Business Confidence and Affordable Health Insurance
I was fortunate enough to be one of the lucky 1500 + people that attended the AEDC Economic Forecast luncheon this past week. Lots of good news was reported there, including 1700 new jobs in our market this past year.
What I found very interesting though, was what business owners were citing as a hindrance to their growth. Over half said that the cost of health insurance was a significant or moderate barrier to their organization’s growth. While this is down from the 62 percent cited last year, it’s still is a major challenge to overcome, especially when you pair it with the other barriers to growth: availability and job readiness of workers. Offering health insurance is an important part of getting those highly sought after employees that will add to your bottom line, but how does a business owner balance it?
In my experience I find that most businesses still view offering benefits similar to that of supplying office equipment. You research the product, compare it to competitors, make sure it meets your basic needs (assuming you know what those are) and then put it in place and let it run on its own. But, benefits are so much more complex than that and require active interaction if you are to get the fullest value out of them. They can affect the productivity of your staff, provide an opportunity to connect and build loyalty, create better teamwork, drive innovation, and ultimately build a better community. To afford health insurance, business owners and executives need to see it as more than a simple product or service. It affects lives and, if led right, can help your organization stand above the competition. How can you not afford that?
By Holly Parsons