Over the past year, small-business owners made careful financial decisions about hiring and compensation, which are likely to result in maintaining or growing sales in the year ahead. Some employees, on the other hand, have not been as strategic with their finances as their employer.
The 2014 Aflac WorkForces Report found that 56 percent of employees don’t have a financial plan in place to help them achieve financial goals and prepare for unexpected challenges or events. And only 25 percent of employees completely or strongly agreed their families are financially prepared for an unexpected emergency.
Unfortunately, many workers aren’t well positioned to cope with the financial ups and downs life has in store. Take medical expenses for example. Employees’ health care expenses continue to outpace salary increases.
What does this mean for employers? Workers are looking closely at their benefits packages to combat the rising health care costs, and a majority may accept a lower paying job but with better benefits.
How Do Employees’ Financial Worries Impact Your Small Business?
Small-business owners are faced with a difficult balancing act of offering a comprehensive set of benefits options to employees with minimal impact to the company’s bottom line. However, workers’ concerns about their financial stability affects them not only during their off-hours, but on the job too.
The Aflac study revealed that employees named “personal financial issues” as the top non-work-related issue that distracts them while on the job. Financial worries can also lead to increased absenteeism, decreased productivity and for some, a new job. A majority of workers (57 percent) say that they would be likely to take a job with lower pay but better benefits.
The bottom line is employees are on the edge of a financial cliff and it’s not just impacting them – it also has a direct effect on your business.
Offset Workers’ Financial Burdens with a Robust Benefits Offering
Since employees’ financial uncertainty can negatively affect your business, consider helping your workers protect themselves and, in turn, protect your company. Offering a comprehensive benefits package is a great first step to consider. Forty-one percent of workers who admit they’re likely to look for a new job in the next 12 months say improving their benefits package would keep them in their current jobs.
Consider adding voluntary insurance such as accident, disability, hospital and critical illness to your existing benefits options as it will enhance your offerings with no direct cost to your company. Premiums for voluntary insurance coverage are paid by employees who choose to apply. Voluntary plans help protect employees’ financial security in the event of a covered illness or injury with cash benefits that can go toward copayments, deductibles or any other health-related cost not covered by major medical insurance.
The cash benefits from voluntary insurance can even be used to help pay living expenses like mortgage payments, utilities, child care or car payments that continue to add up when a worker is too hurt or sick to work.
Workers may be faced with financial uncertainty, but as a small-business owner you have the opportunity to help protect your workforce with comprehensive benefits, all while improving your business.
Now is the time to consider adding different types of benefits, including voluntary insurance, and to make it available to your employees in 2015 so your employees’ have an extra layer of protection against rising health care costs.
Health Care Photo via Shutterstock