About 8% of the compensation you give your employees is in the form of various benefits. This money, however, is often wasted due to the simple fact that employees don’t fully utilize the benefits you offer. Thus, encouraging your employees to use their benefits is beneficial to both you and them. Employees who use their benefits are generally healthier, happier, and more productive. So, what can you do to encourage your employees to use all of their benefits? Here is how to maximize employee benefits ROI and support your workforce.
Provide the Right Benefits to Maximize Employee Benefits ROI and Support Your Workforce
One key factor is to make sure the benefits you are providing actually match what your employees want. This means talking to new hires and veterans alike. It might be that a program is not being used because nobody actually wants it and it would be more cost-effective to switch it out with something more popular. This can be the case with fringe benefits such as gym memberships.
Inform Your Employees About What Is Available
In order to use benefits, your employees need to know what those benefits are. A lot of employers give new hires a thick handbook full of benefits that they never read. Make sure to provide benefits information in multiple formats and in easy-to-read checklists rather than walls of text. Explain benefits verbally during employee orientation.
Make sure that your employees know about everything you have to offer, particularly less common benefits such as financial wellness programs. This is the start of getting them to engage with their benefits and use them properly.
Provide Reminders and Checklists
Preventive health care is vitally important and often neglected. Employees then end up overpaying for inappropriate care, skipping routine checkups which then becomes a problem, or visiting the ER for an issue that could just as easily be solved by their PCP.
HR can and should put together an annual checklist for employees. For example, you might have an annual health care checklist that includes:
- Schedule an annual physical
- Schedule recommended health screenings per your doctor
- Review your vaccinations and schedule appointments
- Schedule an annual eye exam
- Schedule two dental cleanings per year
- Use online refills to avoid trips to the pharmacy and reduce the risk of forgetting medication.
- Spend FSA money before the end of the benefit year so none of it is lost.
You should provide links for each action item. While healthcare providers often do send reminders, a reminder from a third party can be what people need to get them to actually do it. Avoid putting on too much pressure, though; excessive reminders tend to make people not want to do it.
Help Them Understand Their Plan
Last, but not least, make sure that your employees understand the benefits you offer. Make sure they know what their deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums are. Then, ensure that they know which providers are in-network and help them switch if necessary. Lastly, make it as easy as possible to switch to an in-network provider if a current provider is no longer in-network.
Finally, explain the rules for HSAs and FSAs so that your employees get their maximum tax benefits. Explain fringe benefits such as mental health and telemedicine.
This also goes for other benefits, such as life insurance, financial wellness, and employee assistance programs. Your employees need to know and understand exactly what they are getting. For some benefits, a points system might incentivize employees to actually bother using them, this particularly goes for financial wellness and some aspects of EAPs.
Learn More About Maximizing Employee Benefits ROI and Supporting Your Workforce
Benefits Zone can help with all of this. We can set up a text messaging system that will provide appropriate reminders of things like annual physicals and dental cleanings. Our system helps keeps benefits and wellness top-of-mind for your employees, ensuring appropriate usage and greatly improving employee benefits ROI in the long run. Contact us to learn more.