With the rise of extensive health, savings, and wellness programs available to employees, it’s more important than ever to educate new-hires and existing staff on benefit plans. Because of technical terminology and overwhelming options, the process of choosing the right enrollment plan can create frustration and confusion, which means it’s more important than ever before to provide a personalized communication strategy for benefit plans.
Personalized benefit plans should be more than just a wide array of wellness and savings options; it should include specific programs suited to an individual’s needs. Let’s examine why personalizing benefit communication is advantageous to employers.
1. Prioritize benefit communication to reduce turnover
The uptick in the economy means more companies are hiring and perspective employees have the ability to choose an ideal employer. Benefits rank highly in an employee’s overall satisfaction and ensuring employees are satisfied is considerably cheaper than high annual turnover. The trick is not just offering a comprehensive benefits package, but having a clear process in place that allows employees to utilize the benefits to their fullest extent. Look at it this way: while it may be time-consuming to design, train, and implement a new strategy that fully expands upon company benefits, it’s a relatively small investment in resources and allows employees to use programs you’re already paying for. Additionally, retaining top talent through a personalized benefit plan is considerably cheaper than replacing an employee. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, it costs about 6–9 months of an employee’s salary to replace him or her. For an employee making $60,000 a year, that’s about $40,000 in interviewing, onboarding, and training costs. Clearly, it pays to invest in a clear and personalized benefit communication strategy.
2. Blend communication methods to increase employee awareness and understanding
Understanding the depth and complexities of health insurance and 401(k) plans is a daunting task for any new employee. Instead of approaching benefit communication with a one-size-fits-all mentality, employ different forms of media to increase overall understanding. For example, instead of standard packet materials, consider using complementary materials like:
- Newsletter articles
This list is by no means exhaustive, but diversifying the ways new employees consume information about benefits packages increases their ability to fully understand health insurance plans, vision, and dental options, and retirement savings accounts. The next step is personalizing plans to employees’ individual circumstances and company demographics. For example, a middle-aged employee with two children is likely interested in a different benefits package than a millennial with no dependants.
3. Repeat relevant and valuable benefit information throughout the year
It’s not enough to walk new employees through open enrollment plans and call it a day. Coverages change and companies adopt new policies. In order to utilize your company’s benefits program to its full extent, you’ll have to reeducate whenever it’s applicable. Sadly, only about a quarter of companies speak about benefit opportunities more than once a year. But this isn’t just on HR; after employees initially choose a benefits plan they hardly revisit it until a major life change occurs such as a marriage, the birth of a child, or major surgery. To combat a lull in interest, remind employees throughout the year about how to maximize their savings, when to take advantage of preventative screenings, copay and deductible cost changes, and company contributions.
4. Consider expanding beyond traditional plans
The old traditional benefits package is quickly fading into the rearview mirror. Modern employees expect more than just health care and a retirement savings plan. It’s common to see a variety of additional perks, including paid volunteer time, debt consolidation, the ability to work from home, and even pet insurance included in a company’s benefits package. Before considering these new options you’ll have to understand what appeals to your current employees as well as perspective talent coming through the door.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive program to make managing benefits easier, see what Dominion Systems can do for you by requesting a demo below!