Why small businesses deserve big benefits

In today's competitive job market, employees are looking for a wide range of benefits - many of which can be the deciding factor when choosing an employer.

According to SHRM's 2022 Employee Benefits Survey, employees' priorities have shifted when it comes to the benefits they are seeking. Wellness benefits now topping the list include mental health and overall well-being, such as flexible work arrangements, paid mental health time off and four-day work weeks.

While priorities continue to evolve, one thing has stayed the same: current and prospective employees still expect a robust health benefits package, including strong dental benefits options.

Employees still care (a lot) about dental coverage.

Not only can a competitive health benefits package boost the reputations of small businesses and help them stand out against larger companies, but it also has a big impact on the overall wellness and satisfaction of employees.

• Increased employee satisfaction:

Providing a comprehensive benefits package - one that includes robust dental benefits - can help increase overall employee satisfaction by demonstrating a commitment to employee well-being. The right benefits package is no small thing, as 80% of employees who rank their benefits satisfaction as extremely high or very high also rank their job satisfaction as extremely high or very high.

• Improved productivity:

Dental benefits with preventive care, such as checkups and exams, help keep employees from missing work to receive emergency dental care and avoid unnecessary stress and time-management issues. In fact, one report revealed that an average of 252 million work or school hours were lost annually due to dental issues in the U.S., of which 92 million were for urgent or unplanned visits.

• Employee well-being:

Oral health is connected to overall health and well-being - and over 80% of adults believe dental coverage is an important part of overall wellness. People with dental coverage are nearly 50% more likely to visit the dentist at least once a year compared to those without coverage, according to the 2023 Delta Dental State of America's Oral Health and Wellness Report. By providing dental benefits, small businesses can help their employees maintain good oral and overall health and prevent future issues.

• Attracting and retaining top talent:

A comprehensive benefits package can help small businesses compete with larger companies when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent.

Prospective employees and jobseekers will factor in a benefits package offered by a company when evaluating job opportunities.

• Cost savings: If left untreated, dental problems can become more extensive. By offering dental benefits, small businesses can help their employees access preventive dental care and catch any issues early, which can reduce the cost of more complex and expensive dental care in the future.

Overall, a strong dental benefits package can be a valuable investment for small businesses. It can help attract and retain talented employees, promote employee wellness, and improve overall employee satisfaction and productivity. There are several ways to make dental benefits affordable - for your business and employees.

Employers can fully fund the plan. Voluntary plans give businesses access to dental coverage to offer to employees while individual and family plans are purchased directly by employees.

To ensure the benefits offered are maximized, it's important to make sure employees understand the full value of a health benefits package. Educating employees on the benefits made available is a critical part of ensuring they understand benefits contribute to their overall compensation and are able to make informed decisions about getting the most out of their benefits.

To stay competitive in today's labor market, consider exploring a dental benefits package that will support your employees' oral and overall health.

• Karyn Glogowski is Senior Vice President, Enterprise Sales and Business Development at Delta Dental of Illinois.

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