Help navigate plan details. In order for employees to fully take advantage of the benefits available to them, they need to have a clear understanding of what options they have, what these options cover, and the steps they need to take. Many employees lack an awareness of what they have access to, or simply do not want to take the time to change plans. This is simply a matter of educating them and emphasizing the many advantages to these benefits.
Offer customized plans. Tailoring plans to suit each employee’s specific situation is a must. Include a variety of affordable options such as medical, dental, and vision from leading carriers. Don’t forget to explain the very basics; inform employees about mandated benefits such as social security, workers compensation, and Medicare. Emphasize the differences between core and voluntary benefits.
Relay information in multiple formats. Everyone has a preference when it comes to accessing benefits information. Provide this information via print, email, website, and social media formats—well in advance of open enrollment. During open enrollment periods, have a benefit expert available to address questions and concerns. List the dates of open enrollment throughout the office. Make sure the sign-up process is easy.
Give access to ancillary benefits. Offering employees ancillary benefit options can help them feel financially secure. Disability and life insurance, as well as 401(k) plans or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), can ease employee stress. Another way to relieve stress is to offer wellness programs such as gym memberships and wellness programs. And, giving perks for participating will drive down health costs—which is a win-win for both employers and employees.
Maintain constant communication. Employees need to be reminded about benefits throughout the year—providing information during open enrollment is simply not enough. Map out benefit options as they relate to real-life events, such as starting a family or preparing for retirement. Offer tools—a website for example—to engage employees and keep them informed.