Family-building benefits are among the most sought-after benefits being offered in 2021. In our new work-from-home climate, COVID has not deterred employees from pursuing family-building but rather has created more demand on employers for this robust benefit. More than ever, the responsibility is on employers to create an environment conducive to the sustainability of work/life balance for their employees. This presents a wonderful opportunity for HR professionals to embrace and support employees through their family-building process.
Taking the time to explain and advise employees on how to fully take advantage of the benefit and how to use it will create a trusting partnership between the employee and the company while also mitigating some of the stress and anxiety that accompany the family-building journey.
4 Ways to Ensure Your Employees Take Advantage of These Benefits
Virtual support is critical to effectively engaging employees in programs that can support their decision-making process, planning, and general well-being. Fortunately, there are now many ways employees can get virtual support for nearly all aspects of their family-building journey. Benefits now include virtual services available through apps directly, including robust clinical and behavioral support, with access to up-to-date information and education on the family-building journey. The benefit technology should streamline opportunities for employees with virtual consultations and claims processing and provide digital access to benefits description and enrollment in one location.
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The changes in our work/life balance have dismantled some of the ways we would normally provide support for employees. Because the family-building journey can be an emotional one for many individuals and couples, a company’s support can mean happier and more satisfied employees. Employers want to help employees through the family-building journey and show them how they can take advantage of the services made available, such as appointment scheduling, emotional support, and return-to-work programs. Doing all these things cost-effectively and achieving the desired impact ensure the sustainability of the programs offered.
Create a Supportive Communications Strategy
There are myriad layers to a benefits package, so employees will need some help understanding all of the available options. Create a multichanneled and searchable internal communications strategy that will help engage employees and organize the information for them. Strategy elements may include e-mail campaigns with important updates, a social media strategy, live Q&A sessions, webinars, and videos. If your company has a managed benefit, you can have the managed benefit experts engage directly with your employees through webinars and presentations directly from the managed benefit company. This direct engagement will also open direct communication between your employees and the benefit management company, which will provide your employees with more clarity and support.
Promote and Market the Benefits Throughout the Year
The information on a family-building benefit package and how it can be utilized can be overwhelming. Marketing the elements of the benefit to your employees over the year as an ongoing program of education can make it easier for them to digest and take advantage of the many benefits within the plan. One way of doing this is with a calendar of timely and targeted bits of information that will demystify the family-building benefit offering. The more employees understand their benefit, the more prepared they will be to tap into the portions of the benefit that are of most interest to them or that meet their individual needs. Recurring education throughout the year will also prepare them ahead of time for open enrollment each year.
Although family-building benefits are often complex, supporting your employees with a plan that allows them to understand the aspects of their benefits and take advantage of them will pay long-term dividends in employee happiness and company savings.
Peter Nieves serves as the Chief Commercial Officer for WINFertility. He is responsible for the profitable growth, product strategy, and expansion at WIN. Nieves has over 25 years of experience in the benefits consulting and P&C industry.