The employee benefits industry—and the larger employee compensation landscape—changes frequently and seismically. It’s vital for organizations to keep up with these industry shifts to attract and retain the best talent.
But it’s not always easy. One high-profile global nonprofit foundation’s antiquated health insurance plan from a legacy broker left them behind the curve in a competitive recruiting landscape.
New leadership at the foundation prompted a review of their total compensation program. The management team knew their offering was dated but couldn’t discern how far they were from industry averages.
This is where Corporate Synergies stepped in. The compliance and plan design teams audited the organization’s employee benefits plan, which covered approximately 150 employees, and reviewed how it compared to their major competitors.
The audit raised some eyebrows: The plan hadn’t been changed in nearly a decade, and its total reliance on a single generous health plan over all other benefits set them back in the competition for top talent.
Antiquated doesn’t always mean light on coverage. In fact, the foundation, like most nonprofits, had a very benefit-rich health plan with below-average employee contributions and an expansive in- and out-of-network coverage option, but that plan didn’t fit their diverse employees’ needs.
Armed with this information, the organization was ready to make some big changes.
IF YOU DREAM IT, WE CAN BUILD IT
The organization’s leaders were engaged in the process, knew what they wanted and were willing to make considerable investments to meet their goal of reaching the 75th percentile of employee benefits in their industry. This goal and scoring rubric is based on the results of the audit performed by Corporate Synergies that graded competitor organizations on a 100-point scale.
This engagement presented a challenge the team was glad to accept: Build the perfect plan for their organization from the ground up, offering a robust health plan but leaving space in the budget for a variety of holistic benefits for a customized experience.
The organization requested recommendations for vendors offering high-impact voluntary and lifestyle programs like student loan repayment, pet insurance, life insurance and flexible spending accounts, as well as telemedicine and advanced mental healthcare. Corporate Synergies leveraged their industry expertise to select the best offerings for the organization’s needs. At the end of the vetting process, Corporate Synergies had built the customized benefit plan the organization dreamed up.
EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION
Such dramatic changes to a benefit offering can be stressful for participants, especially those who have enjoyed unusually rich and low-cost health benefits for so long. However, the organization understood that employees would benefit from the more modern, well-rounded plan.
With all of this in mind, the Corporate Synergies team knew education and communication were vital to encouraging participation and maintaining employee satisfaction.
They started by developing a communication plan for the organization’s benefits committee, who often act as peer advocates for new policies. The Corporate Synergies team treated this presentation like a pitch meeting, paying careful attention to explaining the rationale and ROI behind the decisions.
Corporate Synergies then hosted several enrollment workshops, starting more than six months before enrollment was set to begin. With the extra time to review the changes, employees could feel more comfortable making a switch. One-on-one sessions on topics like financial literacy, tax choice and HDHPs were offered regularly and resulted in an above-average migration rate at year one of the new plan.
THE CORPORATE SYNERGIES DIFFERENCE
The new plan met and exceeded the goal of falling within the 75th percentile, and the Corporate Synergies team continues to adapt the offering as needed. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization’s commuter benefits were transitioned to a stipend for home wellness.
One-on-one financial wellness programs are still being offered regularly, as well as reminders about options available to employees as part of their benefit plan.
On the administrative side, continued auditing ensures the plan remains competitive in the marketplace and that the organization never falls behind in the recruiting landscape again.