Plan Strategy and Tactics

 
 
A comprehensive employee benefits strategy requires more than just talk
 

Plan Analysis & Design

Ever feel like your employees don’t know — and certainly don’t appreciate – how much effort you put into and how much money your business pays for employee benefits?

Do you think that certain employees feel entitled to better benefits than you can’t possibly provide and still keep your doors open? Often it's less about the benefits themselves. It is how they're perceived by your employees. We’ve seen firms offering great benefits, but where their employees are unhappy. We've also seen the reverse - groups providing minimal offerings where employees are nonetheless super-grateful and appreciative.

An awesome benefits strategy is more than spreadsheets and benefit comparisons primarily focused on cost reduction above all else. Of course we recognize the importance of cost. It is probably the number one discussion point when we speak with clients.

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But have you ever stopped to consider the benefit plans you offer to employees are likely to be more robust (and costly) than the legal minimum? Did you know they may not be legally mandated at all?

Perhaps there's another, more important reason for providing employee plans.

The benefits package your organization offers is not an obligation. It is somewhat of a discretionary expense in that you can offer a great one, or a minimal one. So instead of it being a straight-up expense on your business P&L, it is instead a tool. A tool to obtain and retain the best, as well as a way to make people more productive and loyal.

We believe every small to mid-size business can provide an enhanced working environment through better quality, cost-effective benefits.

We believe a well thought out plan – from the design of the network, deductible and offerings to the contribution strategy – can improve morale and can keep your costs in line and keep you compliant.

And we believe that doing all of this can and will empower your company to improve its top line because you have happy, qualified and motivated employees.

Philosophy & Demographics

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Did you know that your chances of hitting the Cadillac tax limit is more connected to your demographics (gender, age and contract mix) than your plan design itself?

That’s right. You can have a better plan than your competitors, but if your demos aren’t as good, your claims will be higher and both you and your employees will feel it in higher premium and out of pocket expenditures.

Your philosophy matters a lot, too. We have clients with very high Single to Family ratios because they focus on keeping the cost down for the employee only. Your current employees may not like that, but over time, you will attract and retain an employee who matches your philosophy.

So if your philosophy attracts employees who need family coverage, you may end up over time spending a lot more than a similar employer. In other words, you get what you focus on.

Developing an intentional philosophy regarding your employee benefits package is something we love to help our clients with. After all, anyone with a license and a computer can quote you a plan or two.

But making plan changes that will make a difference 2-3 years down the road is what really makes your employee benefits plan work for your business.

Tactics, Tactics, Tactics

There is a famous quote from Sun Tzu, the author of “The Art of War” that goes like this:

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise of defeat.”

So don’t take our word for it, take the word of Sun Tzu. Everyone these days offers to help you with Strategy. And yes, we talk about it all the time.

But tactics are how you really get your employee benefits plan to work for you. Communications to employees. Webinars. Meetings. Resources and handouts that people can understand – and know where to get when they need them.

This is what makes a real difference in the lives of your employees once the strategy has been decided upon.


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One thing that happens many times is we meet with employees who have forgotten about a particular benefit their employer offers, or suddenly realize they have a benefit the never even knew about. Those employers’ strategies have been compromised by the fact that their employees aren’t getting the message.

We are tactical masters when it comes to your benefit plan. We will help you implement all your best ideas and make sure you have a way to continue to do that throughout the year.

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