Engaging the Modern Employee in Benefits

Today’s workforce integrates work and life more than ever before. This requires flexibility and trust from you, the employer, in order to enable employees to best manage work and personal responsibilities. The need for flexibility expands to benefits, as traditional benefits are challenged to keep up with employees’ changing needs. Choice of multiple options and nontraditional plans are sought after, even if an employee pays the full cost. Employees are concerned about their financial health and understand benefits are a key to financial well-being. The modern employee relies on the workplace to offer resources to help manage their holistic health. Innovative practices are being developed to spark interest in the employee benefits offering, giving you increased return on investment. When benefits are appreciated, valued and understood, everyone’s well-being improves.

Employers have many of the right levers in place, offering choice in core and voluntary benefit offerings to meet their workforce’s unique needs. The opportunity lies in how to progress this well-crafted package to the next level to maximize its value to employees. A focus on three key areas can drive improved engagement in the benefits program, from the modern employee’s purview.

1. Communicate differently

Sure, education has always been a focal point of the benefits program. However, countless paper documents, long presentations and insurance jargon haven’t exactly made it easy to navigate. To expand knowledge of benefits, less is more. As we become more accustomed to getting information on demand and in “snackable” form as smart phones, Netflix and YouTube have become the norm, it’s essential to expand this approach to benefit communications. More concise communications with fewer words but and more images and white space using common language are necessary. Videos combining key content and voice, even animation, have become more popular communication methods. Text reminders or mobile-optimized communications could expand reach as well.

2. Customize the experience

One size doesn’t fit all as we have seen with benefit offerings. The same goes with how we engage employees. While breaking down the concepts is key, so is helping employees know how the benefits can be useful to their own life. This doesn’t mean you have to customize a presentation for every person or slice of your population. However story-telling and applying the benefits to common uses can help employees feel more connected to them. Online interactive decision support tools customize the conversation for you and can double as an ongoing education tool. Offering time to have a 1:1 conversation with a benefit professional, especially around benefit decision-making time, can also go a long way – even if most employees don’t take advantage of it.

3. Empower and support

The growth of healthcare consumerism means we have more educated employees who are taking a more active role in their health. Continue to encourage this through regular reminders of consumer tips, benefit programs and perks available, and even spotlight success stories employees are willing to share. Tying the use of a health cost comparison tool or telemedicine program to an incentive can help jump start healthy habits too.

Our Account Management team works with each client to develop a communication strategy and education experience supportive of the modern employee. If you’d like to learn more, please contact us at fallonbenefitsgroup@fallonbenefits.com.