Posted December 29, 2021
Most employers regularly review their employee benefits packages to ensure they offer the best plans. Often, they study how employees use their existing insurance coverage. And they survey workers to understand their benefits needs. Employers use this data to design new benefits packages that better fit their current workforce. However, despite efforts to tell workers about new benefits, sometimes they’re slow to enroll in the plans. Review five tips for success when rolling out new employee benefits.
Offer customized plans
Most employers have diverse employees with various needs. Benefits featuring one type of coverage level probably won’t cut it. Employees today want benefits they can personalize to fit their family situations. They want the option to select a basic or more robust plan, depending on their needs. Use information gathered from employee surveys, meetings and informal chats to create a benefits plan with the coverage employees want.
When updating employee benefits, communicate the reason for the change and the value the new benefits bring to employees. Explain how employees can use the new coverage to better care for their health and dependents’ needs. Show the applicable cost savings and enhanced access to medical care and professional services that the new benefits can provide. Also, connect the benefits to common medical conditions employees have experienced, explaining how the coverage could improve their health.
Before introducing new benefits, develop a communications strategy with personalized message topics to share with each employee group. Use their preferred communication methods to share these messages. For example, initially send a personalized message to each employee telling them about a new benefit. Then follow up with more information about preventive screenings workers can access through the new benefit and any associated cost.
Personalize communications by asking senior-level team members to serve as employee benefits ambassadors, answering questions about enrolling and using company-sponsored benefits. Ask those ambassadors to help reinforce the message by participating in short videos introducing any new benefits or updates to employees.
Another way to personalize benefits communication is to connect the benefit to a national recognition day. For example, if you offer a new dental benefits plan, send reminder messages to use their dental benefits during National Children’s Dental Health Month in February. Send reminders in October to coincide with National Dental Hygiene Month and, if you have ortho benefits, send a note during National Orthodontic Health Month also in October.
Keep messages short, using simple words, bullet points and tips from employees on enrolling and using benefits. Add links to resources that will help employees better understand their benefits coverage and services provided.
Build interest with rewards and incentives
Offering an incentive or reward for signing up for a new benefit is a great way to engage employees. Make the rewards and incentives fun. Give a discount to the first group of employees who enroll. Or host a contest among departments, giving a special reward to the department with the most enrollees. Or, provide “I enrolled” stickers to employees who sign up for new benefits.
Ask for feedback
After rolling out a new benefit, ask employees who enrolled in the coverage for feedback. Find out how the new benefit enhances their lives and ask for ideas to improve the coverage. Make sure to communicate this information to employees, including any changes made to the benefit.
Review recent Ameritas research about employee benefits that American businesses are offering and the tools they’re using to plan and enhance benefits options. This includes the five factors employers consider when designing benefits packages.