Human Resources

Three Best Practices for Fine-Tuning Benefits Packages Before Open Enrollment

Looking for ways to make your benefits packages even more valuable and appealing to employees in the upcoming open enrollment period? If so, you probably know that enhancing employee benefits in today’s challenging economic environment can provide great advantages — from improving talent recruiting to increasing employee productivity and retention. 

But did you know that, in general, benefits offerings are becoming an increasingly crucial point of focus for businesses of all sizes — especially now? 

 

There’s Never Been a More Critical Time to Focus on Benefits 

 

Economic conditions — including a tough labor market and rising inflation — necessitate that businesses raise the bar on their benefits offerings more than ever before if they want to remain competitive. As a result, employers are now planning benefits enhancements for 2023 to get ahead of the curve, better meet their employees’ needs, and boost their talent attraction and retention efforts. 

 

  1. In fact, a recent report from HR consultancy Mercer2 shows that 70% of all large employers are planning benefits enhancements for 2023, according to Mercer’s survey of 708 organizations from all industries and of all sizes. 

 

How to Enhance Your Benefits Options Ahead of Open Enrollment: 3 Best Practices 

 

To enable access to better benefits — which can make for happier, healthier, and higher performing employees — here are three integral best practices to help you fine-tune your benefits packages. 

 

#1: Conduct Surveys to Ensure Benefits Offerings Reflect and Meet Employee Needs  

 

The better you know and understand your employees’ benefits-related needs and interests, the easier it will be to design offerings that best serve them — and increase the chances they’ll want to remain your employees. So, rather than rely on benefits-utilization data alone, you can conduct anonymous surveys of employees to find out whether the offered benefits truly address their current needs and wishes.  

In addition, surveying your management team can also provide valuable insights into the potential healthcare-related struggles and challenges their direct reports are having (while keeping all information anonymous) — further helping you to identify and fill any gaps. 

 

This research doesn’t have to be complicated — and it’s well worth it considering what you’ll discover: 

 

  • The most common issues and concerns employees have with your benefits packages 
  • Ideas for how to fine-tune packages to address these concerns, better meet employee needs, and ensure that all employees feel supported 

Then, once you’ve identified the gaps in your benefits offerings, you can use the next two best practices to fill them. 

 

#2: Ensure Benefits Packages are as Valuable and Affordable as Possible — for All Employees 

 

Besides compensation, there is arguably nothing more important to employees than their benefits. This is especially true now that, for many people, inflation is outpacing increases in income.  

 

The good news is that Human Resources departments are in a great position to positively impact the situation. Raising the quality of benefits packages while keeping them affordable — and making them more affordable for more of your employee base — can be a powerful way to support your employees during this time. (Here are more tips for helping employees through inflation.) 

The next best practice offers ideas for how to make your packages more valuable and well-rounded. In terms of making them more affordable, a terrific way to start is by offering a wider range of deductible options. Although high-deductible plans remain popular, they don’t work well for all employees. Consider also offering: 

 

  • Low-deductible and/or no-deductible plan options (e.g., a copay-based plan) 
  • Free employee-only coverage (with no requirement of premium contributions) 
  • Telemedicine and onsite care which both provide care at a lower cost 

#3 Offer More Comprehensive and Innovative Coverage Options and Perks 

 

Offering well-rounded, comprehensive benefits packages — including innovative healthcare coverage and perks — sends two important messages to your employees: 

 

  1. You care about their total well-being 
  2. Because you care, you’re committed to providing innovative benefits options that reflect the times and their needs 
  3. It also signals that your organization is constantly looking to invest in their employees 

Consider offering the following: 

 

  • Expanded access to mental and behavioral healthcare, including virtual behavioral and mental health care services to support employees’ emotional health and overall health 
  • Family-friendly and family-forming benefits such as paid parental leave, adoption assistance, fertility treatment coverage, subsidized childcare services, and eldercare assistance 
  • Support for women’s reproductive health, including high-risk pregnancy, pregnancy loss, menopause, and more 
  • Perks that enable greater flexibility for work/life balance and total well-being, such as the option to work from home every day, employer-funded lifestyle accounts, paid time off to volunteer, and sabbaticals 

Bonus Best Practice: Build Interest in Your Fine-tuned Packages Ahead of Open Enrollment 

 

New and improved benefits packages are something employers and employees alike can get excited about. Start building interest in your enhanced offerings via regular communications with your employees to help build engagement and participation during open enrollment. 

Want help with fine-tuning your benefits packages and making the next open enrollment period your most successful yet? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Let Enrollme take Open Enrollment out of your hands. Schedule a consultation now. 

 

Sources: 

 

https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/benefits/pages/fine-tune-benefit-options-before-open-enrollment.aspx

 

https://www.mercer.us/our-thinking/healthcare/2023-benefit-strategies-report.html#

 

https://weightlossnormal.com/fine-tune-benefits-before-open-enrollment/

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