EMPLOYEE BENEFITS CHANGING? NOT THE “WHAT,” BUT THE “HOW.”

By  USDR

What does it take to attract and retain top talent today? An abundant benefits package. While this is nothing new, the challenge remains for employers to offer certain benefits to their employees. Following this year’s first-ever full ACA reporting provision confusion, employers now more than ever are seeking a “how” solution to providing the “what” benefits employees  want.

A recent article published by Entrepreneur discusses the benefits that employees’ desire from their employer. Most of these are benefits are not even mandated by law for employers to even offer their employees, such as medical insurance, retirement plans, dental/vision plans, and even vacation  time.

That with said, it would be difficult to find an employer today who does not offer some type of paid time-off to their full-time employees. Likewise, despite the fact that the United States law does not require employers to provide bereavement leave, most employers do not have an issue with granting employees time-off for family  deaths.

What does the law require employers to provide their employees? Employers must give employees time off to vote and serve on a jury and withhold taxes from their earnings, among other dubitable  necessities.

It remains speculative why the government does not require employers to offer employees more for the work that they do. Perhaps this is why it is termed, “benefits;” however, with the recent installation of Obamacare, the government might be catching on to what employees want and  need.

In the past employers were hesitant to offer more to their employees than what is mandated by the government fearing strict compliance issues ranging from having multiple contribution amounts, failing to reveal benefits costs, and even forgetting to enroll employees during open  enrollment.

This may seem like blatant negligence on the part of employers, but often times it is only one or two HR professionals managing the entire organization, which can range from 500 to 1,000 to 10,000 employees. It is understandable that one may fall through the  crack.

That with said, in order to attract and retain top talent, many employers do offer several of the benefits that employees desire, and this year alone marked the first year that large employers had to submit Affordable Care Act (ACA) information returns to the IRS for the 2015 calendar year. Even if employers did not offer some type of health plan to their employees in the past, most partnered with insurance carriers in order to offer “affordable” health coverage and avoid the pricy penalties from the  IRS.

Providing employees with basic benefits packages not only secures employee loyalty, but boosts employee retention, job satisfaction, and engagement. It may not seem like a complete benefits package could do all of this, but employees are more engaged and work harder to promote the business when they know their employer values them enough to offer them such amenities. Plus, by providing various medical plans, employees will be healthier and not out-of-the-office during crucial  times.

The fact is that the benefits that employees’ desire has not changed, it is how employee benefits are administered that has changed. Competition in the market is steep, and both small and Fortune 500 companies are offering their employees a suite of perks including employee-specific medical plans, voluntary life insurance, disability insurance, FSAs, and even the ability to cash-in unused vacation  days.

What could be an HR nightmare of paperwork, forms, phone calls, and frustration is now tidied-up in one seamless technology that makes benefits administration not only a breeze, but a pleasure. Today’s rapidly evolving benefits landscape and ever-changing government requirements demands a robust, flexible tool that enables employers to customize products, employee classifications, and even important communications. Furthermore, on account of the government’s full ACA provisions, it is now more important than ever for data to be well-managed, easily manipulated, and able to flow from one network system to  another.

In fact, with the end of the fiscal year in sight, businesses are rushing to spend the last of their budget on a benefits administration technology that will become the hub of their employee benefits data, enrollment, management, and  reporting.

There are certainly several employee benefits tools in the market, and employers must be careful to select a technology that can be easily integrated and accessed, and no doubt, easily rolled-out to  employees.

One cloud-based application stands out as being not only the best in innovation and customization, but also in service. Web Benefits Design’s unique business model combines a benefits administration platform, an online employee enrollment website, a knowledgeable call center, and full file feeds to carriers and payroll for benefits compensation management. Not only that, but what has really put the spotlight on this organization is that they have developed over fifteen years of benefits administration expertise into their system so that it can provide corporate branded websites, ACA compliance and reporting directly to the IRS, and even COBRA administration—a time-consuming challenge other HR tools have not even  addressed.

In today’s digital age, employers are going the route of “cafeteria-style” plans, offering employees the opportunity to select which benefits options they desire, and more significantly, what is right for them. Web Benefits Design’s easily customized communications encourages employers to educate their employees on their rights and  options.

Certainly, the employee benefits landscape is changing and will continue. Employers now more than ever need a technology that will allow for robust product offerings, multiple carrier relationships, employee-specific communications, and guaranteed regulatory  compliance.

When playing in a market full of competitors, businesses are discovering the importance of retaining top performers, providing abundant benefits packages, and using an affordable technology that streamlines every benefits administration process from enrollment to payroll to reporting to the IRS—and all processes in  between.

Jessica Lynn Campbell is Marketing Executive and Content Writer for Web Benefits Design. She has a Master’s in English-Technical Communication, a Bachelor’s in Psychology, and is currently obtaining a PH.D in Texts and Technology. Jessica is an expert and experienced technical communicator, author, and multi-media manager having been published on multiple media platforms including print and online. She is skilled in APA, MLA, Chicago, and Bluebook citation  styles.

Web Benefits Design is the leading national employee benefits technology firm, who develops a complete, cloud-based employee benefits platform. The Web Benefit Design’s Total Access Exchange encompasses a highly complex, efficient, and integrated technology, administration, compliance, and communication platform written on a unified codebase. Jessica can be reached at jessica.campbell@wbdcorp.com or  407-810-7542.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.