You’re a founder, CEO, HR professional, or other benefits decision-maker at a small to mid-size business. You’re at an exciting company that cares about employees and sees the team as the key to success. Maybe your company has a young, millennial workforce and you want to show them you’re invested in them as people. You probably have some traditional benefits for the team (medical, retirement), and maybe even some unique or innovative perks (free lunch, anyone?). You may or may not have dental benefits. But you probably should, and here’s why.
Competition for talent (bonus: increased loyalty)
If you’re in a hot market competing for engineers, designers, and execs, one simple way to differentiate is offering a better benefits stack. You should not only evaluate the quantity and quality of benefits but the fit with your company’s culture as well. In other words, you want to extend benefits to the team and communicate the value to future and existing team members. Show employees that what you offer will make a substantial difference in their lives (and your company a better place to work!). It’s well-known that benefits are an important tool in attracting and retaining talent — a complete benefits package shows your team that you’re investing in them as the future of your business1. (Check out Harvard Business Review if you want to learn more.) You may think you already have a great benefits package, but BambooHR found that 74% of employees want better benefits2 and a MetLife study shows that 73% of employees say benefits customized for their needs would increase loyalty3. Within benefits packages as a whole, dental insurance is often overlooked, as it has the reputation for being boring and expensive (though it doesn’t have to be that way!). However, they’re highly valued by employees, as 75% of employees believe it's important that their employers offer dental benefits4.
So what you have is a workforce that wants better benefits. Better benefits increase loyalty. And within the library of benefits options, there’s a high value placed on dental benefits. Seems like a good reason to offer dental benefits to the team, right? Moreover, dental benefits have a particular impact in showing employees that you’re investing in their well-being with something highly visible: their smiles. Better smiles, happier team members.
Low cost way to go “above and beyond”
Don’t assume dental insurance is expensive! Relative to salary and some other benefits, there are plenty of affordable dental benefits plans available; you don’t need to add the best dental insurance plan available (what does "best" mean anyway?). Adding an affordable dental plan to your benefits stack can be a manageable expense, especially if you go with a simple, preventive-focused dental plan (perfect for a young, millennial team). If you prefer, dental benefits can typically be offered as a voluntary plan and cost the company nothing.
Prevention is king
This one is simple. People without dental insurance don’t go for regular checkups and preventive care as often as those with insurance5. More than a quarter of adults have untreated tooth decay and without benefits, they may delay proper care6. The longer you wait, the worse it gets, the more it costs, and the more your employee has to pay. That’s no fun for anyone. Moreover, some dental benefits today aren’t just insurance, but rather focus on preventive care at home like BokaBox, Quip, or our Beam Perks® wellness plan. These unique plans make it super simple and affordable for employees to always have what they need to brush at home. Who knew there were box services for dental goods?
Employees will work more
Well, indirectly at least. A report from the Surgeon General report showed that employed adults lose more than 164 million hours of work each year due to dental disease or dental visits7. By offering dental benefits, you’re encouraging proper preventive and diagnostic care (services typically covered at 100% so people are incentivized to go regularly). As a result, the number of serious issues can be reduced and since preventive visits often take less time than other services, your employees will be back to the office in no time. Plus, people are all rainbows and smiles in the office after a cleaning. After a root canal? Not so much.
Dental benefits aren’t for every company at every stage, but they’re a highly valued perk by employees and definitely worth considering. If you want to learn more, subscribe or check out our posts on buying group dental insurance.
- 1Harvard Business Review: Who Will Build Your Future? The New Employee Relationship, https://hbr.org/resources/pdfs/tools/16202_HBR_UNUM_Report_webview.pdf
- 2Bamboo Blog: Where's The Breaking Point for Employees?, http://www.bamboohr.com/blog/employee-breaking-point
- 3MetLife: 2018 Employee Benefit Trends Study, https://benefittrends.metlife.com/us-perspectives/ebts2018/creating_experiences
- 4 American City Business Journals, https://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2017/02/20/dental-benefits-are-a-competitive-advantage-for.html
- 5U.S. News & World Report Health: No Dental Insurance? Don't Wait for Something to Go Wrong, http://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2015/05/20/no-dental-insurance-dont-wait-for-something-to-go-wrong
- 6Centers for Disease Control, https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/basics/adult-oral-health/index.html
- 7National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research: Oral Health in America, http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/SurgeonGeneral/Report/ExecutiveSummary