Creative Benefits for Employees

Creative Benefits for Employees

Written by Eric Petersen, CIC

I’m often asked, “Eric, what employee benefits should I be offering?”

As the case with almost everything in the insurance world, my answer is “it depends.”

Because the world of employee benefits is so complex, I invited Ernie Pearson of Aflac to have a conversation with me surrounding some of the more common problems that he hears from tree care owners when talking about benefits.

Problem: We are constantly understaffed and have a hard time retaining the good employees we do have.

Solution: In a very competitive hiring market with low unemployment a business needs all the tools that it can to set it apart from its competition. Quite often people are looking for a job opportunity that provides a solid benefits program and positive working environment to one that may offer a little more money.


Problem: My business is too small to qualify for group plans and I can’t afford it.

Solution: Most plans only need 3 people to establish a group and many of the plans cost less than $2 per day. Some benefits can also be offered completely voluntarily to the employees with nothing but some minor administrative time as a cost to the business. Plans can also be sold direct without the need for an employer group to be established.


Problem: I already offer health care and dental insurance so how can supplemental benefits help my business?

Solution: With rising health care costs and often high out of pocket costs for affordable plans, supplemental benefits offer options to help pay for those expenses with locked in rates. Not only that, it can allow you to scale back to a more affordable plan and provide benefits to pay those deductibles with often a lower cost to the business. Also, these supplemental plans can include a variety of things that aren’t covered under some major medical insurance policies.


Problem: One of my biggest concerns is how to keep my workers compensation rate in check.

Solution: Because tree care companies have a high potential for on-the-job injuries, they can benefit greatly from offering short term disability paired with a supplemental accident plan. The short term disability offers employees an option to collect some money in the event of an off-the-job injury without becoming a liability or “Monday morning workers compensation claim” if they come to work hurt. An accident plan will pay for injuries that happen both on and off the job, providing employees quick money in their pocket to help cover those immediate incidental costs that arise.


Problem: My employees aren’t interested in benefits, all they want is more money.

Solution: Without properly educating employees on what our benefits can do for them, they almost always want more money today. Tailoring your benefit plans specifically to the needs of each employee, will provide solutions to the gaps in their insurance and still allow them to decline if that’s what they choose. As far as more money goes, statistically speaking, employees only remember a raise for about 24 hours.


So get creative when looking at employee benefits as there is no one-size fits all answer for the benefit question! If you have further questions regarding what employee benefits you should be looking, contact an ArboRisk team member today or contact Ernie Pearson directly at 920-858-7505 or [email protected].