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4 Problems with Forming a Benefits Group (and Their Solutions)

October 6th, 2023 | 5 min. read

By Patrick Sanders

Starting or growing a business is exciting, but it also comes with challenges. One area that can be particularly difficult is employee benefits. As your team grows, you may wonder how to form a benefits group that meets everyone's needs without breaking the bank.


We understand that navigating employee benefits can be complex and sometimes confusing. Payday HCM is here to help you understand it all and find solutions to your unique needs. Our benefits agency has assisted numerous organizations — big and small — in forming benefits groups suited to their brand.


This article will explore key factors in forming a benefits group for your business. Specifically, you'll learn about:

  • Adapting benefits to a diverse age group within your team
  • Understanding how your business location influences your options
  • Strategies for small and large groups


    1. Age and Benefits

Problem: Age Diversity

Having a team of diverse ages brings its own challenges when it comes to forming a benefits group. Older employees often have different needs than their younger counterparts


Older employees may require comprehensive health coverage, including specialist visits, prescription medications, and preventive health screenings. These added medical needs can drive up the cost of providing benefits, making balancing the budget challenging.


In contrast, younger employees may be less concerned about extensive health coverage. Instead, they might prioritize other benefits, such as tuition reimbursement for furthering their education or flexible work hours to accommodate a work-life balance. 


They might also be interested in perks like gym memberships or mental health support. This variation in preferences can make it difficult to find a benefits package that satisfies everyone while staying within budget constraints.


Solution: Tailored Benefits

To successfully manage age diversity at work, provide a wide range of flexible benefits. Basic health coverage is usually a non-negotiable element for most employees, serving as the foundation of any good benefits package. 


However, the basics might not be enough to meet the varied needs of a multi-generational workforce. That's where additional perks come in — things like dental and vision coverage, mental health support, and even perks like gym memberships can fill in the gaps, providing something for everyone.


But offering a wide array of benefits is just part of the solution. Allowing employees to customize their benefits package adds another layer of flexibility and personalization. For example, an older employee might allocate more funds toward enhanced medical coverage. In comparison, a younger employee might opt for a lower level of health coverage but take advantage of tuition reimbursement. 


Giving people options helps keep talented people and saves money by meeting everyone's needs. 


    2. Geographic Considerations

Problem: Location-Specific Challenges

The location issue is important when forming a benefits group. Each state has its own laws on employee benefits, which can limit what you offer.


In some states, there are mandatory benefits employers are required to provide, such as disability insurance or paid family leave. For businesses operating in multiple states, this can create a logistical challenge of complying with varying regulations


Not only does this add a layer of complexity to the benefits administration, but it can also have financial implications. Specifically, mandatory benefits can strain a company's budget, becoming a significant concern for small businesses or those in a growth phase who are carefully managing expenses.


For businesses in New Mexico, understanding state-specific regulations is paramount. New Mexico has its own laws about worker's compensation, minimum wage, and other employment standards. These laws can affect the benefits you offer.


New Mexico does not have high living costs like other big cities. However, it does have unique challenges. These include local tax rates and healthcare costs. Businesses should keep these factors in mind when creating their benefits package.


Local culture and expectations also play a role; employees in Albuquerque might have different priorities than those in other regions, affecting what types of benefits are most appealing.


To create a benefits group that works well and saves money, knowing your location's laws and culture is important. 


Solution: Expert Consultation and Flexibility

To navigate the complexities associated with New Mexico's specific laws and the local nuances of Albuquerque, partnering with a knowledgeable benefits broker or human resources consultant well-versed in state and local regulations is an effective solution. 


They can guide you through mandatory benefit offerings, tax implications and even recommend perks that are particularly appealing to employees in the New Mexico area. This ensures you're compliant with state and local laws and competitive within the local job market.


Another approach to solving the issue of location-based benefit challenges is to offer a modular or a-la-carte benefits system. This allows employees to choose the most relevant benefits, rather than the company providing a one-size-fits-all package. 


By giving employees the flexibility to pick and choose, you can better cater to the unique needs of your diverse workforce. This way, you can manage costs more effectively while ensuring you remain an attractive employer for talent from various backgrounds and life situations.


