As a business leader, you have the power to support your employees in their quest for better health by implementing some proven methods that promote healthier employees, which means lower healthcare costs, less absenteeism, and higher productivity.
Understanding the demographics of your workforce can help you determine what types of benefits will be most effective for your business and employees. Establishing lines of two-way communication so that employees can express their thoughts and needs can help you improve the efficacy of your benefits packages. Educating your workforce about their employee benefits will allow them to take full advantage of their health options, resulting in a healthier and more productive company.
Offering your employees competitive health benefits is only half the battle. After you’ve shopped around to find a plan that works for your business, your employees, and your budget, the next obstacle you face is effectively communicating the plan benefits to your employee base.
It’s important that you understand how your employees feel about the benefits you’re offering them so that you can continue to optimize your program over time. You can find out how your employees feel about your program by conducting surveys, analyzing provider reports, or studying provider and actuarial research. If you’re aware of what your employees like or don’t like about their benefits, you can make an effort to highlight those things in your regular communication. For example, if your plan includes a free annual biometric screening but your employees do not take advantage of it, you can include reminders in your communication program.
Ultimately, understanding how your employees feel about their benefits will arm you with the information you need to revise your communications to meet realistic goals and expectations, your employees’ needs, your communication plan objectives, and your business’ requirements.
Your employee benefits plan should be tailored to your different audiences. Consider your workforce demographics. For example, does your company employee a large number of millennials? How many of your employees are over the age of 60? Different generations have varying priorities—offering options or tailoring your choices to your specific workforce can make for a more effective strategy.
You can target segments of employees who would benefit most from specific features of a benefit by sending tailored communications. You can also tailor how you send messages to employees based on your segmentation. For example, if your part-time and full-time employees have access to different coverages, it’s important that they receive the most relevant communication and options in their employee benefits messaging.
Ensure your employees have access to their individualized health and wellness information so that they are aware of their conditions and can take proactive measures to make improvements.
There are a number of other significant benefits of a healthy workforce. By encouraging and promoting a healthy workforce, you can improve your company’s overall productivity, business performance, and employee engagement. A robust employee benefits program will also allow you to reduce sick pay and insurance costs.
The most effective and successful benefits programs are only further enhanced by education—both for leadership and employees. Through regular communication, give your employees tips on leading a healthy lifestyle such as balanced nutrition, regular exercise, and regular health screenings. Provide information on the effects of smoking, obesity, alcohol use, and unhealthy practices that can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stress, and depression.
Every business has different goals for their employee benefits. Whatever your needs, SWBC’s Employee Benefits Consulting Group can provide consulting services to help you design and maintain a plan that meets the requirements of your organization. We will provide the analytical support, develop custom communication materials, and assess the benefit to your company.