The challenges facing small to medium-sized businesses continue to grow. Two issues remain a constant focus for employers–controlling benefit costs and attracting and retaining high-quality employees.
While these two challenges continue to rise to the top, employers face another problem: Many employees have a lot more on their mind than work.
Employees have more than work on their mind because they face a mounting list of concerns: saving enough money to retire, balancing work and life, and being asked to share more in the decision-making and cost of their benefits. While employers would like to think employees deal with these concerns outside the job, in reality, it just doesn’t happen that way. Employees use valuable work hours on these issues, often causing a drain on productivity.
Not surprisingly, as employers place more of the benefit selection decision in employees’ hands–whether through consumer-driven products such as health savings accounts or voluntary products–employees become overwhelmed with too much information.
Retirement planning is another good example. Employees are faced with numerous decisions about their retirement plan, from how much to defer to where to invest funds. Now, as many employers restructure their pension plans, employees once again will need to rethink their retirement savings plans.
What are employers to do? For one thing, they need to take this opportunity to give employees what they want and need–enlightening information about their benefits in an easy-to-understand format as well as access to financial professionals to assist them at the worksite. Doing this will help make employees better consumers and better prepared to make decisions about their financial well-being. Ultimately, this helps employees better focus on their work responsibilities.