Creative Benefit Offerings in the Face of Rising Costs
Published on January 19th, 2024
It’s a well-known reality that costs continue to rise in nearly all aspects of American life. Now more than ever, any company seeking to thrive in the face of inflation must be willing to think outside the box and remain open to challenging the status quo. Technology and culture are simply changing too rapidly to fall back on “how it’s always been done.”
For employers looking to combat inflationary pressures, there are a number of creative benefit solutions that not only assist their employees with rising costs, but also contribute to savings for the company. And by proposing these “win-win” solutions, benefits administrators can improve client satisfaction and reduce churn – making that a “win-win-win.”
Here are some ideas to consider as you look to win the hearts of employers and brokers:
Telecommuting or remote work
Encouraging remote work can save on office-related expenses and commuting costs for both employees and the company. Embracing a work-from-home model can enhance employee productivity by providing a flexible work environment tailored to individual needs. At the same time, it can significantly reduce the overhead associated with maintaining a physical office space.
Flexible work schedules
Offering flexible work hours is proven to improve work-life balance for employees while potentially reducing costs associated with overtime or burnout. This approach allows employees to manage their time more efficiently, fostering a positive workplace culture.
Voluntary benefits programs
Implementing voluntary benefits programs, where employees can choose and pay for additional benefits at a discounted group rate, does shift some financial responsibility to employees. But it also allows employees to tailor their benefits to their specific needs. Meanwhile, the company lowers its costs without compromising essential benefits.
Investing in cross-training programs allows employees to acquire new skills, making them more versatile and reducing the need for external hires. This not only promotes a skilled and adaptable workforce but also mitigates recruitment costs associated with onboarding new employees.
Promoting wellness initiatives, such as fitness challenges or healthy lifestyle programs, can contribute to lower healthcare costs in the long run. By prioritizing employee well-being, companies can reduce absenteeism, improve morale, and ultimately lower healthcare expenses. A lifestyle spending account (LSA) works well for this purpose. With an LSA, the employer can offer a convenient debit card with funds designated for things like fitness equipment, gym memberships, or opportunities to buy healthy groceries.
Health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs)
This one will be obvious to anyone familiar with our blog: HSAs and FSAs offer tremendous savings potential for everyone involved. An FSA or HSA allows employees to use pre-tax dollars for medical expenses, reducing both employees’ and the company’s tax burden. The list of HSA advantages, in particular, goes on and on.
Employee referral programs
Establishing employee referral programs can lead to cost-effective recruitment by incentivizing employees to refer qualified candidates. This not only reduces the time and resources spent on traditional hiring processes but also leverages existing employees’ knowledge of the company culture and values.
Providing technology stipends or allowing employees to use their own devices for work can cut down on company equipment expenses. This is another area where a lifestyle spending account makes it easy to supply employees with funds and measure adoption rates.
Flexible benefits packages
Offering a menu of benefits and allowing employees to customize their packages based on their needs can optimize benefit spending. This approach recognizes the diverse needs of employees. It ensures that the benefits offered are tailored to individual preferences, increasing overall satisfaction and value.
Flexible spending on office space
Adopting flexible office space arrangements, such as hot-desking or co-working spaces, can reduce the need for extensive office leases. This cost-saving measure aligns with the changing dynamics of the modern workplace, allowing companies to adapt their physical workspace to match fluctuating employee needs.
By combining creative benefit solutions with strategic cost-saving measures, employers can create a holistic approach that addresses both the financial well-being of employees and the financial sustainability of the company.