Maximising employee engagement with a valuable benefit
Employers have a wide range of benefits to consider, more and more employers are now understanding the value of adding a dental plan to their benefits package.
84% of employers with a dental plan believe that a dental plan show they care about employees and 82% of employers with a dental plan believe that it enhances employee wellbeing*. So how can employers ensure they are properly engaging their employees with dental plans?
Understand your workforce
Companies must firstly understand their workforce. A ‘one size fits all’ communications plan won’t have the impact of tailored communication plans which demonstrates a firm’s understanding and consideration of its workforce, and how to get through to them. For example, a predominantly young work force might be more receptive to information via social media, or may use their smart phones much more than an older workforce. Firms should chose a provider who will take the age range (as just one example) of your workforce into consideration when tailoring communications to ensure they are appropriately targeted.
Highlight the importance of good oral health
Another way to increase engagement and encourage take-up of a dental benefit is to highlight the importance of oral health and the impact it has on overall health and wellbeing. A dentist is likely to be the first person to spot the early signs of mouth cancer, and rather than looking at just your teeth, a dentist is assessing the wellbeing of your mouth. It is now widely recognised that there are proven links between gum disease and conditions such as diabetes, strokes and heart disease. Dental problems can disturb how people eat, sleep and work, as well as affect an employee’s emotional wellbeing. Having healthy employees who regularly visit a dentist close to work, means less time and money lost for the company in absenteeism. What’s more, employees having a preventive benefit in place such as a dental plan means that they could also reduce a company’s PMI premiums.
Look for value over cost
When selecting benefits, companies should look further than simply cost. Employers should form a relationship with a provider who will help them to engage with their employees. Other than price, what else can the provider bring to the table? Do they have an extensive network of dentists that employees can use? And can they provide an online Find a Dentist search facility to make it easier for employees to find a dentist close to work? Can their dentists offer extra discounts and how easy is it to claim back once employees have visited the dentist? Will administration be an issue for HR departments and how can a provider eliminate that? Firms should look at a provider’s ability to provide regular communications so the employee understands their dental plan and all it offers. Bespoke marketing communications help to maximise engagement and employees will be more likely to ‘buy in’ to the benefit. Working with a provider on national campaigns such as Dry January, National Smile Month and Stoptober will be advantageous to employer, provider and employee.
Other ways to boost engagement can include choosing a provider who has industry expertise. For example, historically cover has only been available for child dependents. What about those without children or those that have flown the nest. Perhaps certain providers can enable them to cover additional adult dependents in the form of parents and step-parents?
This is by no means a full guide to increasing employee take up, merely a few examples of how a company can increase engagement and maximise the return of investment for their dental plans - advantageous to both the company and its employees.
*Source: Denplan Corporate Decision Makers Survey 2016