
· Position benefits as a part of the overall compensation package.
Small businesses, with limited resources, can learn valuable lessons from larger companies that have invested heavily in understanding the connection between their benefits programs and key business metrics. Small businesses can gain a competitive edge by levering these insights.
About The Author:
Kip Havel is 2nd Vice President, Aflac Content Marketing and Communications. An experienced marketing communications executive, Mr. Havel possesses a keen understanding of the latest marketing, business, economic and workforce trends. He is the creator of the Aflac WorkForces Report, an annual research study about benefits trends and effectiveness, and is the primary spokesperson for the study findings, presenting to business audiences across the nation. You can contact Mr. Havel at firstname.lastname@example.org.