Employee benefits offer a convenient way to incentivize new talent to join your organization; in addition to providing a monetary bonus (or financial relief), benefits oftentimes provide a level of stability that money simply can’t buy.
The problem is, securing, paying for, and managing those benefits can be expensive and time-consuming. So how can you reduce your time and monetary costs in this area while still providing the best benefits in your budget?
The Biggest Pain Points
Let’s start by dissecting some of the biggest pain points associated with benefits management:
- Cost forecasting. Typically, the cost of employee benefits and other non-salary expenditures will cost you between 25 and 40 percent of an employee’s base salary. Being able to concretely project those costs, including how they change over time, is difficult, considering the variables involved.
- Complex policy navigation. Though some employee benefits (such as employment perks) are easy to navigate, most (including policies like life insurance) are burdened with complexities, including specific rules and regulations, and frequent changes that need to be attended to. Being able to understand the ins and outs of these policies takes an ongoing commitment, and tons of upfront training.
- Legal concerns. Depending on which benefits you plan to offer, you may also face legal and tax complexities. Doing the research to learn the best way to offer benefits to your employees, and structure them accurately in your company’s financials, can be a challenge.
- Consistency. Are you offering the same benefits package to all your employees? If you’re a small firm, this is likely the case, but bigger organizations are more likely to have variable package based on individual employee needs. Finding a way to organize your standard procedures and offers, and keep those offers consistent across new hires, is time-consuming—especially considering most business never go through the proper steps of documentation.
- Negotiation and acquisition. If your current policies undergo a change you don’t like, or if it’s time to shop for a new provider, you’ll need an employee benefits manager to track down new provider options, choose the best plans for your company, and negotiate with them. From there, all your company’s documentation, financial structures, and central data will need to change.
- Data entry and management. All data related to your employee benefits should be centralized and easy to locate in one app. If you have multiple employees managing this data, it’s easy for it to be compromised with duplication or missed entries.
So what are the best all-around solutions?
- Find better partners. Finding an employee benefits provider that offers simple, streamlined processes can take some of the burdens and pressures of management off your team. You may also be able to negotiate better rates in the process.
- Invest in better software. The right performance compensation software can also improve the ease of managing benefits, requiring less training and documentation for your employees, and making it easy to sort through and analyze your data. If you’re interested a new software platform, consider trying SAP’s performance compensation platform for free.
- Train thoroughly. Finally, invest the upfront time necessary to properly train your employees. The better they understand the system, the smoother things will go.
There’s no shortcut that can make employee benefits management “easy,” but with these tactics, you should spare yourself a heap of stress and effort. The more efficient your management process is here, the lower your cost basis for employee benefits will be—which means you can attract even better talent for a fraction of the price and hassle.