New Year, New Benefits: 5 Key Stakeholders for 2024 Communication Success

Angela Surra

Angela Surra

A well-crafted benefits strategy is a cornerstone of employee satisfaction and retention—but its success doesn’t end with annual enrollment. A crucial yet often overlooked aspect is communication, particularly among key HR stakeholders. To keep you and those stakeholders on the right side of your new year’s resolutions, here are the top five audiences to align and communicate with regularly regarding your benefits plans.

1. Employees

Employee engagement extends far beyond open enrollment. Continuous communication is key to maintaining a satisfied and informed workforce. Employers should maintain regular communication through various channels—newsletters, emails, or face-to-face meetings. Timely and concise updates about benefit plans throughout the year contribute to ongoing employee understanding.

Employees are not just recipients but active participants. Regular surveys provide a platform for employees to voice their opinions, allowing employers to gauge satisfaction levels and address any issues encountered during open enrollment and beyond. This feedback loop is crucial for meeting employee expectations.

2. Benefits broker

After the whirlwind of new year renewals and plan changes, an annual enrollment debrief with your broker is essential. From there, quarterly meetings provide a valuable opportunity to evaluate employee participation, identify potential issues, and share feedback on any glitches during enrollment. This proactive approach ensures a smoother experience for both employees and HR.

Brokers are akin to a Swiss Army knife for businesses, especially small and midsized ones. Leveraging broker expertise goes beyond addressing immediate concerns; it taps into industry trends, innovative strategies, and potential cost-saving measures. Regular communication with your broker to discuss additional education and training for the next open enrollment ensures continuous improvement.

By keeping communication open, you not only address immediate concerns but also lay the groundwork for a more effective benefits program. This collaborative approach ensures your benefits package stays ahead of the curve, keeping employees content and your business thriving.

3. Business owners/executive leaders

Regular updates about benefits keep business owners and leaders informed about changes, successes, and challenges. This open communication fosters deeper collaboration between business owners and benefits decision-makers to ensure benefits programs align with the company’s overall goals, fostering informed decision-making for the future.

4. Technology partners

Your technology platforms (e.g., benefits administration system) is a crucial component to the successful execution of your benefits strategy. Thus, regular communication with technology partners that support your platforms is equally crucial. Maintaining open and frequent communication with these partners allows you to address any issues or make necessary enhancements. Whether it’s adjusting the existing platform or exploring alternatives, this dialogue ensures the technology aligns with organizational and compliance requirements.

5. Carriers and third-party administrators (TPAs)

Similar to technology partners, carriers and TPAs play pivotal roles in managing claims and much more, ensuring the smooth operation of your benefits program. Regular communication and collaboration help streamline processes and enhance the employee experience, leading to, more engaged employees, increased benefits participation, and better overall outcomes.

By involving these stakeholders in ongoing discussions, HR professionals can create a comprehensive and effective benefits program that reflects the organization’s needs and goals, fostering collaboration and open communication to help build the best benefits strategy for the company. By embracing this holistic approach, organizations can ensure a seamless benefits experience, fostering employee satisfaction and overall success.

Author: Angela Surra
About
Angela Surra, CIC, CISR, SHRM-CP is the Principal Benefits Expert at Mineral