Today’s workforce seeks benefits beyond healthcare plans and pensions. Nowadays, they expect a comprehensive benefits package that matches their modern lifestyles and evolving needs. When determining how best to design an employee benefits program, employers must consider several high-priority factors. 

For starters, a well-structured benefits plan can incentivize employees and improve morale. What’s more, offering substantial benefits can help you recruit new talent, maximize productivity, and reduce high employee turnover rates. 

To create an effective employee benefits program, employers should take the following steps: 

Utilize Market Research 

Employee benefits can not only motivate your current employees, but also play a significant role in attracting top talent. That is why companies must consistently evaluate their benefits offerings, including distinguishing between must-have benefits and nice-to-have trends and offerings. To do so, your company should request benefits feedback and assess utilization rates from employees, while also utilizing best-in-class industry benchmarking reports and weighing guidance from a trusted employee benefits partner.  

To better understand the needs of your employees, conducting research is beneficial if you want to go above and beyond the market standard and determine the best benefit plan design for your employees. Research may come in many forms, including employee interviews, questionnaires, and utilization. An important fact to note is that various workforce demographics will have different needs and wants. For instance, younger employees may value more paid time off, while older employees value a retirement plan with a matching employee contribution.  

Here are the primary benefits or perks of a good employee benefits program. Most companies provide some form of these benefits to employees. 

Another way to show employees you care is to offer added or voluntary benefits. These benefits can include: 

To learn more, download a customized Benefits Benchmarking report to discover how your employee benefits compare against other employers in your industry and region.  

Create a Benefits Plan Program 

Once you have completed your research, you can begin to piece together your new benefits plan design and construct benefits in order of priority with the help of your insurance broker. The next step is determining the cost of providing the prioritized benefits and evaluating those against your budget.  

Of course, there are many vital factors to weigh, which can add another layer of complexity. Questions to keep in mind and pose to your employee benefits broker include: 

  • Can changes be made to my current plan design to reduce costs? 

  • Can benefits that are not being utilized by employees be eliminated? 

  • How much will employees have to contribute? 

Establish Good Communication 

Facilitating a good­–and open–stream of communication with your employees is critical to ensuring your new benefits plan is well-received. If your company’s HR leaders, department heads, and C-suite fail to do so, then this misstep could lead to costly inefficiencies and frustration down the road.  

Remember: Effective communication is an invaluable tool at your disposal. Imagine the difficulty in designing an attractive employee benefits plan if you fail to prioritize your employees’ input. Your communication priorities should include:   

  • Creating awareness and buy-in for the new or revised employee benefits plan  

  • Providing intuitive, educational materials for employees and company leaders who are unsure of the new benefits offered 

  • Develop a top-to-bottom strategy to encourage high utilization and input regarding employee benefits   

Develop an Evaluation Process  

An evaluation process should be implemented to measure employee expectations and needs based on the new plan design. Remember that each employee has their own set of needs based on their demographic, values, and respective ages; these variations make it essential to seek feedback from each member of your workforce.

Once feedback is given and duly considered, create goals and measurements to assess your benefits program and adjust as appropriately needed.   

Partner With an Employee Benefits Broker 

Many companies choose to work with an employee benefits broker when designing an employee benefits program. These professionals partner with employers to create a tailored yet cost-effective benefits plan. 

To find experienced employee benefits brokers in your area, search Mployer Advisor. We make it easy to compare brokers by offering independent ratings, showcasing customer reviews, and more. 

Looking for more exclusive content? Check out the recap of our recent webinar, “Best Practices Surrounding Benefits Communication for Employers and Brokers,” or peruse the Mployer Advisor blog for the latest industry news and trends.