Tackling a tight labour market is no small issue for talent-seeking business owners. And 2021 certainly delivered a challenging time in that regard, with the lowest unemployment rate since just before the GFC and high inflation putting pressure on wages and spending power. It really has been – once again – quite the year.
So, with 2022 looking likely to deliver the same set of challenges, how do business owners strengthen their ability to attract and retain talent? Of course, that’s a big question with many layers, but one employee benefit I’d like to share some insight on is Group Health Insurance.
But first things first – what is Group Health Insurance? In short, it is health insurance that an employer can make available for employees. There are various insurers that offer this type of cover, and each have different levels of flexibility and different benefits. It is fast becoming a sought after and valued employee benefit in the New Zealand workforce.
Here are some thoughts for Kiwi business owners in 2022 planning mode.
Sending a clear signal to prospective employees
One-third of job-hunting Kiwis consider subsided health insurance as a factor when assessing potential employers (reported by Southern Cross).
Part of the appeal is of course practical – health insurance is a valuable employee benefit, and can give an individual access to cover that they may not otherwise be able to get.
But the appeal is about more than just the practical.
Offering Group Health Insurance shows a prospective employee that the business is mindful of their teams’ health and wellbeing. Where people choose to work is about more than the paycheque and opportunities. Of course that plays a big role, but as any business owner knows, it’s also about the culture, the fit, and how a business takes care of its employees. And for someone new to you and new to the way you run your ship, offering this type of benefit sends a nice clear signal.
Making it possible
I mentioned earlier that by offering Group Health Insurance, an employer can give an individual access to cover that they may not otherwise be able to get. Here’s why:
Historical and existing health issues can make obtaining health insurance difficult for individuals, and where it is possible to obtain, will likely include exclusions for those health conditions. Group Health Insurance on the other hand, does not exclude pre-existing conditions. So, for some, it can actually make getting cover possible. Good for the individual. Good for the business. Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to building a great business culture and happy team – every business, team and individual is different. But I think we can all agree that when people feel valued and appreciated, they experience strong job satisfaction and play their best game. Good for the individual. Good for the business.
Group Health insurance offer employers a strong tool to reinforce a culture of value and appreciation, and in turn support retention and productivity goals. What’s more, as Southern Cross found in a recent survey, businesses with health cover in place for their employees, on average, report one less sick day per full time employee per year. For a business with five staff, 10 staff, 20… that can really add up.
Responding to the pandemic
As we all know all too well, the past two years have been very stressful, and for many have created or heightened anxiety and other mental health concerns.
As understanding of the toll the pandemic was taking on mental health grew, insurance providers responded by enhancing the benefits available in Group Health Insurance to support mental health: a valuable tool for employers in supporting employees as we continue to do battle with the pandemic.
Like to know more?
If you’re looking at introducing Group Health Insurance as an employee benefit, I welcome you to get in touch to find out more and discuss the options appropriate for your business and team.
Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current developments or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.