Small Businesses and the Benefits of Offering Benefits


Anna Dorbyk


Small businesses comprise over 97% of employers in Canada and the United States. Despite the significant number of small businesses, these smaller companies tend to offer fewer health-oriented programs than larger corporations. Research indicates that today's employees are more likely to accept a position in a company that offers an attractive benefits package. The necessity for small business health insurance is becoming a more pressing matter for employers.

The evidence garnered from employee satisfaction surveys given in over 1000 large and small businesses in Canada clearly supports the importance of health benefits. In addition to being a determining factor in the decision to join a company, many employees stated that being offered health benefits directly impacted their performance at work. Employees indicated that having health coverage gave them an increased sense of wellness, knowing that they were protected in the event of illness or emergency. As a result, employees felt that they were less likely to miss work due to stress (a decrease in absenteeism). The survey results also indicated that employees were more loyal to their company when they felt that they were adequately provided for.

Small business health insurance is easily implemented. It is prudent of the employers to carefully assess the needs of their employees before opting for a benefits plan. The plans may be offered as optional in order to appeal to only those who require health insurance. For interested employees, flexible benefits that are tailored to their individual needs may also be offered.

In the last few years, there has been a rise in the more progressive companies towards implementing programs that help to improve the overall performance of employees. Many companies now recognize the need for increased attention to the needs of their employees and are subsequently attempting to offer useful resources and support systems. Lifestyle improvement programs that work to promote physical and mental health are being implemented. Companies are also making changes to the physical and social environment of the workplace, thereby making coming to work a more enjoyable event.

Implementing small business insurance has the potential to positively impact an employer. By offering health insurance, small businesses are able to remain competitive in today's job market. Perhaps most significant is that the employees' commitment to work is strengthened and all businesses rely on the efforts and talents of those whom they employ.


Anna Dorbyk is the editor for Canada Health Insurance and is a graduate student in Communication Studies at Concordia University. For more information on health insurance for Canadians please visit www.canada-health-insurance.com.




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