If you think the realm of employee benefits is strictly HR’s domain, it’s time to change your thinking. Labor costs, including employee benefits, is often the largest expense of any organization and should be closely watched by both HR and finance.
More financial leaders are taking an interest in human resources and starting to expand their influence outside the traditional areas of accounting. A recent Robert Half survey showed CFOs are more likely to expand their reach into HR more than any other department.
39% of CFOs said their role expanded into HR the most
Source: Robert Half
If you’re hands-off when it comes to employee benefits, it’s time to get his/her attention. Here are three reasons why a CFO should care:
- A Healthy Workforce = Increased Productivity
As a CFO, it should be a top priority to protect your organization’s biggest asset by building a healthier workforce. You want employees who are alert, engaged and able to produce, and not distracted by pain, illness and endless doctor’s appointments.
Keep in mind: benefits don’t necessarily require an out-of-pocket expense. For some employees, a flexible schedule or the option to work from home occasionally can help alleviate stress. Or, consider offering financial wellbeing courses or onsite meditation instruction.
With a healthier workforce you should see a reduction in:
- Sick days
- Health insurance costs
- Workplace accidents
- Elevated health risks (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.)
- Presenteeism (when someone is physically at work, but not really working)
At the same time, see an improvement in:
- Employee retention
- Team morale
- Corporate image
- Employee engagement
- Spending Money on Benefits can Save Money in the Long Run
Employees shouldn’t be treated as an expense that negatively impacts the bottom line. Instead, organizations need to invest in their workforce so both the employee and the company can grow together.
True, healthcare costs continue to rise and undoubtedly benefits are starting to consume a larger portion of your budget. But employers who analyzed the financial impacts of their wellness programs found up to a $3 decrease in their overall healthcare costs for every dollar spent.1
Trying to save a nickel with a sub-par benefits plan can come back to haunt you. Employees today expect first-class benefits or else they’ll go looking elsewhere. Turnover is a real expense—if you want to attract and retain your industry’s top talent, be sure to offer a competitive benefits plan that appeals to multigenerational workers.
- A CFO’s Unique Perspective
No one understands the financial expectations and limitations of an organization’s budget better than the CFO. Which puts you in a unique position to discuss plan options with a benefits broker.
More than likely, a you’ll know exactly what the company’s financial objectives are as well as its risk tolerance whereas an HR leader may not. Working as a partner with HR, you’ll have an opportunity to run cost-benefit analysis with a broker before a benefits plan is selected. This strategic advantage will help maximize your ROI with employee benefits and overall wellbeing.
Keep Benefits Stress-Free
Whatever benefits plans you choose, it’s important to have an efficient and educational process to introduce them to your workforce. Paycor’s benefits solution can help you simplify and automate the open enrollment process, help your employees understand their benefits options with decision-support tools and provide real-time analytics so you can maximize the value of your benefits program.
1. International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans