Posted February 15, 2022
Competition for talented employees has become intense. To win them over, employers need to provide more diverse benefits that better meet employee needs. During COVID-19, many companies discovered that traditional benefits were not cutting it. They tried to make adjustments, but the changes weren’t enough. Employees wanted more personalized plans. Here are six tips about equal benefits for employees.
Focus on demographics
When designing employee benefits plans, employers often choose general coverage options. Often called one-size-fits-all plans, these options assume that all employee needs are the same. While this philosophy worked in the past, today’s employees expect more. They want to select from a range of plan choices and coverage levels.
Research shows that benefits can impact employee productivity, so it’s essential to offer benefits that workers will value. For example, many employees are caregivers for children and family members. Offering backup care options and flexible work hours can ease employee stress and keep them engaged. So, when working with your broker and insurance carriers, keep different employee needs in mind. Compile a list of employee demographics for the workers you have and the workers you want, and identify a list of benefits each group may value.
Offer affordable plans
As economic changes and inflation impact employees, many struggle to afford healthcare services.
In contrast, Global Workplace Analytics experts report that allowing employees to work at home during the pandemic saved U.S. companies about $30 billion each day. Since many employees continue to work remotely full time or on a hybrid basis, companies are saving a lot of money on office costs, lunch meetings and in-person events.
Business experts encourage employers to invest these savings in employees and their well-being. For example, companies can offer more diverse benefits and cover a larger portion of the cost. These decisions will make benefits more affordable for employees. In turn, workers will be more satisfied at work and more likely to stay.
Provide personalized choices
Employees want to personalize benefits plans to fit their family situations. Find out the benefits workers value by organizing listening sessions and conducting pulse surveys. Work with your benefits brokers and insurance representatives to create an attractive benefits package that supports workers and their life situations.
Make communications clear
Just like one-size-fits-all benefits no longer meet employees’ needs, employers need to use a range of personalized benefits communications to reach employees.
Each employee group will have varied benefits needs and want to receive communications in different ways. Sharing benefits information through employee newsletters and emails still is essential. However, make sure to use a variety of other communication methods as well. For example, put benefits information into short videos with messages and graphics designed to capture employees’ attention. Conduct surveys to determine the communication styles that employees in each demographic group prefer. When developing communication messages, make sure to provide clear details about coverage options. Also, set up in-person and online chat sessions to help employees know how to use their benefits. Provide benefits tips all year long.
Employers typically offer a benefits enrollment session where workers can select their plans for the next year. Most also offer a short open enrollment time once a year when workers can modify plan choices to fit changing family needs, such as marriage, a new baby, divorce or other life changes. Due to the pandemic, employers and employees have learned that everyday life can change overnight. So instead of locking employees into their choices for the year, offer them options to modify coverage as needed.
Employees want to work for a company who appreciates their ideas and opinions. Ask employees to share their feedback on benefits plans, coverage options and communications methods. Actively listen to worker feedback and incorporate their ideas into the benefits offered, focusing on providing diverse plans. Make sure to thank workers for their input. Let them know how their feedback helped the company build a more personalized benefits package.