What Makes a Good Employee Benefits Plan?

Since the start of the pandemic employers have learned that to retain the best talent they must invest in a comprehensive employee benefit plan. In order to retain top employees, now more than ever employers are looking to provide diverse benefit plans to support their employees for all of their needs. If you’re a small business and are thinking about adding an employee benefits plan to your company, look no further. We’ve compiled some tips to create a basic benefits plan based on the needs of your organization. With a step by step guide to setting it up. 

In today’s market, employers that only provide basic benefit plans that cover prescriptions, dental, and vision are failing to listen, or meet the needs of their employees. As a small business owner, getting the most out of your money is important. For this reason, customizable plans are recommended for businesses of all sizes, regardless of your budget.

man points to screen while talking to employee

What Makes a Good Benefits Plan?

If you’re unsure what makes a good benefits plan, there are a few key considerations you should ask both yourself and your team to help create a plan that meets the needs of your organization. A good benefits plan is one that finds a balance between the needs of its employees and the cost restraints of the organization. Here are 6 basic steps to create a good benefit plan for your business.

1. Identify Your Organization's Objective

The first step in creating a good benefit plan is establishing a clear objective. Defining the purpose of why you want a good benefits plan helps to guide your team in identifying the design of the benefits program. Your HR strategy may help to guide the development of your defined benefit objectives.

2. Establish Your Budget

Your first consideration should be your budget. Every business big or small has to allocate a certain budget and knowing how much you can afford to spend is vital when choosing your first benefits plan. Talk to decision makers at your organization to determine an answer to the following; do you have some wiggle room in how much you can spend, or do you have a hard line that you cannot cross? No matter the budget there are plan options that can support every business.

3. Consider Your Employee Demographics

Next, you should determine the demographics of your employees to find out what benefits are important to them. You can start by creating a questionnaire to help you better understand the needs of your employees. You will want to find out; what is the average age of your employees? Is there a large age gap? Do they share common characteristics? These types of questions are important as older employees may place more value on benefits such as life insurance, while younger employees may place more value in paramedical services like massage therapy. You can learn more about trending benefit solutions on our marketplace today.

4. Perform a Needs Assessment

In your questionnaire you should also ask questions that directly address the needs and wants of your employees. By asking employees what benefits they may value, you can provide them with the assurance that their organization cares about what they want.

5. Create a Benefits Plan Program

Once you’ve established answers to the above questions, you can create a benefits plan program. Begin by prioritizing the benefits according to employee needs. Then, compare the cost of providing the prioritized benefits against your estimated benefits budget to identify the benefits that meet your financial requirements.

6. Evaluate Your Plan Regularly

As we discussed, a good employee benefit plan is consistent with the needs of your employees and the values of your organization. Revisiting your questionnaire yearly creates a sense of trust between your organization and your employees and allows them to feel like their needs are being met. You can evaluate your benefits plan easily by visiting

Setting Up Your Employee Benefits Plan

Once you’ve done your research, determined your budget, and the demographics and needs of your employees you can set up your plan. There are several different methods of delivering employee benefits to your workforce. Your budget and length of plan will both play into this. In order to begin, you must be connected with an advisor. If you don’t have one you can connect with a trusted advisor on our marketplace today. Here are some options for how you can provide benefits to your employees:

  1. The plan cost is fully paid by you, the employer.
  2. The plan cost is shared between the employer and the employee (with various options on how the cost is shared)
  3. The plan consists of a Health Spending Account (HSA), which is a set amount of money that employees can choose to spend however they like (on eligible health expenses). *Note this is also fully paid by the employer, but it has a defined limit. With an HSA, the employer always knows the exact spend on the plan. They can be offered on their own, or as an add-on to an existing plan.

Sample Plans for Small Businesses

If you just want to get to the bottom line, check out our Sample Plan (insert hyperlink) to gain an estimate of the cost of a basic employee benefit plan based on your region and company size.

sample plan quote

If you’re looking for a complete list of basic benefits that you can offer check out our recent blog post Benefits For Small Business: A Simple Guide For Employers.

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What is an employee benefits plan booklet?

It's a document provided by your employee benefits provider that details the coverage level, types of benefits, and cost of your plan. Ask your advisor or your provider to provide you with this document.

If you're still unsure, reach out to us at [email protected] and we can show you examples.


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