The Benefit of (Good) Benefits

According to a Gallup study, one in every six workers stay in a job they’re unhappy with because of the benefits and the lower the income the more tied to the job people are. Benefits are a huge part of our lives.

Medical and dental insurance is essential and there are (at least) two aspects I don’t like about how it’s provided. I don’t feel it should be tied to employment and I don’t want the government taking it over. However, about three-fourths of people surveyed feel the government should “play a bigger role” in helping contain costs and reducing the financial burden of health care.

Some might say it’s good news people are tied to their job. Others would see it as reducing career advancement, reducing productivity because there are unhappy employees, and/or not letting a company hire better people (through normal attrition).

In the buying and selling of businesses benefits always come up in the discussion. Smart buyers want a company that takes care of their people. Contrast that feeling with this vignette based on what one owner told me a year or so ago:

He bragged about how little he paid people and how he didn’t (have to) provide benefits. Then he shared he was constantly hiring because of employee turnover. And, he had a serious issue with absenteeism, which was affecting his productivity and margins.

There’s no easy answer here but to get on the right track, small-business owners should do their best to provide what it takes to keep people happy, productive, and growing in their careers. It’s a lot less expensive than the cost of replacing people and having them not show up for work.

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