You might think that the more you spend on health care, the more your employees will value your contributions. But surprisingly, simply spending more doesn't get you a lot of additional recognition.
What matters more than how much you're spending is how your benefits are perceived by your employees.
With employee benefits being such a large investment for most companies and recruitment and retention on the line, it is critical that employees understand the value of their healthcare. So, what steps should you take to evaluate and accomplish this?
- Understanding where you currently stand – The best place to start for improving perceived value of your benefits program is the source, your employees. Understanding their current satisfaction and what they find valuable is key to developing a strategy and program that meets their needs. Many of your team members may have come from competitors and could also provide valuable insight as to how you stack up. Feedback can be gathered through methods like surveys or annual reviews (ask your HNI service team for sample survey questions or for other ideas on gathering feedback).
- Be transparent about company spend – Most employees have no idea how much employers spend on their benefits package each year. Providing more transparency into your costs will go a long way toward improving appreciation of benefits provided.
- Communicate the value regularly – Work with your HNI service team to create a communication plan for the entire upcoming year. Focus on highlighting the value in existing benefits that are not frequently used or easily forgotten about. Lastly, make sure to tailor your communication methods & content to your specific population, there is no value to something your employees may never see or cannot relate to.
- Simplify the benefits experience – Navigating health benefits is not usually on anyone’s short list of favorite things to do. That is because plan designs and multiple options can be confusing and in reality we all hope its something we never have to use. This confusion prevents many employees from ever opening or reading their benefits materials & of those that do, almost half do not understand what they are reading. Simplifying the experience for employees by using an online platform, relatable examples, a safe place to ask questions, direct access to materials and clear content they can share with their spouse is key to increase satisfaction and improve perceived value.
The bottom line is that perception is not reality. The way your employees perceive the value of your benefits is as important as the true value. If you want to hire and retain the best employees in the marketplace, you will need to customize a strategy based on feedback and use all the communication tools at your disposal to drive value home to your employees.