What Should Your Employee Benefits Specialist Do?
Companies with more than 50 employees need an employee benefits specialist. If your company isn’t using one to manage your company’s Texas health care benefits, you could be leaving money on the table.
How much money could you be losing?
If you have a benefits specialist on your team, are they really doing all they should to keep costs low and employees satisfied?
Let’s take a look at what your specialists should do and what your employees need from their services.
Why Are Employee Benefits Important?
In a recent survey, Factl asked 2,000 employees which employee benefits were most important to them when weighing low and high paying jobs. Of those respondents, 88 percent said that health care coverage was the most important benefit.
Rising healthcare costs are driving demand for greater employer coverage. In addition, wellness programs and greater work flexibility/paid vacation time are also important, but healthcare remains a primary concern.
Employees who are offered the same job with the same pay will nearly always choose to work for the company with the greatest benefits. Failing to offer these benefits makes companies less competitive.
To retain key talent, companies must have a solid employee benefits plan, and that begins by hiring the right employee benefits specialists.
In a recent data review study by Glassdoor, employees revealed that health insurance had the greatest impact on their job satisfaction out of all their benefits. However, employees also noted that the quality of care offered by their employer-provided health plan was critical to their satisfaction.
It is abundantly clear that healthcare is the number one employee benefits companies can offer. In a time when benefits seemingly increase in costs each year, it pays to know which ones matter most. These two surveys reveal the importance of creating a powerful healthcare based benefits package.
Of course, even the best healthcare benefits package is worthless if your employees don’t know about it.
Employees Need to Know About Their Benefits
Your HR department is constantly putting out fires and managing the day-to-day for employees. Asking them to handle your company’s employee benefits is a mistake. That’s where employee benefits specialists can help.
For example, if your company is paying thousands every year for wellness programs like gym memberships etc., and only 20% of your employees are using them, there could be a problem.
One theme we see as employee benefits specialist dealing with Texas health care is a lack of awareness around benefits. This is especially true of preventive service benefits.
Employees may not take advantage of preventative screenings because they’re unaware they have coverage for them. In some cases, this could lead to undiagnosed deadly illnesses.
Employee benefits specialists communicate with employees what their benefits are to prevent tragic results. They strategically notify employees of worthwhile benefits. The outcome is better engagement with your benefits plans and less money left on the table.
Reducing confusion is another area specialists can help. Complicated jargon can overwhelm employees. Simplifying this language, and reaching out to employees who might be confused, helps them use available benefits. It’s up to employers to make sure the benefits they are paying for are being used properly.
So how can you know if your employee benefits specialist is doing their job correctly? Is there a benchmark for success? What are some requirements they should meet?
Basic Requirements for Employee Benefits Specialists
Employee Benefits Specialists require extensive training to enter the industry. A few basic tasks that specialists should handle include:
Employee benefits specialists should primarily be focused on providing their company with a great deal on the most attractive benefits package. This involves research and lots of it. Reduced corporate spending with the best coverage is the end goal. They repeat this process for each benefit until they can find the lowest price without sacrificing important benefits. They also look at contract lengths to add flexibility to your package.
–Share those benefits with employees
Back to our previous point, once they create a killer benefits package, benefits specialists should share it with your employees. This might involve holding webinars, in-person meetings, or simply sending out email blasts on a regular basis.
–Help brand benefits and communication
Employees need to know the information they’re receiving is, in fact, coming from their employer. Benefits specialist should know how to properly brand their communication to guarantee it reaches their audience. They do this by using company logos and consistently reaching out to employees via company channels.
–Ask for feedback
Feedback from employees ensures the benefits packages are satisfying their needs. It might also involve asking employees if they’re aware of some of the many benefits your company offers. The goal is to make sure they are.
Key Characteristics of Employee Benefits Specialists
Finding the right employee benefits specialists involves more than hiring someone with a degree. There is a personal element to the job that can make or break employee satisfaction along with your company budget. Key characteristics of the best benefits specialists include:
- Analytically minded. This position requires a person or team that doesn’t mind pouring through page after page of data. An analytical mind makes the process easier and more thorough.
- Technically inclined. Modern HR technology is evolving. Apps, AI, data, and algorithms are changing the way insurance companies function. You need someone who is adaptable in an ever-changing environment.
- Industry Experience. Understanding the past can help you grow in the future. Experienced benefits specialists give you a leg up on the competition.
If your employee benefits specialist doesn’t have these characteristics you could be leaving money on the table.
Their Role in Health Care
Your team’s health is important. Benefits specialists can help keep them healthy by doing their job.
First, their job begins with determining the best benefits for your current team. They do this by analyzing data about your employees.
Next, they put together a healthcare package that includes coverage for what employees most need. This might be dental, vision, and preventive screenings, for example.
They will then make employees aware of these benefits. Specialists will also look to push wellness programs to reduce healthcare costs for your company.
Once they’ve put together a high-quality benefits package they’ll keep track of what’s working and what’s not. Metric tracking helps them see where employees are taking action on available benefits, and where they might need a nudge in the right direction.
Is your current employee benefits specialists meeting these standards? If not, it could be time to branch out.
At Healthcare Consultants Inc., we offer experienced benefits services that your employees want while saving you money. Contact us today to learn more about our employee benefits services and how we can help.