3 Tips for Maintaining Morale If You’re Changing Benefits Again

It’s open enrollment season again, and if your benefits are changing considerably, it could cause an engagement dip! A Towers Watson benefits study found – perhaps not surprisingly – that employee health and retirement plans are strongly correlated with engagement and retention. In fact, a Luntz Global paper on American health insurance plans estimated that 78% of employees claim employer-provided health insurance impacts their choice to stay at their current job.

It goes without saying that healthcare in America is imperfect, and its associated costs can easily skyrocket if not watched closely. Employers must perform a balancing act, typically switching providers annually, to secure the best rates for their employees. On top of that they must be wary of other companies offering flashier benefits to lure their top performers away.

Paying attention to employee engagement during open enrollment therefore is quite important, and all part of the balancing act of providing a meaningful employee experience. Here are some tips to help you keep engagement up while shuffling the deck:

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  • Get everyone involved – Ensure that plenty of training sessions and information are available to all employees, remote, global, or otherwise. Notify employees about upcoming benefit changes early so they have time to process and adjust.
  • Step up recognition – Check your daily formal and informal recognition efforts and kick them up a notch if you need to. Changing benefits often can be chaotic, so be as kind as possible and nurture your positive feedback loops.
  • Talk openly about it – Commiserate, listen, and be present for employees who have personal concerns about the changes. Being open and honest at times like these can build trust, loyalty, and mutual compassion.

The constant push and pull of changing benefits can have a chilling effect if left unchecked. Be sure to give a hoot during open enrollment and keep lines of communication open. A strong culture of respect and appreciation is healthier for morale, and can put flashy competitor benefits in the rear-view.

This article is reposted from the Halo recognition blog.

Cord Himelstein has helped HALO Recognition become one of the leading providers of employee rewards, recognition and incentive solutions. Since 2007, he has been responsible for leading the company’s strategic marketing initiatives and communications efforts. Cord works closely with customers to help them develop measurable workforce recognition strategies and create memorable experiences for their employees.

Cord is also a recognized thought leader in the human resources community, and is a regular contributor to the company's corporate blog, where his articles have enjoyed national exposure through major HR publications including SHRM, Workspan, TLNT, Smartbrief, and Entrepreneur. Prior to joining HALO Recognition, Cord worked in the entertainment industry for more than 15 years, where he held senior positions with Elektra Entertainment and EMI Music Group.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cord-himelstein-970b375