Benefits Administration

5 Steps to a Successful Benefits Strategy

Whether you are in the throes of this year’s benefits planning process or already looking ahead to next year’s planning, it is always a good time to take a look at your strategy. Are you aligned with your company’s broader business goals? Are you positioned to succeed? We’ve pulled together our top five tips for making a big impact in 2017 (and beyond!).

1. Take inventory. As an HR business partner, you know your employees’ concerns better than anyone else. Reflect on where the gaps exist in employee education and engagement. Ask questions to get a pulse from your employees on what they value and what’s missing via an engagement or benefits survey (Survey Monkey and Google Forms are some of our favorite survey tools).

2. Know your company’s goals. Solicit feedback early from key stakeholders and decision makers (your CHRO, CFO, and others) regarding any changes that they would prioritize. Does your benefits offering still align with your company’s current growth and priorities? Consider where there are opportunities to optimize your plan or streamline your workflow.

3. Don’t go at it alone. Work with your broker or consultant and your vendor partners. Reach out for opportunities to enhance your programs. Ask them to conduct a performance review of your recent year’s claims data and leverage their expertise to better understand your cost drivers. Make sure that you’re lining up partners with the potential to scale, provide data, and control costs.

4. Build a business case. Consider what new programs or benefits initiatives you want to propose. How you will build the business case? How will you measure the success of your new programs?

5. Map it out. As you think about your HR team’s roadmap for the upcoming year and the changes you want to make, create a planning tool your whole team can use (we’re fans of Google spreadsheets that keep everyone on the same page) to guide your conversation with your broader team and effectively engage employees. Next year’s benefits start by developing a successful strategy today.

As you build your benefits strategy, make sure you avoid some of the potential plan design pitfalls—download our guide to Smarter Health Plan Design to learn how.

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