Does the idea of switching employee benefits plans give you a whole body shudder and make you want to take a vacation — for a year? While making a swap in your benefits coverage may have been problematic in the past, this time you’re going to be fully prepared for all the questions. Your team will have the tools and information that they need to be successful. Everything is going to go off without a hitch. Why? Because you’ve planned ahead, communicated all the changes, fully understand any system challenges and have a strong team ready to support you at each step of the process. Here’s how you can truly streamline the process of switching your employee benefits plans.
(Over)Communication is Crucial
No matter how many times you feel like you’ve already said it, keep talking about your upcoming employee benefits changes. While there are some employees who will skim over the information each time they see it, it’s a sure bet that there are those special individuals who will refuse to read your messages until the very last day before a switch. Simple communication isn’t enough — you have to overcommunicate what’s going to happen in order to be successful with your employee benefits plan swap. Give people step-by-step instructions as well as timelines on when the change will take place. Reinforce the information on a regular basis, through a variety of different mediums. Printed flyers in high-traffic areas, emails, even blasted voice mails can help you reach the majority of staff members.
Create a Digital Walkthrough
One of the biggest concerns that people having during any changes to benefits is the fear that they are going to make the wrong decision or click a button online — and accidentally cancel or dramatically change their benefits without realizing it. When you create a digital walkthrough of the various steps, this video-based learning allows people to refer back to what they expect to happen so they have a higher confidence level in the steps that they are taking with their benefits. Plus, taking this step allows your team to become more familiar with how the benefits change will happen and find any issues before they become larger problems.
Provide Infographics or Comparison Charts
People learn in a variety of ways, and simply putting the information in a string of PowerPoint slides may not be the best method for some individuals. When you create an infographic or a head-to-head comparison chart of two different plans, people are more likely to understand how they relate to each other. Employee benefits plans can be a bit complex, and breaking things down to the simplest possible format will help people make a more informed decision about their employee benefits. These don’t have to be stellar works of art — they can be quite simple and still be remarkably useful to people who are visual learners.
Lean on Your Benefits Broker for Resources
Your benefits broker should be able to provide a range of talking points and resources for your employee benefits switch that will allow you to save time and effort that would have been involved in creating them yourself. Even if you need to customize the resources that your benefits broker provides, you are still ahead by having a template from which to work. Relentlessly simplify the messages that you are sharing, so your staff members are able to understand the impact of any changes on their particular circumstances, or are least are better able to ask questions to clarify their needs. When you learn on your benefits broker to provide these resources, you’re also gaining valuable insight into how other organizations have handled the process of switching employee benefits plans in the past. You might even be able to avoid some additional pitfalls simply by listening and learning how others have accomplished their changes.
Switching benefits plans don’t have to be a burden for your staff members or your human resources team. When you leverage the best practices that your benefits broker can provide, you’ll find that switching is simpler than ever before. Want to learn more? Contact the team at Stanley M. Davis today at 510-895-4800 or download our checklist: 10 Steps to Choosing the Best Benefits Enrollment Tools for Your Small Business.