Many companies may feel they just got through the implementation of their 2015 benefits and can breathe a sigh of relief. However, due to the fiscal realities of healthcare costs and new ACA compliance and reporting standards your organization’s future financial performance may be impacted in ways you need to be prepared for.
Because the financial performance of a company can impact shareholder value, human capital, culture, etc. a short-term employee benefits plan may not cut it anymore. The “let’s follow what we did last year” approach needs to be replaced with a strategic planning process that can yield unique and innovative ideas that will work for your company.
Employee Benefit Plan Review recently reported on ways to create a strategic plan. The article, The Secret Weapon of Modern Benefits: A Strategic Plan calls for employers to set specific priorities and goals in regards to their total compensation package. They recommend taking the time and involving a variety of stakeholders to specifically develop an employee benefits plan using the same business approach they use to develop a new product or service.
The reason using a strategic planning model may work better than other planning efforts is because it involves a number of components in its process such as: discover/analyze/design/build/review structure. This requires commitment from up above to begin. Next, in addition to human resources and executives, employees from major functional areas should be involved to help have a broad range of representatives who may identify issues not considered by top management. Lastly, it may bring value to the process to engage an expert to facilitate your planning model.
According to the article, having a purposeful employee benefit strategic plan will help your organization establish realistic goals that can be clearly communicated. Goals that are unique to your company and which will help you avoid just duplicating your competitors best practices and calling it a day.
Finally, taking the time to develop such a plan should provide your organization with sustainability to stay ahead in your industry. And remember, you’re creating a living document, so don’t be afraid to make adjustments along the way.
Source: Employee Benefits Plan Review. The Secret Weapon of Modern Benefits: A Strategic Plan. March 2015. PP 12-13.