By Ben Zang Speaker/Small Business Employee Benefits Guy Published Nov 29, 2022 at 4:01 PM Photography: Flickr/Pictures of Money

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The great resignation is one of the most misunderstood movements since the twerk burst on the scene.

What Miley Cyrus and the great resignation showed us is a well-timed movement can be devastating to pop culture. 

The term was coined by a management professor at the University of London’s school of management in May of 2021. Anthony Klotz, the professor of record, predicted a mass exodus. He hypothesized that, because of all the uncertainty, the normal amount of job movement was put on hold, thereby creating a wave of backed up job seekers. This wave has increased as the competition of quality labor has increased wages and creativity for recruits. 

The statistics are also pointing to a new psychological factor as well. As COVID has forced people home, people have reevaluated their sense of purpose in their chosen field. Small companies have the greatest chance at elite talent they have ever had. The one question that lingers on is best described by Bill Shakespeare. 

To benefits or not to benefits

Whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of the ever-increasing premiums or to take up arms against a lack of work force. In other words, why spend money on benefits? Here are the top three reasons.

1. Everyone's doing it

According to the website team stage, here are some stats to blow your mind. 58% of all companies offer health insurance, making it the most common of all perks. 91% of Gen Z think companies should offer health benefits as well. 83% of companies are looking to increase their benefits. These stats are telling us that the game has changed, and to even be in the same ballpark as your competition, you need to at least start with health insurance.

2. Employees are demanding it

According to the Hartford, 79% of employees believe that health insurance is a must-have. That equals a nonstarter. This means 80% of the people won’t consider your company. This means eight out of ten people don’t care about your culture, don’t care about "Pizza Fridays," karaoke night or the awards you have won from your mom about being the best boss. You are a no-fly zone. The other two people, well, they just got fired for attendance and theft. Welcome to the Christmas party you over achievers! Here is another issue: One of the strategies that small business has used to ensure their growth trajectory for years is to hire away those executives unable to advance in their current large company. WE as a nation are heading into the largest downscaling of our workforce to date with the Boomers all retiring. Do you really want to alienate any heartbeats out there?

3. It makes more financial sense than you think

The biggest reason most employers don’t want to offer health insurance is the cost. The current rate for medical trend is about 8% year over year. This, coupled with the lack of transparency in medical rates, have left small businesses as reluctant to jump in as a five-year-old on the high dive. 

Here is when it makes sense. The average cost of turnover can range from four-to-six months of salary for the position being turned over. When you couple this with the tax savings and the new plan designs like an ICHRA and some level funding plans, the delta between the outlay of costs becomes marginal. The ability to build a team that grows together is critical in this competitive landscape. There have also been studies as to how much production is boosted with a group that have built cohesion over time.

Here is the good news for small businesses: There is a growing trend of finding purpose and fulfilment that lines up well with the cultures that small businesses create naturally. A new PwC/CECP study shows that meaning and fulfilment at work is the new standard employees expect of their work experience. Companies need to embrace this new normal if they want to cultivate the best workforce, now and in the future. A staggering majority of employees (96%) believe that achieving fulfilment at work is possible, and 70% say they would consider leaving their current role for a more fulfilling one. The desire for fulfillment is so strong that one out of three employees say they would consider lower pay for a more fulfilling job. So, imagine landing that rockstar candidate, keeping that cornerstone employee and watching as your staff blossom into a vision fulfilling team for your business. Just don’t make them choose your company over their health or the health of their families. You won't win.

What do I know though, I put Miley Cyrus and William Shakespeare in the same opening …