Here at Simon Shirley Advisors, we understand that the life of a modern HR professional is a busy one. Keeping employees working at peak efficiency and preventing top talents from defecting to the competition takes an extraordinary amount of effort. Between driving employee engagement, managing payroll, and ensuring that best in class learning and development practices are in place, a human resources manager’s work is never done.
On top of all of the above, you also have to make sure that your employees have the best compensation and benefits packages available to attract and retain top talents, while still keeping the costs of said packages manageable for your company.
The question here is, “do you need an employee benefits advisor?” How much would you and your company benefit from the assistance of a dedicated professional that is focused on helping you manage the compensation and benefits schemes that your company uses for its employees? The answer is: it depends. Different businesses have unique needs and challenges. However, with this in mind, we’ve assembled a short list of signs that you may need a dedicated employee benefits advisor.
Sign #1: Pension and Healthcare Research is Taking up too much Time
According to the Center for Effective Organizations, roughly 50% of an HR manager’s time is spent on “providing/developing HR services/programs.” The rest of an HR manager’s time is occupied by “strategic business partnership activities” and “recordkeeping and auditing,” according to the same survey (25% each). Also according to this survey, “when HR spends more time on recordkeeping, compliance and administration, there is a negative association with HR’s strategic role… if HR spends more time on strategic partnership, the higher the outcomes.”
While spending a lot of time on research for pension, healthcare, and other employee benefits schemes might save money and help to meet goals of employee retention/talent development, too much time spent researching these schemes can detract from other vital HR functions.
Worse yet, even when you do as much research as possible, the offers on the market change with such regularity that when you go back to do more research, many of the things you’ve already looked at have changed and there will be new offers to consider.
Using the services of an employee benefits advisor can help you find your best options quickly. This saves you time, and aids you in finding a market-leading benefits scheme that balances the needs of employees with affordability for your company.
Sign #2: Constantly Needing to Field Questions from Employees about Their Benefits
How much time do you spend each day on trying to explain benefits packages to employees? Even answering simple questions with a clear yes or no answer can be disruptive when you’re trying to focus on other tasks.
The more time you have to spend on answering questions about benefits packages because they weren’t properly explained to employees or are too dense and confusing, the less time you have to focus on your other duties.
An employee benefits advisor can help alleviate this issue by taking care of the implementation of a new employee benefits scheme for you. Not just preparing and submitting paperwork for you and the employees in your organisation, but providing information and organising briefing sessions for employees, as well as meeting with individual employees to discuss the benefits and requirements of a given programme. This frees up your time as an HR manager to focus on other tasks.
#3: Employees Complaining that Recent Change Requests Were Not Put in Place
Few things can ruin the launch of a new employee benefits scheme as fast as that scheme not being uniformly enabled for all eligible staff. When you depend on internal systems and processes for making the required changes to each employee’s pension, healthcare, or other benefits programme, there exists a risk that the change won’t be made for that employee’s account.
This can lead to employees becoming upset or frustrated with the new policy or, worse yet, trying to make a healthcare claim against a policy that was not implemented for them in time. Changes in policies need to be handled efficiently and thoroughly to prevent severe employee dissatisfaction.
Taking advantage of the services of an employee benefits advisor can aid you in making sure that no employees are missed when a new benefits scheme is adopted. That way, the transition from one plan to another is made smoother, and your risk of one employee not being able to access benefits when they need them is significantly reduced.
#4: Constantly Receiving Different Requests from Different Employees
For a large business, balancing the needs of all employees with a benefits scheme can be incredibly difficult. Every person is different from one another, and will have different needs and personal priorities, especially when it comes to benefits coverage.
Here’s a hypothetical situation for you to consider:
Jack is a young male employee in his mid-twenties with his whole life ahead of him. Like many young men, Jack doesn’t place a high priority on healthcare benefits, preferring instead to have more cash for the short term. He wants a barebones healthcare scheme that is cheap, not effective.
On the other hand, Jill, a more senior female employee, has a family that includes two children. Between emergency care and everyday checkups, vaccinations, and other preventative care measures, Jill is all too familiar with how much a visit to the doctor can cost. Jill wants the most effective healthcare plan with family coverage that she can get, not the cheapest.
Although both of these employees work for the same company, they have almost polar opposite priorities for their benefits needs.
An experienced employee benefits advisor can help you balance the needs of your employees and find a solution that meets your employees’ requirements in the most effective manner possible.
For example, Simon Shirley Advisors provides you with examples of different employee benefits provided by employers here in Ireland, based on both statistical evidence and our own practical experiences. Through this process, we can understand your requirements, what options are available, and what is feasible for your company. This way, you’ll know that you’re giving employees the best cover available, even when individual needs vary.
Using the services of an employee benefits advisor can make life as an HR manager faster, easier, and more efficient, allowing you to focus on keeping your top talents happy and working for you, not your competition. Find out more by contacting Simon Shirley Advisors today.