When researching employee benefits, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information available. Here are five simple tips that can keep you on track while you make the best benefits package for your employees and your budget.
- A Good Health Plan Can Make or Break Your Benefits Package
While a well-rounded employee benefits package is always good, your group health plan should be the star of the show. The price of healthcare is increasing every year, and employees truly value a plan that can help cover these high costs should the need arise. In fact, recent studies by Gallup and MetLife have found that among employees who were highly satisfied with their employers, 61% cited health benefits as a major reason for this satisfaction. Thus, finding an outstanding employee health plan should be one of your top priorities, since even top-tier retirement benefits and other non-health options can’t make up for a lackluster health plan.
- Diversify Your Benefits
Finding the perfect health plan may be your top priority, but you shouldn’t stop there. Employees are increasingly looking for other types of benefits as well. If you want to expand your roster of benefits without breaking the bank, consider adding voluntary benefits. These are benefits which an employee can opt to purchase through his or her employer. Offering voluntary benefits costs employers little to nothing, and while your employees will be fronting the cost themselves, they will still get a group rate, which offers great value. A wide range of voluntary benefits are available, from dental and vision coverage to short- and long-term disability, hospital indemnity, critical illness, pet insurance, and many more. With voluntary benefits, employers can craft a robust and highly desirably benefits package without needing to spend a fortune.
- Keep Your Employees Informed
No matter how great your benefits package is, it isn’t worth much if your employees aren’t participating. One of the biggest barriers to employee engagement is a lack of communication. Studies show that many employees don’t fully understand their employers’ benefits package, especially where voluntary benefits are concerned. And if your employees don’t know what you have to offer or why it’s valuable, they won’t want to participate.
The solution is clear, concise communication on a regular basis. Rather than simply handing out pamphlets during open enrollment, employers should keep the conversation going all year and make sure that information is conveyed in a clear, concise manner that is easily to understand. The more that an employee understands the benefits package, the more they will appreciate it – and, by extension, the more they will appreciate the employer who offers those benefits. As stated earlier, 61% of employees who are very satisfied with their employers cite benefits as a major reason for that satisfaction!
- Don’t Neglect Your Benefits Programs
As an employer, you have a lot of things on your plate, and it can be easy to simply set up your employee benefits and then put it aside while you move on to other matters. Employers who truly want to maximize the value and efficiency of their benefits programs can’t let this happen. At the very least, benefits will need to be reviewed and renewed on an annual basis. Those who are especially dedicated to getting the most from their benefits will want to check in more often, continually keeping an eye out for ways that existing benefits can be improved and for new benefits that could help increase value, decrease cost, and improve overall performance. The benefits market is constantly changing, and it pays to keep an eye on it!
- Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: Risk Management
Employee benefits can get complicated and confusing, and at times like this, it helps to remember what your primary objective is: managing risk. When building the foundations of your benefits program, consider how much risk you are willing to tolerate. Of course, risk can never be eliminated entirely, and taking the occasional chance could save you money in the long run. Your task is to decide where you want to draw the line, and to structure your benefits in a way that allows you to keep risk at a manageable level.