New Employee Onboarding Expectations

Finding talented individuals for your business can be a challenge. Retaining new hires can be difficult as well. Many new employees decide within their first year whether they will stay with the company or move on to different opportunities. Employee turnover has a major effect on your company’s bottom line, so it behooves employers to implement an effective onboarding process.

Elements of a Successful Orientation Program

While some of the components outlined below may not seem vital at first glance, this is not the case to new employees. Meeting these expectations is a great way to start the company’s relationship with new hires.

Take a Tour

Socialization is a large part of a positive work environment. Take new hires on a tour of the office and introduce them to their new coworkers. The first day of a new job can be daunting. Meeting coworkers for the first time in the lunchroom can worsen this and make new hires feel isolated. Making new hires feel welcome and comfortable in their workplace goes a long way to retaining them for years to come.

Automate Paperwork

Sitting a new hire down in a cubical with a mountain of paperwork will not make the best first impression. Automating paperwork can help with this issue. Automated files can also help HR track and store the necessary information in an orderly fashion. In addition, automated onboarding can reduce the amount of time new hires spend filling out paper work and increase their focus on other elements of their new job.

Provide a Mentor

Having a meet-and-greet and reducing the amount of physical paperwork new hires have to complete is a good start to the onboarding process. However, there are better methods to retain new hires than leaving them to sink or swim after their first few days. Assigning new hires an experienced mentor can help them assimilate to their new role much faster. They may feel more comfortable asking questions about their new job to a seasoned peer than their new boss. This alleviates workplace anxiety and jitters.

Asking for feedback about your company’s orientation program can help you fine-tune the process. You can locate areas that are working well and where the program needs improvement. Having an effective onboarding process is a type of benefit that is widely appreciated, but rarely discussed. It also does not draw a lot of attention right away but builds loyalty over time. To learn more about what types of benefits give your company an edge over the competition, contact Chelten Consulting.

Technology in the Workplace Gives Companies a Competitive Edge

shutterstock_229854826 - CopyIt can be difficult to find the right employee for an open position. It takes time to read resumes and conduct interviews. What is more frustrating is losing talented candidates to the competition. Employers can gain ground against the competition by beefing up their benefits.

This does not mean only medical and dental. The current generation is tech-savvy and well versed in a variety of devices. They use smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers on a regular basis. If a potential employer cannot offer that same experience, the candidate may look elsewhere.

Many employees feel like their workplace is behind the curve when it comes to technology. Their thought process is they could be more productive and better enjoy their work if they had access to the latest technological advances in their industry. For example, an individual who works in web design should have access to a desktop, tablet, and mobile device to be able to test responsive design websites. Without adequate technology, they cannot perform their job to the best of their ability.

Employees today make a rapid-fire decision on if they will stay with their employer for the long term or not. Offering the latest technology as a benefit can improve your competitive hiring practices. Retaining employees helps save the company time and money that would be otherwise spent recruiting and training new individuals. To learn more about using benefits as part of your hiring strategy, contact Chelten Consulting.

Reducing the Stress of Open Enrollment

laptopsOpen enrollment intimidates many employees. They are unsure of which benefits to choose and they often lack confidence in their final decision. Employers can improve the open enrollment experience by making a few changes.

  • Clear benefits communication. The majority of employees do not understand their employer’s benefits. Employers should use clear language to explain the offered benefits. This helps explain the value of the benefits and the positive effects it can have on the employee’s life. Employers should also be sure to explain the difference between their traditional medical insurance benefits and voluntary benefits.
  • Benefits customization. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates certain health coverage requirements that employers must provide. However, many employees desire the ability to customize their healthcare to meet their current life needs. Plus, having the ability to pick and choose supplemental benefits increases their loyalty to the company. This is often referred to as GAP coverage or Group Supplemental Health plans. These plans help to fill in the gaps of traditional coverage.
  • Support tools and resources. Employers should provide a variety of methods to disperse benefits information. Examples include a website, an app, and consultants that employees can meet with one-on-one. Having multiple methods of access to benefits information allows employees to choose the resource that they are most comfortable using. The focus, however, should be on one-on-one communication with a health benefits consultant. The majority of employees are most comfortable choosing health benefits after consulting with an expert face-to-face.

Reducing the stress associated with open enrollment can improve employee participation and benefits satisfaction. Employees who understand their benefits have more confidence in their final decision as well. To learn more about improving employee health plan satisfaction and employee morale, contact us.

Competitive Hiring Practices: Why Benefits Matter

shutterstock_174966584 - CopyTo secure the best candidate for an open position, employers need to engage in competitive hiring practices. Researching the competition for salary ranges or checking salary averages by city is a good start. Having a well-developed job description can help streamline the hiring process as well, but employers can do more. Employee benefits have become one of the most significant factors amongst job seekers. Yet not all employers utilize their benefits to their full potential. Even if a competitor is offering a top dollar salary you cannot quite match, you still have an opportunity to entice the candidate.

