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Creating a Winning Benefit Strategy (Part II)

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Effectively communicate your winning strategy to reap the most rewards

Quick Look: Creating a tailored benefit strategy is only part of the equation. To gain employee buy-in, businesses must communicate the advantages of the new strategy with employees.

Educating staff, making information easily accessible, providing sufficient context for change, and connecting staff with an HR Manager to answer questions will reduce kneejerk resistance and promote enthusiasm for a new benefit strategy.

Establishing a winning benefit strategy is only the first part of creating an engaging company culture. Once you have reviewed the five key steps to create your own customized benefit strategy, you must communicate the rollout effectively to your employees, improving the chances it will be well-received.

While you have an inherent knowledge of how much time, effort, and costs go into creating robust and inclusive employee health benefits, employees won’t know the significance unless you tell them. Walk employees through benefits step-by-step, explaining all details, so they understand the value of what they’re receiving.

Focusing on effective communication leads to higher employee engagement and competitively positions your company for new recruits, allowing you to attract top talent in your industry. Though mastering the first step of creating comprehensive employee health benefits is important, how your strategy is communicated will determine its success.

Here are a few tips and ideas to promote efficiency for open enrollment, limit confusion and questions, and allow employees to make better-informed decisions about their health and well-being.

Promote Efficiency for Open Enrollment

A thorough rollout of your benefit strategy will make employees feel less overwhelmed and intimidated. While health insurance plans are an important benefit, open enrollment materials can be confusing or unclear, particularly when changes are involved. In general, employees want to know: How much does the plan cost, and are there any changes with a direct effect on me?

To alleviate anxiety and subsequent procrastination in open enrollment participation, education is key. Educating employees about the benefits and costs of each health insurance plan helps to improve their experience. Additionally, allotting time for one-on-one sessions to answer specific healthcare questions gives employees a chance to speak privately regarding their coverage. The more straightforward you make the process, the easier it will be to encourage prompt enrollment.

How to Limit Confusion and Questions

Though it’s one of the most advantageous employee health benefits, “insurance” isn’t necessarily a word that generates excitement. To offer engaging options for employees, companies must provide easy-to-understand resources highlighting each benefit.

Employees see deductibles, co-pays, and other line items that create a summary of what is being offered, all of which are important. However, a successful employee health benefits experience should feel more personal. Some employees will research ahead of time and know exactly what they need. Others may feel apprehensive about which health insurance plan is right for them.

Ensure all individuals get their needs met by providing easily accessible information. This limits confusion and answers general questions more than one person may have.

Allow Employees to Make Better-Informed Decisions

The goal of rolling out a benefit strategy is to allow employees to make better-informed decisions about their health. Provide materials in advance of meetings to allow time for employees to digest the information and think of questions. Similarly, when making updates to paid time off policies or other wellness benefits, communicate the information first. Then, schedule time for a discussion.

Many times, when a new benefit strategy is announced in a company-wide meeting without setting prior expectations, employees lack sufficient time to fully comprehend and formulate questions. This can lead to confusion and the spread of misinformation, which negatively affect company culture. Clear, consistent communication instills confidence in employees and allows them to make the best decisions for their well-being.

How ExtensisHR Manages Employee Health Benefits

Partnering with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) like ExtensisHR helps protect against compliance violations and ensure proper communication with employees. ExtensisHR offers expertise and guidance when researching the right health insurance plans and overall employee health benefits based on your company’s specific needs.

Working with a human resources partner like ExtensisHR also engages a team of experts who can answer all questions from both your company leadership and employees about costs, care, and communication. Furthermore, the level of personalized support ExtensisHR extends creates a true partnership to confidently navigate the changing benefits landscape.

Want more helpful tips and advice about communicating a winning benefit strategy? Join our expert panel for part two of our webinar series.

ICYMI: Check out part one of our Creating a Winning Benefit Strategy blog series for tips on how to navigate challenges, changes, and costs to keep employees happy and healthy.

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