Is Your Business a Talent Attractor?

Michael W. Zuna

Friday, January 10th, 2014

I’ve previously discussed keeping your employees happy with better benefits. So now that you’ve mastered loyalty through better benefits, you may be ready to kick it up a notch and attract new talent as well as keep your current talent.

Only an elite group of businesses earn the title “talent attractor.” What is a talent attractor you may ask? A talent attractor is a company that is best in class when it comes to benefits packaging and delivery. The human resources departments at these companies are more likely to believe that overall employee health is important to workforce productivity.

These folks know their workers’ needs and are able to communicate and market those benefits options effectively.

Develop An Understanding of Health Care Reform

With 2014 just around the corner, employees will have selected which benefits they need for next year but may still be confused about their coverage.

According to our recent research, approximately 40 percent of Talent Attractor companies say they understand health care reform legislation extremely or very well (compared to 27 percent of all U.S. companies). Make sure you’re well-versed in the law’s nuances so that you can answer your employees’ questions.

When it comes to reform Q&As, if you would be more comfortable directing your workers to outside sources for health care reform, be prepared to provide suggestions such as the U.S. Small Business Administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Kaiser on Health Care Reform.

Link Benefits to Profitability

More than 70 percent of talent attractors strongly or very strongly agree that offering a robust benefits package plays a role in their company’s profitability, versus only 28 percent of all other companies. You can make decisions about how to improve benefits and what to offer based on quantitative data that you gather.

For example, survey employees on what types of insurance they would like to receive. You can do informal interviews, or field paper or online surveys to gauge your workers wants and needs. However, don’t forget to take the two steps that follow surveys:

  • Act on feedback
  • Measure results

You will only upset your workforces if you ask them what they’d like to see and don’t make changes accordingly. Similarly, you need to track the success of your investments. Companies often compare workman’s compensation claims, sick-days, absenteeism and attrition rates.

Use this information to see how you compare to companies with best-in-class benefits programs and HR best practices.

Provide Robust Benefits

Benefits obviously include insurance, but a robust offering extends them to also include more qualitative perks that pay off in spades, such as wellness programs, Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) and flextime.

Communicate Early and Often

Improving benefits communications can have critical business results for smaller-sized companies. Talent Attractors are nearly 1.5 times more likely to communicate about benefits throughout the year compared to all U.S. companies. This communication happens between 3 and 10 times per year. Ten times per year might be a bit overwhelming if you’re only communicating about benefits once per year right now, but don’t be discouraged. Start with small steps.

For example:

  • Communicate about benefits 3+ times each year: Mark it on your calendar and plan to actively communicate about your company’s benefits, workforce health and wellness offerings. Think about doing it once per quarter and increase each year as you and your workforce become more comfortable and familiar with benefits.
  • Tailor your communications and resources: Benefits are not one size fits all, so tailor accordingly. You know as well as I do that an individual close to retirement will need different information about 401(k) plans than a recent college graduate.
  • Discuss total compensation: When discussing benefits options, position them as a part of the overall compensation package. I recently wrote a blog post about the importance of the quantitative value of more qualitative benefits, which falls into the idea of “total compensation.”

Leverage what you’ve got and don’t sell yourself short.

Courtesy: Small Biz Trends

About Michael W. Zuna

Michael W. Zuna is Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Aflac U.S. Michael is responsible for leading the company’s integrated product and marketing strategies.