In small businesses and large corporations alike, your benefits model speaks volumes about your company’s culture. If you have incredible benefits and the competition does not, a slight gap between salaries will not tip the scales in their favor. Benefits are not limited to health and dental either. If your company does not require business casual attire, allows employees to work from home certain days of the week, or provides a daily breakfast bar, these are all benefits to include to promote a happy and healthy workplace that can attract a diverse and talented candidate pool.

Any perk that makes your company stand out from the competition is an incentive that you should make plain on the job listing. Not only will this pull in more qualified applicants, it will save the company time while searching for the right fit. By providing a competitive salary, a solid job description, and a progressive benefits list, you can ensure a superior list of candidates who are excited about the employment opportunity. To learn more about innovative benefits solutions to improve your hiring practices, contact us.

Top 5 Blog Articles on HR Benefits Strategies

shutterstock_136833263Most HR departments spend a considerable quantity of resources on designing, implementing, and maintaining their benefits strategies. And with new laws, technologies, and wellness priorities around every corner, it can prove quite challenging to find solutions that work for everybody. Fortunately for you, this is one of our favorite blogging topics! Here are our top 5 blog articles on benefits challenges, strategies, and solutions for HR departments:

HDHP Supplements – HSA versus Group GAP Coverages

shutterstock_252811903 - CopyHigh deductible health plans (HDHPs) have become popular since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act as a means to secure basic coverage and avoid noncompliance penalties. But these plans clearly leave their claimants vulnerable to a wide variety of costly health issues. Most employers and human resource directors know this, but the challenge is finding an affordable solution that benefits everyone. Spend too much of your HR budget and you risk dragging or company into the red. Offer too little in coverages and you’ll have difficulty retaining highly qualified employees.

For many years, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) have been the defacto supplement to HDHPs. But these accounts have proven unattractive to employees for a variety of reasons, from complexity of use to perceived value. Group GAP coverages, however, have begun to change the way people think about health insurance. Here’s an example from our own consulting experience:

Challenge:  Workers were offered a high deductible health plan (HDHP) along with a Health Saving Account (HSA).  Employees were urged to put away monies to cover deductibles and cost sharing expenses. However, the company was facing poor employee participation and employee morale was low.

Solution:  At renewal, the Employer offered a second plan option for employees: a HDHP with Doctor’s Office Visit and RX copays PLUS several GAP insurance plan options employees could “pick and purchase” to fill in high deductibles and cost sharing expenses.

Result:  Enrollment response was overwhelming with the new Bronze/Group GAP plan, that the following year, the employer dropped the HSA plan and kept the HDHP with Doctor’s office visit and RX copays and GAP plan offerings.

To learn more about how your HR team can control costs and improve employee morale with GAP coverages, contact us.

The Importance of Optimizing Benefits Communication Strategies

shutterstock_304857650Communication between insurers, employers, and employees is vital – it is the essential tool in maximizing efficacy, value, and plan satisfaction. Employees make the most of their health plans when they fully understand the type and extent of coverage available. This includes knowing where and when and how they can access information about their policy. Failure to communicate in an effective and timely manner leaves employees confused, frustrated, and dissatisfied, leading to a decrease in perceived value.

One of the most cost-effective steps an HR department can take in improving cost, utilization, and efficacy of benefits plans is to improve communications. This means meeting employees on their terms – making information available through audio, video, and print. Making the information available online, 24/7, and compatible with all major electronic devices is also crucial. Employees should never have to guess or wait to find out which doctor visits are covered, and to what extent. An employee should never have to guess which doctors are in-network or which medications have higher co-pays.

What steps has your HR department taken to modernize and optimize employee benefits communication techniques? To learn more about new strategies in this area, contact us.

HR Challenges in a Changing World

shutterstock_174966584 - CopyPriorities for employees and prospective talent are shifting. As healthcare costs increase in cost and benefits regulations increase in complexity, more individuals are using employee benefits as a major factor in job selection. Retaining the best and the brightest in your field means offering benefits solutions that are intelligent, adaptive, and cost-effective for both employees and your organization. The one-two punch of affordable bronze ACA-compliant plans in tandem with customizable gap coverages allows employees to opt into the specific services that they deem most important. Additionally, opting in for specific gap solutions means employees are much more likely to understand which coverages they possess and how to use them.

Though remarkably effective, gap coverages are still woefully underutilized in the marketplace. This presents a golden opportunity for employers to set themselves apart. Additionally, this strategy allows HR departments to control costs while offering everyone suitable coverage. It’s the way forward, and those who fail to adapt will fall farther and farther behind. To learn more about gap strategies for your organization, contact Chelten Consulting.