Benefits continue to become an increasingly important component of total compensation. Is your health plan keeping pace? According to USA Today, benefits have reached an all-time high for “proportion of the paycheck,” reaching 19.7% of overall compensation.
Cost of benefits outpacing growth in wages
Wage growth has not kept pace with the ever-climbing cost of benefits. From 2007 to 2011, the cost of employee benefits rose 10.8% (after adjusting for inflation). Compare that to a 1.4% increase in wages over that same time period.
But while employers continue to shell out more for benefits, in many companies employees don’t even understand the full value of the benefits package they’re receiving. While they may appreciate the benefits they’re being offered, they often have no idea of the total cost. Starting next year, health care reform mandates that employers report the value of medical benefits on every employee’s W-2. This may help employees start to understand everything that goes into their “pay”…but it’s only a small step in that direction.
Your best weapon to control costs: data
In this battle to offer competitive compensation, your best weapon is data. It's vital to know how your plan stacks up against others and what new tools and innovations are at your disposal to control your costs.
In Grand Rapids tomorrow, we’re holding an HNI University workshop on Benefits Benchmarking featuring Jon Gabel, the Principal Investigator for the Kaiser Family Foundation. At this workshop, he’ll present the "hot off the presses" data from the 2012 Kaiser survey, one of the largest and most comprehensive sources of benchmarking data in the country.
Following the discussion of the Kaiser benefits benchmarking data, Anthony Fioretti and Steve Hook from HNI will discuss a number of innovative benefits strategies that are emerging in the marketplace. Through case studies of top-performing companies, they will illustrate new approaches with the potential to help beat the trend of rising costs of health care and employee benefits.
We still have space available at tomorrow’s workshop -- sign up to attend to learn more on this topic!