You’ve made the decision to support your workforce with employee health benefits, but the big question is: does your benefits plan really support the needs of your employees? No matter the size of your organization, the needs of your employees are probably diverse. Do your employee health benefits account for this?
A Diverse Workforce
Canada’s population is diverse. Immigration has been a part of our makeup since the country’s creation and that hasn’t changed. We have people from many different countries, with many different needs. We also have people of varying ages with varying social and community needs. This diversity is reflected in our workforce.
Your workforce may contain baby boomers, nearing retirement. Perhaps these employees have age-related health issues and are slower to adapt to tech-forward platforms. In that same workforce, you may have a millennial with young kids, also juggling eldercare for their parents. The big takeaway here is that these two segments of your workforce will have different needs and wants when it comes to employee health benefits. In fact, there may be many different needs and wants across your entire workforce.
Benefits for Everyone
With such a diverse workforce, it should be no surprise that not all benefits are valued equally by all employees. Some employees will place a higher value on some benefits, while others will value completely different features.
Your benefits plan should be adjusted to accommodate this. While it’s not possible to give every employee exactly the benefits they most desire, it is possible to recognize categories of benefits that are valued by many employees in your organization. You can also add some flexibility into your plan to let your employees choose how their benefit dollars are spent.
For example, you can include a health spending account in your plan. This gives employees a set amount of money to spend on any eligible health and dental expense. You can also include shared maximums for groups of benefits. For example, if your plan has a shared maximum for physiotherapy, chiro, and massage therapy, your employee could choose to spend the total value on chiro, instead of having a lower limit for physiotherapy, chiro and massage (separately).
A focus on wellness is usually something that resonates with many in a diverse workforce. Encouraging employees to improve their health can have preventative benefits, and there are many ways to do it.
Most important is to get input from your employees to find out which benefits they value, so that you can ensure your plan aligns with them. Consider surveying your workforce, hosting round-table discussions, or having HR led discussion groups.
Keep in mind that the needs of your workforce will continue to change over time, so your benefits plan should too. Work with your provider to regularly review and tweak your plan to ensure it is valued by your employees.
When it comes to tailoring your benefits plan for your workforce, how the benefits are accessed is also important. With a diverse workforce, how your employees prefer to interact with the plan will also be diverse.
Ensure you have multiple access points to both the benefits plan and the benefits themselves. For example, include both traditional access to benefits information (benefits booklet), as well as online apps and platforms. Some of your workforce may want to submit claims on the go, while others may prefer a more traditional experience.
Consider offering something like virtual healthcare as part of your plan; this can improve access to the benefits, especially for those who are more tech focused.
Tailoring your benefits plan for your workforce may also mean ensuring services are offered in multiple languages and during non-traditional times. This improves access to the benefits plan, so your employees are getting the most out of the plan.
When you tailor your health benefits for your workforce you maximize the return you’ll receive on your investment in employee benefits. Your employees will find the benefits relevant and easy to access, so they’re more likely to use them. This will result in healthier, happier employees.
An employee health benefits plan that is a good fit for your employees can pay off in a number of ways:
- More productive employees – Healthy employees don’t have health issues or concerns occupying their minds. This usually means better productivity.
- Fewer absences and presenteeism – Employee benefits help ensure that health issues are treated and addressed, and other health issues are prevented. The result is fewer absences.
- Better retention and more success recruiting – The presence and quality of health benefits can be the deciding factor for an employee thinking of changing employers, or for a potential employee who has been offered a job. Benefits that are tailored to your workforce are more likely to resonate with employees and potential employees.
Good advice is key
Is your health benefits plan tailored to your workforce and your company? Does your plan have maximum impact because it supports your diverse workforce? If not, it’s time to change things up. Review your options with one of our licensed advisors on the phone or in-person or contact us for a comparison quote.
Whether you’re looking for extended health and dental coverage, disability coverage, or life and critical illness coverage, GroupHEALTH has affordable benefit packages that work as hard as you do.