5 Ways to Optimize Your Employee Benefits for Improved Retention

A diverse group of employees laughing together in a conference room. The COVID-19 pandemic led many people to rethink their jobs, including where and how they liked to work and why, resulting in the “Great Resignation” throughout 2021 and 2022. In 2022, more than 50 million people left their jobs. Employers responded by reevaluating salaries, existing benefit designs, and work structures to both attract new talent and retain existing talent. 

Even now that the worst of the pandemic is over, well-being programs and enhanced benefits are more important than ever to employees, and they’re looking for robust wellness programs that address more than just basic healthcare. Employers are responding to this continued shift. According to research, more than two-thirds of employers in the U.S. are planning to enhance their employee benefits package to improve retention. 

How Benefit Optimization Leads to Retention

Benefit optimization is the process of assessing your current benefit structure and making changes according to this assessment to best serve your organization and employees. Optimizing your benefits enables your organization to focus on programs that your employees value, which helps attract new talent and retain current employees.. 

Prospective employees see that your organization has taken the time to understand which benefits employees appreciate most, then taken steps to provide those benefits. Workers are looking for employers who care about employee well-being and invest in benefits and programs that address the whole person. 

For example, if your employee is the one who provides insurance for their family, they need to make sure they’re covered with meaningful benefits for their entire family; a larger paycheck may not always help with the type of coverage they need. If employee benefits aren’t addressing what they truly need and value, they may find that the grass is greener elsewhere. Let’s explore how you can optimize your benefits to improve your employee retention and attract new employees.

Five Tips for Optimizing Your Employee Benefits

As you’re optimizing your employee benefits, remember that taking the time and making the effort to attract and retain top talent are worth it.

Evaluate Your Benefit Programs and Whether They Drive Desired Behaviors

Thoroughly examine your current benefit programs. Are employees utilizing them? Are the programs driving the behavior you desire (for example, reducing absences)? 

If your program has an attached assumption, such as reducing benefits, but it isn’t achieving the desired result, evaluate what changes you need to make to drive the behavior, which may include adjusting or removing the current program or adding more programs.

Find Out What Employees Value

It’s important to have a clear understanding of what your employees value. If a benefit has a low utilization rate, don’t assume that employees aren’t using it—this may indicate that they’re unaware of what the benefit does and how it can help them. Ask your employees what current benefits they value, which ones aren’t meaningful, and which they’d like to have.

Communicate with Employees

Keep open communication with your employees throughout the entire benefit optimization process. Some employees aren’t going to get the benefits they want and ask for, while others may lose a valuable benefit they already had. This can frustrate your employees, but how you communicate benefit changes will make a difference in how employees perceive them.

Engage Employees with Health Literacy Tools

Helping employees understand their benefits is key. Consider this: 12 percent of adults are proficiently health literate and 14 percent of adults are below basic health literacy. 

Low health literacy can result in reduced adherence to preventive actions, poor self-care, and lower compliance with health-related interventions. To help employees understand their benefits package and make informed decisions, provide tools and easy-to-use educational wellness platforms.

Learn how to choose a healthcare navigation tool that’s right for your company. 

Provide Cost and Quality Tools

Offer easy-to-use tools that help employees find high-quality providers while saving money. For example, with Bluebook CareConnect™, your employees have access to a member concierge who provides them with personalized assistance in finding the highest level of care at a Fair Price™. 

Many people don’t realize that the cost of the same procedure can vary between hospitals and even between different insurances at the same hospital. They also don’t realize that the cost of their procedures affects their employer. 

With tools such as Bluebook CareConnect, members can receive the care they need while saving you (and them!) money. Bluebook CareConnect also pairs well with Bluebook Rx™ by guiding members to comparable, lower-cost medications to create peace of mind and higher satisfaction. 

Increase Employee Satisfaction While Lowering Benefits Costs

Workers are looking for meaningful benefits at their jobs, including robust programs that focus on high-quality, lower-cost care. Healthcare Bluebook’s Quality & Cost Navigation solution helps improve employee well-being while reducing benefits costs.

eBook cover of How to Choose a Healthcare Navigation Solution That's Right for Your Organization