When you have employees, “comparing paychecks” is not the conversation you want going on around your water cooler.  Money could be what attracts employees to your job opening.  But, if wages is the only arrow in your quiver you may live to regret it. Paying higher wages is a short term tactic that can turn deadly in the long run because once you max out wages there’s nowhere to go but up.  You can’t lower wages, at least not lower them and expect to keep good people around for long. Better health benefits are the best calling card you have. 

It’s just too soon to tell about the economic pressures of a post shutdown world trying to get back on its feet. So instead of paying higher wages employers should consider what other ‘important needs’ prospective (and current) employees have.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that health benefits are going to be incredibly important in a post-COVID-19 world.

Health benefits are going to be incredibly important in a post-COVID-19 world. #smallbiz Click To Tweet

The full impact of the shutdown and the government injection of cash are unpredictable at best. What we do know is that some businesses got hit harder than others.  These ‘essential businesses’ will have a ‘leg up’ on hiring.  Businesses that had to shut down and lay off workers are at a distinct disadvantage.  Even though both got access to financial assistance, when it comes to hiring they are not on a level playing field.  This could result in bidding wars over more experienced and well trained employees. Even if they were your employee before the shutdown you may need to sweeten the deal to win them back. 

What can an employer do to hire the best employees after the virus shutdown?

Better Employee Retention and Portable Health Insurance

Small business owner employee benefitsOffering higher salaries to attract good people or improve productivity has always been the shortest path, but rarely the best one.  Yet with federal disaster money, many business owners will quickly jump on the paycheck bandwagon to try and stabilize their workforce. Its understandable since everyone wants to put pandemic in the rear view mirror as quickly as possible.  Yet, a “quick fix”, wage increase isn’t the solution. There is no guarantee that cash flow will snap-back as we hope it will. Even if your company starts out well on Recovery Road, times might get tough ahead. It’s important to keep a little dry powder on hand in case your customers and cash-flow are slow to return. The full extent of the damage to businesses will continue to unfold long into the future. 

Beyond market-based wages, employers need to find less costly or non-cash solutions to hire right and keep the troops happy. Even things as small as a company Barbeque or team outings once the virus is behind us.  Try to be proactive in anticipating employee’s pressing needs. Remember, they may not have the same resources you do as an owner.  It’s easy to forget that your employee’s needs are sometimes the basic necessities.  It sends a nice message to employees that you care when it’s needed most. That’s how you build loyalty and dedication, it’s a 2-way street. The gold-standard in keeping employees happy and feeling rewarded is employer paid health benefits. Even though health insurance is super expensive right now, nothing could be more personal and pressing than health care.

An employer paid health plan is super attractive to laid-off employees and new hires alike. It shows the employer cares for the employee’s health and finances.  Giving employees a way to add family members is also greatly appreciated by employees with a family to worry about.  It’s a well documented fact that employer sponsored health benefits can increase retention and reduce the need for recruitment and training.  Because you know how finding and training new employees is a real frog kissing contest. When you find a prince, giving them health benefits is a great way to keep the competition from hiring them with a few extra dollars in the paycheck.  

Statistics show as much as 49% of Americans are on health packages from their companies. The vast majority of these are large employers, so the proof is in. There’s a ton of good reasons why large employers pay for employee health benefits.  Bottom line, it gives them a significant advantage in hiring the best and brightest people.    

But what do paid health packages really entail and how can you find one you can afford? 

Most health insurance these days comes with a high deductible, usually around $5,000 or more. Monthly health insurance premiums can be as much as $500 for an individual and $1,800 for a family. It’s an astounding increase compared to amounts charged in the 1980s. Even still, being on your own and trying to find practical options on the Healthcare Exchange is scary. 

It’s predicted that after the Covid virus the cost of health insurance will be more expensive and coverage more restrictive.  So where does that leave employers who want to offer paid health benefits?

A Less Expensive and Better Idea

Happy employee team retention learning development

Traditional employer paid health insurance has been the gold standard in employer benefits for 50 years.  That’s great, but remember nobody puts Kodak film in the camera anymore, and nobody calls a Yellow Cab either. History is littered with the remains of industry giants who were innovated out of existence. Health insurance is long overdue.   

The team at Scoop Health is here to show you that health insurance isn’t your only option for truly affordable health benefits! There’s no need to arm wrestle between wages and health benefits for employees, especially during such trying times and with health concerns running so high. Gross pay is important, but an affordable employer sponsored health plan is still the gold standard.  A health plan that you and your employees can count on is solving a problem that they can’t solve on their own.  

As a cost sharing community, we don’t just profess to care, we actually live it!  Instead of paying the overhead, premiums and profits of a large insurance company, our membership uses member’s monthly funds to pay the medical bills of the community.  It’s not insurance, it’s actually a better way to pay for healthcare, at about half the price of health insurance..   

Regardless of company size, keeping employees positive is hard to do. Many owners still believe high wages are the best way to boost morale. But after the COVID 19 virus, health and the high cost of healthcare is a very real concern for everyone.  At some point we are all going to need a helping hand. 

If your company is ready to get back to business and considering wage increases to reward employees or attract the best talent, give the team at Scoop Health a call today! Let us show you how a proactive health package is just as important as a paycheck. At Scoop Health, we say that sharing needs with a like-minded community leads to a stronger solution and happier employees.


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