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The reality is that the current COVID-19 pandemic isn’t going away this 2021. Many employers are finding it difficult to balance the cost of benefits with the well-being of their valuable employees. As much as Canadian employers would like to put a premium on their employees’ well-being, they face some great challenges from the pandemic, like reduced revenue and steadily increasing costs.
In a survey from Arthur J. Gallahager & Co., a little over half of their correspondents cite cost controlling as the main roadblock to their benefit-related interests. Cost saving measures, such as variable cost structures or rebalancing cost sharing with their employees, are gaining popularity with many businesses, and a majority of business owners claim to still pay full cost for their respective benefit plans. However the survey also found that there are fewer employers who offer the full coverage of extended health-care coverage, paramedical co-insurance, and drug plan premiums.
Also according to the survey, a massive 68% of employers increased their focus on employees’ well-being, considering the pressure and difficulties they’d suffer amidst the pandemic. Out of the 56% of employers who pushed for employee well-being initiatives, 37% of the group have launched new resources and tools, while 19% expanded their benefits program, and another 19% raised their support for their employees’ financial state.
As good as it is to see employers taking a greater interest in nurturing their employees well-being, the priorities of these employers have certainly shifted due to the pandemic. Their focus has turned toward talent acquisition and retention, to financial stability and business continuity. This is an understandable change of priority, but doesn’t take away from the importance of employee well-being and engagement when it comes to increasing business performance. In fact, all cost/benefit analyses of employee well-being vs the cost of employee benefits show that personal concerns can distract employees and negatively affect productivity and profitability.
The struggle employers have balancing employee well-being and benefit costs is definitely not insurmountable, as there are many cost-saving options available which give employers the means to boost employee engagement, retention, and acquisition. One such benefit is Health spending accounts (HSAs), which is a tax-free benefit helping employers and employees cut back on the cost of medical expenses, and eliminate the waste of resources normally associated with a traditional plan.
If you’re an employer struggling to balance on the tightrope of employee well-being and benefits cost, give our benefits consultants at BP Consulting a call to explore our many benefit options and packages, along with our top-tier service and reliability.
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