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May 6, 2024 How To

How to benefit your business with employee benefits

With unemployment rates continuing to hover at record lows, finding ways to recruit and retain talent can feel like an insurmountable task for our contingency of small businesses here in Maine.

Photo / UNUM
Chris Pyne is executive vice president of group benefits at Unum. He is a Bowdoin College graduate.

Today’s workforce is evolving, as are their needs. Employees expect more from their employers and a strong employee benefits package can make or break the overall employee experience.

But what is the real impact of a well-rounded employee benefits program? Employees are increasingly seeking more than just standard compensation packages. They want better and more creative offerings that encourage personal wellbeing and an enhanced work-life balance.

That is exactly where employee benefits can make a difference.

Disability insurance

Let’s first consider leave support — a key driver in employee satisfaction. Life is full of surprises, both exciting and challenging. Whether your employee is welcoming a new child to their family, or battling a cancer diagnosis, empowering them to take the time they need to navigate these major life moments is critical to their wellbeing.

At Unum, the most common claims we see are for pregnancies, musculoskeletal disorders, mental health disorders, injuries and cancer. Disability insurance helps your employees during times of need by replacing a portion of their income while they are unable to work. And, by giving them the time they need to tend to these situations on the front end, you may ultimately see them back in the office or at the job site more quickly.

Financial security

Next, there is the financial security that employee benefits provide. Life’s surprises often come with a hefty price tag. According to Bankrate, a majority of Americans say they cannot afford a $1,000 emergency expense. Offering support such as accident, critical illness or hospital indemnity insurance can help safeguard your employee’s future financial wellbeing.

Employee benefits can also provide more than just financial security. There are employer solutions that are specifically designed to address key drivers of leave and disability.

At Unum, we work with a number of partners that offer access to specialized mental health, caregiving, maternity, digestive health and chronic pain supports. These resources allow employees to take care of and prioritize their personal wellbeing and can even prevent the need for leave and absence down the line.

Employee loyalty

So, why should small businesses invest in employee benefits? It’s simple. Research shows that employees want to be supported by their employer and are 7.4 times more likely to want to remain with their company if they feel their employer cares about them.

We also know that when employees are happy, they are more productive. Employee benefits help demonstrate that you are invested in your employees holistically, which goes a long way in helping your workforce feel seen and supported.

Comprehensive employee benefits are strategic and necessary investments in today’s labor market. Employee expectations are high and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all plan. It is crucial to curate a well-rounded package that can meet employees wherever they are in life. At the end of the day, it is good for business and simply put, it is the right thing to do.

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