Similar to our recent blog post on designing a compensation plan, benefits plans should also stay as consistent and as competitive as possible—that is, after all, what will keep your top talent. Successfully design and communicate your organization’s benefits plan in these six steps:
- Partner: Start working with an experienced benefits broker who has your organization’s and employees’ best interests in mind. A good broker will be responsive throughout the plan year and will act as an advocate when issues arise and during renewal periods. A good broker will also help you communicate the plan so your employees get the most out of their benefits.
- Strategize: Know where you want to position your organization in the marketplace. What benefits do you need to be competitive? And what does being competitive mean to your organization?
- Research: Conduct regular benefit surveys in your sector to determine whether what your organization offers is competitive or not. This is an area in which a benefits broker can help significantly.
- Communicate: Open enrollment time is not the only time to communicate with your employees about benefits. Make sure they know what benefits are offered and how to get the most out of them.
- Provide accessibility: You have an obligation to provide Summary Plan Descriptions or advise employees on how to access them online, and health care reform is going to provide even more obligations for employers. For example, these regulations are going to require that any plan design changes be communicated at least 60 days prior to the effective date.
- Update: It is your responsibility to ensure that your plan documents are up-to-date, as these are the documents that are the last word in how your plans need to run. Make sure your broker provides the appropriate amendments when you make changes to the plan design.