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Andrea Rios She says Lovitt and Touché spends a lot of time working with employers to help them develop benefit plans and an effective communication strategy for those benefits. “That’s one of the most gratifying parts of working with businesses because we influence behavior directly by doing that,” she says. “We try to find out from the company or employer how they’re communicating to their employees today, if it’s effective, and if we can build on it to better educate and communicate most effectively to employees. Having a multi-pronged approach is the most effective strategy, but it starts with finding out how a company is communicating and how to be most effective for their population.”

Mike Tilton “We encourage employers to use a combination of printed material, email, chat and to hold meetings where they can present the information to their employees in person and allow for proactive Q&A sessions where employees can talk amongst each other, talk about their own experiences with the plans, and socialize some of the thought process around the decision making around their benefits,” he says.

EMPLOYEE PERSPECTIVE For many employees, a competitive benefits package is an important factor in deciding whether a prospective employer is the right fit and can be key in an employee’s security and peace of mind to take care of themselves and those important to them. DEVELOPING A PLAN “The overarching conversations we’re having with most of the Mike Tilton, general manager, Commercial Segment at Blue employers that we work with are trying to figure out not only Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, said developing a benefits plan how do they create an attractive environment for employees, but starts with offering choice. employee retention is a huge objective and the benefits program “We try to encourage employers not to offer too broad of a is one of the strongest tools they have outside of compensation to menu of options or it becomes confusing for people. When you do that, often times they’ll just do what they did last year,” Tilton help with that,” Tilton says. says. “When we build out our product portfolios, we try to think According to a 2018 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Employee Benefits report, 34 percent of organizations broadly about different types of network options. Does someone need a big, broad network or are they someone who doesn’t have a increased benefit offerings in the last 12 months. Organizations that did were most likely to increase health-related (51 percent), strong affinity with a particular provider?” wellness (44 percent) and employee programs and services (39 “We also try to encourage more than one plan offering, and what we find a lot more now as people are becoming more engaged percent) benefits. The top reasons cited for increasing benefits were to retain employees (72 percent), to attract new talent (58 as consumers in healthcare, there’s a lot more interest in health savings accounts (HSAs) and plans that allow employees to percent) and to respond to employee feedback (54 percent). leverage the tax benefit of an HSA product, but also allows them Often, one of the first times employers will introduce benefits to to effectively plan for not only their healthcare costs now, but also an employee is in a new hire orientation or in a conversation with to leverage the HSA for their healthcare costs in the future and whoever is in charge of benefits. Rios says that while this may be really start to think about healthcare the way they think about a the first time an employee is aware of what benefits are available 401(k) plan,” Tilton says. to them, it’s also important for employers to keep the conversation Tilton says BCBSAZ recommends employers meet consumers open to employees throughout the year as well to reach them where they are, which includes employees that span multiple consistently during their time at the company to have additional generations and prefer to receive information in different ways. opportunities to learn at different times about the benefits. AB | November - December 2019 21

Profile for AZ Big Media

AZBusiness November/December 2019  

Inside this issue of Az Business magazine, we celebrate Arizona Forward and its 50 years of impact. We look at some of the milestones in the...

AZBusiness November/December 2019  

Inside this issue of Az Business magazine, we celebrate Arizona Forward and its 50 years of impact. We look at some of the milestones in the...