October 2014 Newsletter
— Small Business Month —
October is Small Business Month and we would like to celebrate the over 1 million small businesses and 8 million small business employees in Canada.
Small businesses have been described as the backbone of Alberta’s corporate landscape – they create jobs, spur growth and lead to innovation. These businesses depict Canada’s diverse culture, as well as emphasize our nations strong work ethic and will to succeed in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
One of the main challenges these companies face is to remain competitive in the pre-employment phase with larger corporations. This issue is extremely pertinent to small business owners looking to attract skilled employees. The reason the larger companies have the advantage is because of the capital they have at their disposal, which can be used to gain access to the best employee benefits plans for their employees. This can make it extremely difficult for smaller business to compete from an economic standpoint, especially when coupled with Canada’s continually rising cost in health care.
Exacerbating the issue even more is the shifting perspective in Generation Y employees, who have begun to view employee benefits as more of a right, than a perk.
What does a small business owner need to compete?
An advisor knows that a small business employer simply wants to see their employees get the best benefits at the most affordable price. But this isn’t all they need from there advisor. The following chart from a recent survey depicts the top services an advisor performs for small businesses.
In addition to these services a good advisor will provide you with a team of group benefit specialists to ensure constant communication between your plan and your employees/administrators. Plan literacy can be a huge component of overall employee benefits satisfaction from your employees and information sessions and digital presentations are a great way to ensure that your employees are well-informed about their benefits package.
What’s the true value of my employee benefit program?
A recent survey has shown that people prefer extended health benefits to higher salaries. When offered a choice between $10,000 and their health benefits, 59 per cent of the survey participants said they would rather keep their benefits. This may seem startling to some, however, an employee benefits package can quite often be much more cost-effective than a simple increase in salary. This is due to the way a benefits plan can be structured to minimize additional taxes and costs, whereas an increase in salary will almost certainly lead to higher taxes and less overall profit.
“Give employees the benefits they value, and they’ll be more
satisfied, miss fewer workdays, be less likely to quit, and
have higher commitment to meeting the company’s goals.”
In closing, we would just like to say thank you to all of the small businesses that continue to promote excellence and diversity throughout Alberta. Keep up the good work!