The Secret Weapon of Modern Benefits: a Strategic Plan

Mar 23, 2015

A lot is happening in the world of employee benefits. At the very least, companies must stay up to date with Affordable Care Act compliance, technology, and a host of medical and pharmaceutical advancements. And if they don’t, they could face regulatory action or simply lose the increasingly different battle in attracting talent.

In the March 2015 issue of Employee Benefit Plan Review, I discuss how something as simple as creating and actually employing an Employee Benefits Strategic plan can help companies not only stay up to date, but get ahead of the drastic changes occurring everyday in the world of employee benefits.

Employee Benefits Strategic Plan

For some, “strategic planning” is a series of formulaic meetings that result in a report that ends up on a shelf, rarely referred to or used until the next cycle. For a select few, however, it is a crucial part of the organization’s sustainability—a road map used to guide decisions.

Organizational strategic planning sets priorities and goals for the future. An Employee Benefit Strategic Plan employs the same approach but is specific to the total compensation approach of the organization. Simply put, in an environment of consistently rising healthcare costs and shifting healthcare regulations, it is essential for organizations to create longterm strategies with short-term objectives and have a quick-response review process in place.

The fiscal realities of increasing healthcare costs mixed with ACA unknowns can impact your organization’s financial performance in several ways. It may drag down shareholder value, become a drain on company performance, or negatively impact the culture and human capital within a business. Yet, with all these negative impacts, most organizations still do only a superficial short-term employee benefits plan for themselves.

What constitutes a strategy and how do we actually build a plan? A good definition of strategy is “… choosing to perform different activities that will provide a sustainable competitive advantage.” It is a way of thinking about the world and approaching business. Strategic planning is a process to produce innovative and creative ideas that serve as the core framework for the organization and design its future.

By adopting a strategic employee benefit planning process, organizations can make decisions regarding their benefits with significantly less stress for all involved.

The article explains how to go about creating a strategic plan, and what all it should entail, from establishing direction to creating organizational direction for your company to achieve sustainable results out of your employee benefits plans.

If you’re looking to design a benefits strategy for your organization, I encourage you to read the rest of the article in the March issue of Employee Benefit Plan Review.