The Challenges of Building a Benefits Package

For benefits managers, building benefits packages is an ongoing and ever-evolving enterprise. There are literally hundreds of options for them to choose from in order to craft a plan that works for their employees and the company. Now that there are five generations in many workforces, post-pandemic expectations and cultural shifts, building a benefits package is more challenging than ever.

Where are your employees now?

As COVID restrictions slowly lift, many employees are returning to a permanently changed workplace. Some are only partially returning while partially remaining at home. Others are not returning to the workplace at all as over the past two years, their financial circumstances or health issues have necessitated a big change. Many people are now becoming entrepreneurs and are hoping to successfully run their own businesses.

So where are your employees? At home still, at the office, or going back and forth?

The challenge for employers is to make changes to the workplace environment that reflect what we have experienced through the pandemic. Physical changes to workspaces, upgraded ventilation, additional safety protocols, and finally…changes to benefits plans.

The dramatic rise in employee mental health care requests, absenteeism due to COVID, ongoing issues for employees who are COVID “long-haulers,” and employees whose treatments or surgeries have been delayed because of COVID have meant that benefits managers have had to shift benefits plans to meet the shifts in needs and demands.

What about rising costs?

Meanwhile, the costs of pharmaceuticals, treatments, procedures, and counseling services have risen dramatically too. How can benefits managers continue to adjust caps and still provide quality benefits plans?

Attraction and Retention

Right now, there are more job openings than people looking for them. Having benefits plans that can attract quality employees and keep them is a high priority for companies now. The number one ask that employees now have of their workplaces is “FLEXIBILITY.”  To attract new employees, companies and their benefits managers have to start there and incorporate flexibility while maintaining sustainability for the company.  All of this is challenging!

Culture, Cost, Choice, Customization & Communication

Benefits managers who consider these five “C’s” will be able to navigate the new workplace with greater ease. First they must understand the corporate culture, the generational make-up of their workforce, and its diversity. Also, the need to stay within company budgets for benefits is always a priority for managers. Providing employees with choices and the ability to customize their benefits through Health Savings Plans is a win-win for the employer and the employees. Workers want to know they can choose what fits their lifestyle and life circumstances and not be locked into cookie-gutter plans with benefits they will never use, and low caps on the ones they use a lot. Finally, communication with employees about their benefits plans and options should make use of a variety of communications tools, platforms, and strategies. You can’t “overcommunicate” to employees and they need to be engaged so that the communications are two-way. Consider using text messages, social media, gamified decision support tools, and benefits fairs. Do your employees know what all their options are?

At Health Risk Services, we are experts at helping benefits managers navigate the challenges of creating benefits plans that are appropriate and appreciated by their employees, and which are sustainable. We help our clients find the right benefits solutions for their employees while maintaining sustainability and retention of their valued employees.

We would like you to know more about how Health Risk Services can assist you with a 2022 plan to address the wide variety of benefit needs of your company, so please schedule a Complimentary Consultation with us.

At Health Risk Services we will Empathize, Educate, and Empower you and your team in 2021!

To schedule your Complimentary Consultation with Health Risk Services, please call 403-236-9430 OR email: info@healthrisk.ca

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