David Faulkenberry: Are Florida employers prepared to attract, retain best workers in turbulent economy?

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Employee benefits are a key to the success of any business, governmental entity, or nonprofit organization.

In a still-turbulent economic time, the shifting landscape of what people prioritize in their jobs begs the question: How can we best attract and retain our valued employees? What can employers do to attract the talent they need in a rapidly evolving and highly competitive labor market?

In the shadow of COVID-19’s upheaval and the prospects of a seemingly shaky economic future, employees want to feel a sense of stability. A successful employer must be innovative and see the whole forest, not just the trees. Beyond salary, employees are increasingly looking for job security and a reasonably robust package of tangible benefits when considering whether to accept or remain in a job.

As CEO of a leading benefits management firm, I see that all employees are facing a loss of income as inflation rises faster than salaries can keep up. On top of that, they are confronted by rapid technological change and uncertain political and economic shifts.

Increasingly, employers are recognizing that an attractive package of employee benefits offered to their valued workforce can ensure stability in this uncertain time and strengthen their business success. Some employee benefits, such as Social Security and access to health insurance, are required by law. But many others are provided voluntarily as incentives – and some of the most impactful include employee stock option plans, retirement planning services and supplemental insurance.

A Willis Tower Watson survey released last month found that the importance of health and retirement benefits to attract and keep workers is at its highest level in a decade.

Employees are willing to contribute toward better benefits and consider the most important benefit to be a way to build funds toward retirement.

It’s obvious that in the modern employment marketplace, employee benefits are a key to the success of any business, governmental entity, or nonprofit organization. Unsure of where to start when confronted by countless moving parts, many employers use an all-encompassing approach, utilizing the services of a benefits management administrator to provide customized solutions specifically designed to employee needs.

A full-service employee benefits consultant can help employers meet the changing needs of their workforce by designing, delivering, and deftly administering quality employee benefit programs. An effective management program can ensure retention, increase production, improve morale, and make the workplace an attractive choice for prospective hires.

From an innovation standpoint, a blend of technology and communication solutions and user self-service can add value to both employees and employers. By understanding and listening to an employer’s specific needs, an employee benefits expert can identify and leverage solutions that exist in the marketplace and bring a customized element to them.

It’s apparent that employers will continue to face challenges to hire and keep the best employees as the Florida workforce shifts and adapts to the pressures of a new and ever-changing economy. Many employers simply are not ready to adjust to this sudden upheaval of longtime practices. The emerging importance of benefits packages and the complex details about them often can best be handled by benefits management companies to ease the burden on employers while providing the best package of benefits to attract and keep in-demand employees.


David Faulkenberry is president and CEO of Tallahassee-based FBMC Benefits Management, one of the leading employee benefits consultant companies. For over 40 years, the company has helped employers design customized solutions.

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One comment

  • Tom

    May 8, 2022 at 11:00 am

    Florida has a rising tide, lifts all boats economy with Governor DeSantis. Millions of Floridians are prospering.

    8.7% wage growth places Florida top three.
    Manufacturing production and skilled workers has become a high propensity job opportunity in Florida, the space coast is driving a lot of this with Governor Ron.

    3.2% unemployment rate, pre Covid. As all jobs have returned to Florida’s economy and new.

    Millions of dollars have been invested the past 4 years towards vocational junior colleges and high school trade school education. Which is desperately needed.

    Florida’s future is in Technology and skilled labor. Trade and job port jobs is another Florida treat. With the international challenges in delivery, Florida’s expansion of its ports are a technology and hard blue collar jobs winner!

    Under America’s Governor, a rising tide lifts all boats.

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