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  • Ned Schaut

What to Do When an Employee Has Benefits Questions

When it comes to managing employee benefits, confusion and uncertainty can be at an all-time high for employees and business owners alike. From open enrollment to the various plans, benefits, and costs involved, it’s crucial for company leadership to develop a plan of action that educates employees and creates a welcoming environment for questions and discussion. If open enrollment is upon you and you’re still not sure how to field questions about benefits, don’t despair! Simply keep reading for helpful tips on implementing a communication strategy that leads to a positive, open environment where employees can air out their concerns about benefits and receive helpful answers.

Provide Ongoing Employee Benefits Education Throughout the Year

One of the best ways to ensure that employees understand their benefits and can navigate processes like open enrollment is to provide them with continuous education and resources. For example, providing a heap of information at open enrollment once a year and never returning to the topic can prove counterproductive and result in even more confusion than before. Take the time to educate employees on their benefits multiple times in the year, in multiple formats. An electronic brochure can easily be followed by an in-person meeting or a team conference call. Reinforcing information in this way will improve retention and ultimately facilitate open enrollment for both company leaders and employees. Empower your employees to make the most out of their benefits plans. They might not know that your company offers provisions for something like a routine physical. By prioritizing education, you can give employees the tools they need to succeed and be more self-sufficient in their quest to understand their benefits.

Ensure Employees Have Clarity on How to Ask Questions

After educating employees about their benefits plans, costs, and open enrollment procedures, they are sure to have questions. This is a positive sign because it shows that employees are digesting the new information and want to iron out any lingering confusion. However, unless you have set up clear pathways where employees know their questions will be heard, your educational investment won’t come to fruition. Company leaders should build and maintain an open dialogue with employees to resolve any unanswered questions about benefits. This could take the form of seminars, a weekly round-table meeting, or online informational portals. While talking with veteran coworkers can be beneficial for new hires, benefits situations do vary. Set up meetings with HR or insurance professionals who can provide the most accurate and up-to-date information about employees’ specific situations. Employees will thank you for planning ahead and helping them get answers to their questions.

Create Clear Lines of Communication for Staff Members

As previously mentioned, the education process surrounding benefits should be a recurring theme throughout the year. After all, employees’ health and wellness does not remain static -- questions related to their benefits will arise accordingly. In addition to providing clear and comprehensive resources to employees in various forms, it’s important to carve out times for in-person check-ins and ensure that employees are not experiencing problems with their plans. Leaders can schedule weekly “office hours” for team members to drop in and discuss any concerns they may have. On top of that, insurance professionals are trained to educate employees and can be used as an effective resource. Even scheduling one check-in team per month will make you more aware of your employees’ needs and understanding surrounding benefits. Open and constant communication will be your biggest ally when approaching these seemingly complicated topics.

You can further expand your knowledge on addressing employees’ benefits questions by downloading Eureka Insurance Solutions Practical Guide to Finding Help with Employee Benefits. Not only will this guide allow you to better anticipate your employees’ queries, but it will also facilitate communication about benefits, plans, and costs. Take the next step towards educating your employees about benefits by scheduling a time to chat with one of Eureka Insurance Solutions' professional team members at 916-742-7842.

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