Even though a next-generation advisor can help you develop the tools and strategies required to drive down your health care costs, they won’t be effective if your employees don’t know how to use them. Traditionally, the communication of how a benefits plan works is confusing and impersonal, and as a result, employees rarely make the most cost-effective choices throughout the health care process.
All of that can change, however, if your advisor hosts one-on-one meetings with your employees. By speaking individually with each worker, your advisor can answer specific questions and educate your employees about how their choices can create savings opportunities for them and their employer without sacrificing the quality of their health care.
A Personal Approach
It’s standard procedure to communicate the terms of a benefits plan via a large group meeting or a hefty collection of paper covered in complicated legal terms, but while that method might be more convenient for brokers, it makes the benefits process impersonal and confusing for employees. Face-to-face meetings with advisors, on the other hand, can make employees feel like their benefits plan is tailored specifically for them, making them feel more valued in the workplace.
Having your employees meet for one-on-one discussions with your advisor can also help you reach your intended goals regarding your benefits plan. A study by Harvard and the University of Chicago found that negotiators who shook hands were more likely to achieve outcomes that satisfied both parties, and research published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology revealed that requests made in person were 34 times more likely to be fulfilled than requests made over email. Face-to-face meetings are not only better for communicating how employees can more effectively use their benefits, but also for developing the personal connections that encourage them to implement the strategies discussed.
Better Employee Engagement
Your advisor can arm your business with the necessary tools to decrease your benefits spending, but if your employees don’t know how to use those tools, you’ll still miss out on potential savings. Directly informing employees about how to make the best health care choices reduces the chances that they’ll follow the status-quo procedure of walking into whichever medical facility is closest to their house and handing over their insurance card.
For example, an employee who doesn’t understand how to look for low-cost alternatives throughout the health care supply chain might immediately accept a doctor’s recommendation for an expensive knee surgery. But an employee who’s educated about the new strategies involved in your benefits plan is more likely to seek a second opinion and lean towards a less expensive, less invasive treatment plan.
Lower Costs for All Stakeholders
Giving individualized attention to your workers regarding their benefits plan can decrease overall costs for both you and your employees. Sitting down with an advisor can make it clearer to an employee that the strategies being implemented don’t just reduce costs for the employer – they also save employees money on their co-pays and deductibles, especially when the employer is willing to compensate their workers for making cost-effective decisions throughout the health care process.
When you and your employees are on the same page, everyone wins, and a one-on-one meeting with a benefits advisor can help communicate how all the stakeholders can work together to take advantage of all the potential savings opportunities in your plan.
Better Communication for Better Health Care
The positive impact of a one-on-one meeting with a benefits advisor will cause a ripple effect throughout your business. Your employees will better understand the strategies your advisor wants them to implement, which will lead them to make more cost-effective choices about their health care, which will lead to savings for both them and the business as a whole. The personalized touch of a face-to-face discussion is crucial for turning tools into results, and a next-generation advisor can help make that process a reality.
The views of the author of this article do not necessarily represent the views of Gradifi. We make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained here. Readers should consult their own attorneys or other tax or financial advisors to understand the tax, financial and legal consequences of any strategies mentioned in this article.