By - January 27, 2021

9 Tips for Including Benefits When Onboarding New Employees

onboarding new employees

When onboarding new employees, do your company’s benefits get the attention they deserve? 

For your onboarding team, providing an in-depth explanation of multiple insurance policies probably isn’t a priority. However, it’s important to help workers understand company perks from day one. 

By introducing benefits early on, your organization can potentially…

  • Reduce open enrollment stress in the future. 
  • Encourage employees to take advantage of their benefits in a timely manner.
  • Reinforce the fact that choosing your company was the right decision. 

If you’re a benefits professional, you’re in a unique role to support your onboarding team. This article explains how to positively influence your colleagues and help them educate incoming personnel.

1. Consult with your onboarding team.

Reach out to those responsible for onboarding new employees. Do your peers fully understand your different coverage options and wellness programs? Is it clear that ensuring that new workers understand their benefits is a priority?

If not, be intentional about collaborating. Connect the dots between employee success and employee health literacy, and provide easy-to-use materials that can be repurposed for the training process.   

2. Showcase your benefits in offer letters.

Another way you can support the onboarding team? Use your benefits expertise to improve your organization’s offer letters! 

Propose a review of the current offer-letter template, and give suggestions for highlighting company perks. Ideally, each letter should describe key benefits with links to additional resources. (You’ll want to include a link to your decision support tool and explain when eligibility for enrollment begins.)

3. Create a benefits-focused email for onboarding new employees.

If a job candidate accepts an offer letter, education shouldn’t stop there! 

We recommend communicating with your onboarding team about crafting a benefits-focused email to welcome newcomers. This message can deliver a digital benefits guide and provide links to your intranet for more information.  

(Need tips for writing engaging benefits emails? Be sure to check out this eBook!) 

4. Ensure that initial training discusses company perks. 

Are benefits an important discussion topic during a worker’s first few weeks? If not, ask if you can send a representative to support your HR department or company manager during onboarding events. 

Educate your leadership team on incorporating critical information when coaching new employees. Make certain your colleagues have the tools they need to help trainees take advantage of your wellness programs, navigate your decision support software, and more.  

5. Produce customized visuals. 

With different timelines for different benefits, things can get confusing. We recommend giving each incoming team member a customized visual to help keep track of key events. 

This graphic can be a timeline that shows an employee his or her…  

  • Benefits eligibility date. 
  • Deadline for signing up for benefits.
  • Start of health and fitness program discounts. 
  • 401(k) eligibility date.

6. Outline the transition for family members.

A new employee is likely leaving a previous company’s benefits to join yours. By itself, it’s a change that can create extra stress. But that’s especially true if the worker has family members on his or her plan. 

While onboarding new employees, make the effort to ease their minds and clearly outline the dates and deadlines for switching to your plan. Be sure to brief your onboarding team on the following:    

  • How to ensure there is no gap in coverage
  • How to transition care for ongoing conditions 
  • When to expect new insurance cards 
  • When to expect new HSA/FSA accounts 
  • How to obtain the information sooner, if possible

7. Immediately educate on the ACA.

As your organization integrates new talent, it’s important to discuss any ACA-related issue as soon as possible. Doing so can prevent confusion (and potential disappointment) in the future for workers. For example, if an individual hasn’t previously experienced a variable-hour employee classification, not receiving coverage after the first three months might be a letdown.

Talk with your colleagues about how to streamline these communications. You will want to alert employees if their policies qualify for any state individual mandate requirements. For variable-hour staff, you should explain how they’ll be measured for 12 months before plans are offered. 

8. Highlight and encourage enrollment in your wellness and other benefits programs.

Does your company have benefits programs to help employees achieve positive health outcomes? 

Start engagement with these initiatives early! In addition to providing online information, we recommend personally introducing newcomers to the primary champions of your different programs.   

An employee who joins and has someone in his or her family with a chronic condition will value hearing about ancillary benefits offered that could address an ongoing issue, such as diabetes or weight management. 

Outlining best practices for transitioning care to your program will alleviate stress about enrollment. For example, if an employee has been managing diabetes on his or her own, give steps on how to switch to regularly using your on-site clinics or how to ensure there is no gap in filling insulin prescriptions.

9. Use Tango Decision Assist™ when onboarding new employees.   

There are a lot of moving parts involved in onboarding new employees; introducing benefits is just one of many tasks. 

Tango Decision Assist™ is a turnkey solution that can support your busy onboarding team. 

Our software works to reduce the benefits learning curve and offers a centralized location for sharing helpful program information. Our tool even provides early access so incoming employees can explore their benefits before official open enrollment begins!   

Ready to strengthen and streamline benefits education? Learn more about Tango Decision Assist™. 

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