ICS Magazine

See the Value in Your "Other" Compensation

April 18, 2008

I was planning to kick off the “Editor’s Blog” with a short, snappy, give-you-pause-and-make-you-think kind of musing on something economic, given the times we’re living in. But what? Getting a raise in a recession? Making yourself invaluable to your employer? Keeping the best employees without breaking the bank?

And then it hit me. Last Friday morning, to be precise. That’s when I found myself on the losing end of a car-meets-pedestrian situation. Suffice it to say I am now qualified to discuss both the unpleasantness of a dislocated shoulder and the wonderful advances in intravenously administered painkillers.

Sometimes it takes a bit of discomfort to sharpen the focus on areas usually ignored. I’m fortunate enough to work for a company that offers a very good health plan for its employees. Once the powers-that-be were satisfied I was at no risk of expiring there in Bed #3, all it took was the extraction of card from wallet, the John Hancock here and here, and I was on my way.

Does your company offer its employees health benefits or, if it’s your company, do you include such benefits in the discussion when it comes to compensation? Sure, you don’t see it in your check, which is too often where many people stop looking. But it’s invaluable. The way I see it, it’s like a dentist or a cop: you never need it until you need it, and then you’re darn glad it’s there. You’ve heard the horror stories, and perhaps known some people who’ve lived them: an unexpected accident, lapsed or no coverage, bankruptcy, multiple mortgages, repossession…there are co-pays and deductibles, sure, but what if I didn’t have that coverage? I shudder to think what kind of bill would be showing up at my door.