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  • Steve McEwan

It's called Employee Benefits, not Employee Insurance

Recently our CEO, Tim Kane, stated on a podcast that myHSA wants to make benefits “cool again”. What he meant by that is to be a company that allows employers to offer something their employees actually enjoy having access to. This entails some out of the box thinking.

Insurance is important, but let’s face it, there is more to employee benefits than just insurance. The reason insurance is imperative and part of the package is because when you need, it becomes the most noteworthy thing. But if you do not need it, there isn’t much satisfaction on having it, except peace of mind.

Employees need to feel excited about their benefits all the time,

not just when crisis hits.

Some might think that this sounds “salesy” and not what benefits are meant for. I would actually argue that, as an employer, you are in the sales business. It is a competitive landscape and you are selling your company as a place where employees have the opportunity to work and incentive to stay, not leave for a better offer. Employee benefits give the possibilities to go far beyond just providing Health, Dental, Life, and Accident & Sickness coverage. It is called employee benefits, not employee insurance.

I read a paper that really was eye opening. A Harvard professor wrote “Winning the War for Talent” and provided reasons as to why a full suite of benefits is important.

Here are some highlights that jumped out to me:

  1. The more benefits added in a job post attract higher percentage of applicants. It’s obvious that benefits help attract talent.

  1. Low unemployment means greater competition for talent. Providing regular benefits will not stand out. Everyone offers the same basic insurance plan, what other products can be provided to get a company to stand out?

  2. For many employees, a job is not only a pay-check. Employees put considerable thought and effort into deciding where to work and why.

  3. Building on these findings, we maintain that employees seek more than money; hence cash and cash-like rewards are no longer sufficient to motivate employees.

  4. Tangible non-cash rewards may also have advantage of being more visible and/or shareable than rewards. Employees will spend a cash reward on groceries or paying a utility bill.

I’ll use the example of simply paying for a gym membership. Our CEO heard someone in airport talk about their employee paying for their membership to someone else and how great it was. This is called a taxable benefit, myHSA sells this as myWSA. If this employee had just received $500 in cash, they likely would have spent it on bills and never spoken about it to anyone. As the landscape for hiring talent and employee benefits continues to change, it’s important for advisors and people within the recruiting realm to be aware of what the demand is in the job market and to supply it.

Subscribe to the myHSA Podcast the to learn more about what is happening in the world of tech, benefits, and hr! Available on iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play! Search for myHSA or "Tech benefits HR."

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