Engage Your Employees when Making Benefit Plan Changes

It is important to engage your employees when making benefit plan changes to avoid turnover and show that you value their input. Giving employees a chance to share their views is important when making any benefit plan changes; whether you’re introducing new benefits, scaling back benefits or changing the design of your plan.

Employees today are used to providing feedback (whether solicited or not) on every product or service they use. Often the feedback is posted online in a very public format. Sensitive benefit or pension plan changes should include employee input before implementation for obvious reasons.

What are some low-cost and effective methods to engage your employees when making benefit plan changes?

  • Surveys
  • Focus Groups
  • Town Hall Meetings
  • Individual Interviews

Making employees feel like they are part of the process is crucial to the success of any initiative. Especially if the changes are perceived to be negative, they are more likely to support the outcome if they are involved early and the reasons are explained. For example, a small business in BC recently asked each of its employees to take a 10% pay reduction, which is much more extreme than a simple change in benefits. The company was having a tough year and this was the best solution to avoid mass layoffs, because management engaged their employees early they saw less than 1% turnover and no-one was laid off.

In addition, employee engagement will provide a wealth of useful data for the plan administrator. Understanding needs, priorities and preferences could indicate required changes in the plan that you haven’t thought of yet.

When creating a survey or preparing for the meeting, be sure you are asking the right questions. Open-ended questions can lead to ambiguous responses that are often employee-specific. Instead, ask questions that prompt a clear response which will allow you to easily compare responses across your entire workforce, multiple choice questions for example.

If you are concerned about turnover and want to engage your employees when making benefit plan changes, contact the employee retention experts at DENT Benefits to make sure you are effectively involving employees in the process.

The information in this material is derived from various sources. Material is provided for general information and is subject to change without notice. Every effort has been made to compile this material from reliable sources; however, no warranty can be made as to its accuracy or completeness. Before acting on any of the above, please contact us for benefit, pension and insurance advice based on your corporate or personal circumstances.

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