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Three Ways to Connect Benefits Plan Design with Workforce Engagement

166315699As a consultant-broker working with senior Human Resources leaders at a diversity of blue chip and mid-level firms, I’m still surprised to find organizations who fail to connect the value of workforce engagement with the employee benefits plan design process.

The value of improved workforce engagement is indisputable, and perhaps the most important factor leading to business success. This was reflected in a Business Week story, which suggests that improving workforce engagement is the surest way to turn the economy around. Less than 30% of corporate workers really care about their jobs—and nearly 20% actually want to undermine their co-workers, according to the Gallup study, yet boosting engagement just a tenth of a point can have a huge impact on a company’s sales, they reason.

To build an engaged workforce workers must believe in the company’s product and vision, and they must be made to feel like their contribution matters as a respected member of the organization. This seems like common sense. But while many organizations believe in the value of workforce engagement, comparatively few have systematically incorporated it into their benefits planning design process.

Three ways to connect your organization’s benefits plan design with workforce engagement include the following:

Using An Effective Communication Strategy

This isn’t the first time you’ve heard about the benefits of good communication, and won’t be the last. But let me remind you of the importance of conducting communication audits and employee surveys, and the value of gathering workforce feedback to keep your business running smoothly and create an environment where workers feel valued and respected. Benefits design experts like Lockton can help you analyze these results, leveraging experience and expertise from working with a variety of organizations to help you address shortcomings and build on what’s already strong.

The communication strategy should meet the unique needs of your organization, and should build workforce engagement by connecting your organization’s benefits plan design with other important aspects of the employee experience, including the job evaluation process, performance management plans, retirement plans and executive benefit plans.

By Connecting Benefits & Compensation

Helping workers to understand their total compensation package in real dollars should be priority during plan design, but it’s equally important to provide managers with the tools they need to translate complex pay and benefit plans into understandable terms. There are many tools available to do this, including online total rewards statements. But you can expect employee benefit plan design experts like Lockton to have subject matter experts to connect workforce benefits and compensation in a holistic way that drives workforce engagement. What’s more, the right employee benefit design partner should have communication consultants skilled in the intricacies of compensation and benefits plan strategy, so they can help you build user-friendly leadership guidelines and a communication 166330680plan that will engage and educate your workforce.

By Choosing the Right Vendor-Partner

The right vendor-partner will offer a benefits plan design that includes creative strategies to attract and retain the right talent, including a sustainable engagement plan for high potential workers to boost workplace morale. They will offer proactive wellness and disease management plans, and they will have had extensive experience transforming workers into savvy health care consumers. Wellness programs builds engagement by helping workers to develop a positive attitude about their health and a desire to pursue a healthy lifestyle. A healthier workforce means workers will have more energy to be productive at work and be less likely to absent due to illness, which directly impacts the your organization’s bottom line.

For example, one of the world’s largest marketers and distributors of dairy products was struggling with the changing economy and an ineffective benefits program. The benefits program was subject to spiraling costs and a decentralized administration, and very little was communicated to workers. It was also expensive and workers didn’t understand the plan’s offerings. Lockton helped restructure the administrative side, using a more centralized approach, and launched a national road show to educate employees about the plan’s benefit offerings. A new carrier was also found, resulting in savings of more than $3 million in 2009. The workforce was re-engaged and there was high praise from workers and management.

For more information on how Lockton can help your organization identify the best solution for your employee health-care benefits program, please contact me at rruotolo@lockton.com.


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