What every business owner should know about volunteering

Some common talk about a simple decision that is often difficult to make

If he had provided voluntary benefit opportunities to his employees, he would have fostered trust and loyalty, his employees would have felt reassured that he was looking out for them. This safe culture would have led to stable, productive, confident teams where everyone felt they belonged.”

They left, some for lower paying jobs that provided voluntary services.

The first notable defection was a talented project manager who left to take a maintenance manager position at a nearby property management company. He had to travel to find better ways to protect his family’s financial well-being. He continued to build his team by selectively recommending to his new boss to hire his former colleagues.

Of course, the company tried to adapt by switching to a 1099 model from a W-2 model, hiring subcontractors, but without a solid due diligence process, the switch failed and the company folded in 2007. The management core that enabled growing to an 11 million dollar revenue company in 3 years was gone. The branding perception of a company that didn’t care about its employees had stuck.

I believe in the value of the voluntary insurance business and seek every opportunity to step in and relate this experience to business owners.”

Who benefits? Both employer and employees benefit. The employer benefits from greater employee satisfaction and retention through improved benefits programs at little or no financial cost to his business. Employees benefit from the ability to custom design an affordable benefits package to protect their income from unexpected costs associated with illness or injury.

What should employers do? Empower employees to make informed decisions about protecting their income. Because employees are increasingly invested in their care. In reality, when asked about employee benefits, many employers often say, “I’m ready,” but are they really? If your employees aren’t what you think you are, it’s because you haven’t given them the choice.

Why should employers do it? Your employees want it. A 2013 survey highlighted that 64 percent of employees want their employer to offer a wider range of voluntary benefits that they can choose to purchase. Some actually need it and will gladly pay for it because of the peace of mind it engendered. Again at no cost to the employer’s operating budget.

How should employers do this? Create an environment where employees feel free to exercise this choice. Furthermore, facilitate a welcoming and private setting in which this information transfer can take place between the employee and the service provider.

Where will this happen? It is preferred that this is done through the company’s group option (payroll deduction), where employees are guaranteed a cost saving of up to 35 percent, which means that the price of most products is under a dollar a day.

When must an employer do this? There is rarely a better time than now.

All in all, who, what, why, how, where and when on voluntary services. The ball is in the hands of the employer, play it well and you will be the winner (in a nutshell).

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