The Top 3 Ways Benefits Administrators Can Be Heroes

January 7, 2016

Will Rumsey

You just went live with your 2016 benefits package. Between the paperwork, meetings and communications to help employees adjust, you need a break!

As new high-deductible major medical plans go live and employees are paying more out of pocket for their healthcare, benefits administrators have a bigger job to do. You need to ensure your employees have high-value benefits to offset higher costs, but you're also responsible for helping them understand their new benefits.

These 3 actions can help you “save the day” as a benefits administrator and accomplish your goals:.

Add High-Value Benefits Off-Cycle

”Value” doesn’t always equal “financial profit.” Benefits that give employees their time back and provide convenience can have a lot of value for employees. If your company isn’t in a position to give substantial raises to your employees, you can still provide a great amount of value through the benefits that are easy to add on outside of the open enrollment cycle.

Telemedicine is a great example of a benefit that can save employees time and money by providing medical care over the phone or online. And adding telemedicine outside of the enrollment cycle can give employees a chance to understand how and when it can be used outside of the information overload of open enrollment. It's a win-win.

Be a Storyteller

The most powerful way you can engage your employees is to show them how their personal lives are affected by changes in the workplace. Humans are motivated by emotions and stories; we tend to forget facts and figures in favor of how something made us feel.

But storytelling isn’t just for writers. Instead of just sending objective, informational emails and hoping your employees utilize the benefits you’ve just implemented, ask them to share their stories with co-workers. Giving them real-life examples will motivate them to use the employee health benefits you’re providing. Make your emails personable and appeal to their instincts and senses. As benefits administrators, you can convey through stories how their family's personal and financial well-being are affected by changes in their benefits plans.

You play an important role in improving their lives with employee-provided benefits. Don't forget that!

Frame the Conversation

You were thoughtful in choosing benefits for your employees––and now you can create a conversation around them that really appeals to what they want and need.

  • How do the benefits save your employees money?
  • Which ones save them time?
  • How are the benefits helping them grow personally and professionally?

The answers to these questions shape the conversation framework for the rest of the year. These are the things you should be talking about each month to empower them throughout the year––driving utilization and creating a positive outlook on your benefits plan. You’re growing an empowered, happy workforce, and the benefits package will add to this continually in the next year.

When you talk about your company’s benefits, you are talking about improving employees’ lives, saving them money, saving them time, and helping them grow personally and professionally.

You can be the hero of your company's healthcare story. Teaching employees how to be smarter healthcare consumers will help them in the short and long run –– which is what will give your employees the chance to take control of their well-being.

Benefits administrators are more than human resources experts or benefits professionals--you are an essential part of your employees’ lives. Telling their stories increases utilization of benefits. And by framing the conversation in a way that impacts them, you show how you're providing real value to their lives.

Telemedicine is a benefit that generates immediate relief and provides a lot of value to employees struggling with high out-of-pocket medical costs. It provides convenient access to high-quality care and generates savings for your company –– feats some might say are, in fact, heroic.

Originally published Jan 7, 2016 3:28:41 PM.