Open enrollment season is here again! If your shop doesn’t provide health insurance benefits to employees, now is a great time to reconsider. Growth-focused shops must support their people, too, and benefits are a great way to deliver value to your team.
Let’s take a look at why benefits matter, which benefits your employees want most, and what you can do to obtain affordable benefits for your team.
Why Employee Benefits Matter
Benefits like paid time off and health insurance are huge value-adds for workers. In fact, a 2015 Glassdoor survey revealed that 80% of employees would choose improved benefits over a pay raise, with 95% of workers identifying healthcare benefits as their top priority.
The desire for healthcare benefits should come as no surprise, given the high cost of private-pay medical insurance. Though premiums vary dramatically across demographics, the average annual cost for health insurance in the US was a whopping $7,739 per individual and $22,221 per family as of 2021.
Employer-subsidized health insurance benefits enable employees—and often their families—to receive critical healthcare. Without affordable healthcare, employees call out sick more frequently, come to work even when they’re unwell, and often grow sicker over time because they’re avoiding the expense of a doctor’s visit.
When employees are given the tools they need to stay healthy, they’re also happier, more productive, and generally more satisfied with their jobs. Amidst an ongoing labor shortage, health insurance benefits go a long way toward attracting and retaining the skilled manufacturing professionals your modern machine shop needs.
Which Benefits Do Employees Want Most?
We already know that healthcare benefits are number one for US workers. But what other benefits top the list?
According to Indeed, employees are drawn to a host of benefits, which can be mixed and matched to suit your shop’s budget:
- More PTO
- Family and medical leave, including extended parental leave
- Retirement programs
- Flexible work hours
- Tuition reimbursement
- Life insurance
- Disability insurance
- Performance bonuses
We encourage you not to underestimate the value that benefits programs provide for employees. Along with the very real need for the services included in many benefits packages, workers also appreciate the “one-stop-shop” experience of getting high-impact benefits directly through their jobs—especially when employer-managed benefits are more affordable than private market purchases.
How to Find Healthcare Benefits Your Shop Can Afford
We get it: organizing benefits for an entire team is time-consuming and costly. In today’s highly competitive manufacturing job market, however, we propose that you can’t afford not to offer benefits packages to your employees.
The good news? Many flexible options exist that make benefits programs attainable for modern machine shops of all sizes.
Enlist a broker
Get connected with a broker to expedite your benefits-building process. A broker will help you identify quality benefits programs, obtain the best possible rates, and navigate implementation.
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) even provides a Broker Finder tool to help businesses begin their benefits searches. Search by zip code and business size to find brokers in your area.
Consider low-cost add-ons
While most businesses cover around 75% of their employees’ health insurance premiums, you don’t have to spend that much to provide the benefit. Figure out what you can afford, then enhance your overall benefits package with less costly perks.
- Give your employees a few flex days each year to celebrate a religious holiday, a child’s birthday, or—what the heck—their own birthdays!
- Cater lunch for your team weekly or monthly
- Give performance bonuses to workers who meet certain goals
What other high-value, low-cost benefits can you build into the workplace experience?
Connect with local business organizations
Member discounts and group rates can make any number of benefits more affordable, including health insurance. Find out what’s possible when you join your local Chamber of Commerce or a membership association for entrepreneurs and CEOs.
Learn how other business owners are managing benefits for their similarly sized companies, get broker recommendations, and ask for feedback on programs you’re considering.
Last but Not Least, Talk to NTMA—We’re Here to Help
As the national representative for custom precision manufacturing businesses in the US, NTMA wants to help you build, run, and sustain a profitable modern machine shop for the long haul. If you’re ready to bring benefits to your valued team, reach out to learn how NTMA can help.
Of course, you’ll want to become a member first! Join now.