Keating Advisors’ Kim Keating is featured in partnership with Dante Disparte, CEO & Founder of Risk Cooperative, in this month’s edition of Workspan, the monthly magazine for total rewards professionals published by WorldatWork.
Keating and Disparte’s article explores the need for organizations, particularly middle-market companies, to consider a more strategic approach to benefits. Despite best efforts to contain costs and broaden coverage under the changing health-care-reform political landscape, providing employee benefits remains one of the largest and most confounding cost drivers for employers. Many employers and resource-constrained HR managers ruefully undergo the annual insurance renewal ritual of declining coverage, increased compliance and rising costs, which may average 25% for middle-market plans in 2017. Companies strive to strike the delicate balance of offering competitive benefits and mitigating employee disappointment with rising contributions and declining coverage.
This disappointment shows up in insidious ways in reduced employee engagement, loyalty and morale. At the same time, many HR managers face the false choice of presenting a talent management strategy while having little direct control of the health-care budget, which is typically in the hands of their CFOs. Against this backdrop and in an environment of increasing competitive pressure on the topline and margins, the key to winning the benefits war is having clear tactics and strategies anchored in a philosophy toward investing in people. It is this investment that, if executed properly, can yield long-term returns including reduced turnover and increased workforce productivity.