How to consult with your employees on their benefit packages
From creating an open dialogue to surveying your employees, here are 8 answers to the question, “Give one tip for a company to consult with their employees to gather feedback and input on their employee benefits package?”
- Create An Open Dialogue
- Make Time for Each Employee
- Have Open Conversations About Needs
- Rate Your Benefits
- Offer Anonymity
- Conduct a Conjoint Analysis
- Bring in An External Party (a Tool Or a Company)
- Survey Your Employees
Create An Open Dialogue
One tip I’ve found to be successful when consulting with employees is to create an open dialogue with multiple options available. For example, provide a survey or brainstorming session where employees can not only compare benefits packages but also express their individual needs and suggestions for plan offerings. This creates a platform for them to be heard, making them more likely to participate in the discussion. These conversations lead to improved overall satisfaction from employees as they feel valued and taken into account.
Make Time for Each Employee
When you are consulting with your employees, it’s important to set a time limit for this feedback. You want to make sure that each employee has the chance to give their input without the meetings going on too long and causing people to lose interest. Also, you need to make sure that the meetings are well-organized and have a clear agenda so that each employee knows what is expected of them and what you are looking for in their feedback.
Have Open Conversations About Needs
Employers are not mind readers and Employees are not open books. Combining these two factors can make it easy for the interests of both parties to become misaligned. As an employer, you must be willing to reach out and ask questions, even when the topics might not be the most comfortable to discuss.
Complex topics like health care or parental leave may not be agreed upon by everyone and might even lead to some heated debate on what the best method is to cover them. That is no reason to shy away from the conversation, however. Even if the topic can be a bit hard on those involved, those discussions are what you need to ultimately come up with a benefits package that can satisfy everyone.
Employers should be ready to take the lead and have open, honest conversations about what employees feel they need in their benefits package.
Rate Your Benefits
Every year, we ask our team to complete a survey on our benefits program to understand what they most appreciate and don’t care about.
The main questions we find most insightful are:
- What benefit can you not live without?
- What benefit is missing from our current program that would increase your quality of life?
- Rate the following benefits from most to least important.
- Which benefits did you utilize?
Once we have our data, we dig into the numbers to understand where we should shift our resources to have the most impact on our team.
If you want honest feedback from your employees, in this case about benefits, but in any situation, your best option will always be to make it anonymous.
Regardless of how good your company culture is, and how good communication with your team is, situations like this can always bring out a bit of fear and paranoia among people. The truth is, they don’t want to say something wrong that could have them seen in a different light, even if entirely innocent, you can never truly know somebody’s reaction, and if that person is your manager or boss, then of course that worry is going to be elevated a bit.
Offering anonymity isn’t asking the team to be as ruthless as possible and highlight everything awful they think you do, it is just about giving people the space to feel comfortable in saying what they mean, and this way you will often get the best results.
Conduct a Conjoint Analysis
In order to learn your employees’ preferences and sensitivities to your benefit packages, consider conducting a conjoint analysis. As the name implies, a conjoint analysis can be used to compare programs or features in order to measure the value your employees place on them in comparison to one another.
When conducting the surveys, you should show a series of options with various features to better understand which features are most preferred. However, you should be mindful that your employees may not always be the primary user or decision-makers about your benefits packages.
At the end of the survey, you should have insight into which benefits and which combination of options are most suitable for your population. After concluding the survey, I also recommend hosting focus groups to give more context and color to the results.
Bring in An External Party (a Tool Or a Company)
To receive honest feedback from employees, it’s important to ensure anonymity, as we are naturally nervous about sharing feedback about the management or the company, especially if it is negative. Whether you’re doing an online survey or having a face-to-face discussion, ensure the information you collect is through a tool or vendor by a third party so that participants feel comfortable expressing their thoughts honestly without fear of retaliation. Don’t forget to communicate the purpose of doing so with your employees for truthful feedback.
Another benefit of using an external party is that you can leverage their expertise in gathering feedback on employee benefits packages. They have a wealth of knowledge and experience in employee benefits and understand the effective way to collect feedback from them. Once the information is gathered, you can have them share the findings and suggest how to implement the feedback into your employee benefits packages.
Survey Your Employees
One practical tip for a company to gather employee feedback and input on their employee benefits package is to conduct an anonymous survey. This allows employees to share their thoughts and opinions without fear of retaliation and provides the company with valuable data and insights into what employees value and what changes they would like to see.
The survey should be well-designed and thoughtfully crafted, with straightforward questions that address the most critical aspects of the benefits package, such as health insurance, paid time off, and retirement plans. It is also essential to give employees a way to provide open-ended feedback, such as a comment box or an option to schedule a follow-up meeting with HR.
To encourage participation, the company should emphasize the importance of the survey and the role that employee feedback will play in shaping the benefits package.
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