Risk & Business Magazine General Insurance Services Spring 2020 - Page 31

BENEFIT PLANNING What Is A Strategic Benefits Plan? C ompetitive employee benefits packages are essential for attracting and retaining quality employees, but continuing to offer them can be tough with the rising cost of health care squeezing an already tight budget. Cutting benefits may seem like a necessary reality for some companies, but it could have serious long- term consequences. Retaining top talent is crucial in order for your company to remain competitive and favorably positioned within your industry. One remedy could be implementing a strategic benefit plan, which will help you find ways to contain or even cut costs while still offering competitive benefits. WHAT IS A STRATEGIC BENEFIT PLAN? A strategic benefit plan is a three-to-five- year plan that outlines goals, strategies, and action plans with regard to your employee benefits program. In creating the plan, you and your broker will strategically analyze ways to contain costs through various plan improvements. This approach is a methodical and logical long-term approach to benefit planning, as opposed to making decisions year to year, and will provide a well-thought-out road map for your future benefits. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF IMPLEMENTING ONE? At the company level, creating a strategic benefit plan will help greatly with internal budget planning and can also be incorporated into your corporate strategic plan. This will bring HR and employee benefits into larger strategic conversations and ensure that a competitive benefits package continues to be available. Employees will also see the benefit of a strategic benefit plan in many ways. First of all, by finding ways to cut and contain costs for the company, the employee will likely reap some of the savings as well. In addition, this type of plan will provide assurance for employees worried about their benefits. Next to job security, employees worry most about their benefits and compensation, namely that they could be reduced or cut at any time. BY: CANDACE ARVIN, EMPLOYEE BENEFITS ADVISOR, GENERAL INSURANCE SERVICES Studies have shown that workplace morale is strongly linked to the quality of employee benefits, so reassuring employees that their benefits will continue is a beneficial move for companies. The strategic benefits plan can include an employee communication initiative, which will keep employees informed and assured on the future status of their benefits package. + Candace Arvin was born and raised in Chesterton, Indiana. After graduating college with a degree in Business Administration, she spent five years working in the healthcare industry where she gained a multitude of experience serving populations ranging from pediatric to geriatric. She has been a member of the Chesterton-Porter Rotarian Club for many years and also serves on the Hobart Chamber of Commerce board of directors. Candace still resides in Chesterton with her wife, Gabrielle, and their four children. In her free time, she enjoys visits to the beach, kayaking, reading, and spending time with friends and family.