Tag Archives: Employee benefit

Health Insurance: Decision Time

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(Written by Rick Dacri & published in the York County Coast Star, August 22, 2013)

It’s decision time. The deadlines for implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are fast approaching. Delay, in hopes that Congress will suddenly derail it, is a mistake.

Most employers have moved beyond a wait and see approach and are taking steps to deal with the new rules and regulations. The Act is complex and employers should quickly meet with their health insurance brokers to get their advice and counsel. The focus must be on developing the correct tactics to handle the vast implications of the Affordable Care Act.

The news has been filled with stories of companies opting to drop their existing health insurance coverage, fire workers to fall below the 50 full-time equivalent (FTE) threshold for mandatory coverage or reduce employee hours below 30 to avoid offering coverage. The reality is very different. What I hear from my clients is that they definitely plan to continue providing coverage and this trend is affirmed by a recent International Foundation of Employee Benefits survey. 69% of participants indicated they would definitely continue coverage and another 25% said they are likely to do so. Only 4% said they are likely or leaning toward dropping coverage.

Employers who currently do not offer health insurance must now decide whether to continue that practice or not. Under the “play or pay” rules, Continue reading

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Salary Top Cause of Employee Dissatisfaction

 Salary is by far the leading cause of employee dissatisfaction among U.S. workers, cited by 47% of respondents in a recent Market Tool Inc. survey. Other leading causes include workload (24%), lack of opportunities for advancement (21%) and the employee’s manager or supervisor (21%). It is important to note that a strong correlation exists between employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction and, ultimately, a company’s revenue and profitability.

 But how can this be? If low salary is the source of dissatisfaction, wouldn’t more money be therefore the source of greater satisfaction? Yet for years experts (and that includes me) have preached that money was not the source of employee satisfaction. Have we all been wrong or is the survey flawed?

 The economy has changed employees’ attitudes. In the last 2 years, employees have faced frozen salaries and pay cuts along with increases to the cost of health benefits. At the same time other costs have steadily increased as their wages decreased (gas, fuel, clothing, etc). This has led to widespread employee dissatisfaction and a focus on pay.

 There will be pressure for employers to respond–something they have been able avoid with high unemployment. In fact, employers have seen that even with reduced workers and depressed pay they have still enjoyed productivity gains over the past 2 years. The tide is now changing. As the economy improves, employees will begin to search for greener pastures. Watch for turnover to increase. Employers will in turn respond with wage adjustments and a new cycle will emerge. We are experiencing interesting times.

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Filed under Employee Relations, Leadership, Management