Four small business benefit pain points (and how to fix them)

According to a recent study,1 organizations that use benefits as a strategy tool for recruiting and retaining talent reported better overall company performance and above-average effectiveness in recruitment and retention.

  • Company performance: 58% vs. 34%
  • Effectiveness in recruiting: 19% vs. 8%
  • Effectiveness in retention: 28% vs. 11%

But, as a small business, you may not have the same resources available to you – and you may face additional challenges in establishing and managing an effective employee benefits program. Here are a few typical pain points that small businesses face – and what you can do about them.

1. No dedicated HR department

In many small businesses, HR responsibilities are assigned to the owner, office manager or to a single person who has to deal with HR issues - hiring, firing, payroll, time tracking, benefits and more. That means they won’t have much time to learn a new employee benefits administration system and set up or transition to a new plan.

What to do: Partner with an employee benefits insurer who has staff who can help you.

2. Keeping your benefits package competitive

According to a recent survey, 34% of small- to mid-sized businesses are extremely or very worried about the competitiveness of their compensation and benefits packages.2 With low unemployment and employees jumping from job to job, it’s no wonder small businesses are worried. After all, it takes a lot of time and money to recruit, hire and onboard an employee. The last thing you want is to lose one over benefits.

What to do: Review your benefits package with a consultant each year, to ensure that you are offering the most effective benefits possible.

3. Coordinating benefits from different carriers

In most cases, you’ll find that different benefits are offered by different insurance companies. Managing all of the various types of benefits – from employee assistance and wellness programs to voluntary benefits like critical care and hospital indemnity coverage, to health, dental, vision and life insurance – can take a lot of time and energy. Especially if your HR person needs to learn a new system for each benefit.

What to do: Look for a benefits carrier who has a system that will let you manage all of your benefits programs.

4. Dealing with old technology

Start up businesses typically have the latest technology in place. After all, you’re not going to put old technology in place when you start a business. But, many small businesses find that insurance companies (especially those that have been around for 100 years or more) often have old technology running their employee benefits programs.

What to do: Look for an insurer who has the latest technology for employee benefits. It will probably be more intuitive and easier to use – and you’ll have to spend less time learning the system.


1. Source: “2018 Employee Benefits: The Evolution of Benefits,” Society for Human Resource Management.
2, Source: “What’s Keeping America’s SMB Leaders Up at Night,” Inc. and Oracle, Feb. 2017.

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GE-2282916 (10/2018) (Exp. 10/2020)