    3. Small Business Dilemmas

Problem: High Per-Employee Costs

Offering an attractive benefits package can be challenging for smaller businesses. With fewer employees to cover, the cost per employee for benefits like health insurance, retirement plans, and other perks can be quite high. 


A small workforce can also limit your negotiating power with insurance providers or other benefit vendors, making it difficult to secure competitive rates.


This situation often disadvantages smaller businesses, especially when trying to attract and retain talent against larger competitors who can offer more comprehensive benefits packages. Employees may weigh their options and lean towards companies that offer better or more affordable benefits, even if they're satisfied with other aspects of their current job. 


This creates a retention problem for small businesses, further emphasizing the importance of forming a benefits group that's both attractive to employees and financially viable.


Solution: Join a PEO or Go Scalable

One strategy small businesses can employ is joining a Professional Employer Organization (PEO). PEOs allow small businesses to pool their resources together to negotiate better rates on health insurance and other benefits. 


When you join a PEO, you're becoming part of a much larger group, and that collective bargaining power can result in more favorable terms and lower costs. It's a way to level the playing field and make your benefits package more competitive without straining your budget.


Another option is to choose scalable benefits that can evolve as your company grows. These are benefits plans designed to be flexible, allowing you to adjust the offerings as your team expands or your financial situation changes. 


You might start with basic health coverage and add dental, vision, or retirement benefits as you can afford them. This approach makes it more cost-effective in the short term and easier to enhance your benefits package over time, keeping your employees satisfied and engaged.


4. Large Group Complexities

Problem: Diverse Needs and Financial Impacts

In large companies, crafting a benefits package can be particularly challenging due to the diverse needs of a broad employee base. From entry-level staff to senior executives, each group may have specific demands and preferences regarding benefits


Younger employees may prioritize student loan repayment programs or wellness initiatives, while older employees may focus on comprehensive healthcare and retirement plans. Creating a one-size-fits-all benefits package in this context becomes increasingly complicated. Meeting everyone's needs without creating a bloated, impractical benefits program is a delicate balancing act.


Even seemingly minor adjustments to the benefits package can have substantial financial implications in a large workforce. Adding new healthcare coverage or enhancing an existing retirement plan could lead to considerable expenses when multiplied by hundreds or thousands of employees.


Decision-makers must weigh the costs and benefits carefully, often relying on detailed financial analysis and employee feedback to guide them. Large companies have high stakes, and even small changes can ripple effects throughout the organization.


Solution: Leverage Size and Offer Choices

Leveraging your company's size can be a strategic advantage when negotiating benefits packages. Large organizations often have more bargaining power with insurance providers and other benefits vendors, allowing them to secure more favorable rates or additional perks that may not be available to smaller businesses. 


By negotiating better terms, the company can pass on some of these benefits to its employees, making the overall package more attractive and competitive in the job market.


Offering a tiered benefits program can also be an effective solution for large companies trying to accommodate diverse employee needs. With a tiered system, employees can choose from various options, tailoring their package to better align with their individual or family needs. 


Some may opt for higher dental coverage if they anticipate significant dental expenses, while others may prioritize contributions to retirement accounts. This flexibility not only increases employee satisfaction but also allows the company to manage costs more efficiently by not offering blanket benefits that may be underutilized.

Learn More About Different Benefits Packages

Forming a benefits group for your growing business is no small task. Still, it's crucial for attracting and retaining top talent. You can create a more effective and equitable benefits program by paying attention to factors like age diversity, location, and group size.

Now you’ll learn the difference between Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs).

Patrick Sanders

Patrick has worked for Payday HCM since 2012, with a career that has spanned multiple responsibilities in the sales arena. He now maintains a 300+ client portfolio with a 98% retention rate. Patrick works diligently to determine the optimal utilization of our software, manages ongoing quality assurance, and brings best practices to Payday HCM’s clients. Patrick graduated with a Bachelor's in Business Administration, with a concentration in Finance, from the Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico. Having spent the decade since graduating meeting and partnering with entrepreneurs throughout New Mexico, Patrick firmly believes Payday HCM brings national Fortune-500 level service and technology to the New Mexico marketplace.