The ongoing turmoil surrounding our nation’s health care has exposed some of the issues facing both employers and benefits consultants today. In fact, these issues are complicating the benefits landscape so much, that a recent Forbes Magazine article, said the number of benefits brokers will decrease by 50 percent in the coming years.
Over the past 37 years that I’ve been in the benefits industry, I’ve had the privilege of working alongside hundreds of employers and tens of thousands of employees. And throughout this time it has never ceased to amaze me at what employers are willing to accept as “the status quo.”
When faced with turmoil and change many employers are content with just opting for doing things how they’ve always done them. Here at The Olson Group we reject this way of thinking and have found success in doing so.
When health care reform passed in 2010, our company faced two options. Adapt and survive or stay the same and close our doors. So, The Olson Group adapted, and now we work towards helping all of your employer-partners adapt too.
Over the years our company has worked to develop a strategic benefits planning process to further this adaptation. Our process allows organizations to design and implement a strategic benefits plan that spans multiple years.
Strategic Benefits Planning
There are five key areas our strategic benefits planning process covers. These areas are:
- Establish Goals and Objectives
- Deep Dive Analysis
- Plan Performance
- Plan Stewardship
To establish your firm’s goals and objectives, we utilize a 15-question scorecard to assess your benefits plan’s overall effectiveness. After we determine your goals and objectives, we then perform a deep dive analysis.
Typically, we complete a deep dive analysis with our clients every two to three years. This evaluation lets us know specifically where your benefits plan’s strengths and weaknesses lie. Next, we evaluate your benefits policy’s compliance.
Did you know that 90 to 95 percent of employers have a benefits plan that’s out of compliance? Between HIPAA, ACA, COBRA, FMLA, FLSA, ERISA, and retirement plans, there are countless rules and regulations both your company and benefits plan have to comply with.
Evaluating and correcting any compliance issues is imperative for your business. Because noncompliance could cost your business hundreds to even millions of dollars in penalties, and legal fees.
After determining your plan’s compliance, we examine its performance. Using new technology, cutting-edge strategies, and our accumulated knowledge, we work tirelessly to ensure your benefits program reaches peak effectiveness.
Lastly, we ensure plan stewardship. The ultimate goal is employee satisfaction with your benefits program. The Olson Group works to promote satisfaction through employee education. Continual education is key to your employees understanding, maximizing, and appreciating their benefits.
The bottom line is employee benefits programs are complex, ever-changing, and continue to be one of the largest expenses to employers. Strategic benefits planning is essential to staying ahead of whatever piece of benefits legislation is passed next.
If you commit to a process utilizing the fundamentals in these five key areas, work with an advisor focused on services, and create a working document laying out your action plan, you will maximize your company’s chance for success.
** Read about strategic benefits planning and more in the Breaking Through the Status Quo. Tim Olson, founder of The Olson Group is one of the book’s authors. Don’t settle for “the way things have always been done,” and pick up your FREE Breaking Through the Status Quo today.