Since the ACA elevated the topic of health care coverage to mainstream media, savvy employers have taken this opportunity to begin or expand their own health care conversations with employees. The impending excise tax on high-cost plans offers employers yet another opportunity to tap into the heightened attention the media has placed on the cost of health care in the US and translate what that means to their employees.
While many employers have used the introduction of the ACA in general, and the excise tax in particular, to educate their employees regarding the true cost of the coverage they provide, some have broadened that conversation to include the value of the overall package they deliver — their employee value proposition. And they’re doing so in increasingly creative ways.
The right combination of pay, benefits, career opportunities, and work/life balance are critical elements in the employee value proposition. However, the key to making each of these come to life is in how they help employees answer the “what’s in it for me?” question. Some employers are tapping into social media in the workplace and using internal discussion forums, executive and leadership blogs, along with public social media such as Twitter to share messages and start two-way conversations. Others are targeting and segmenting messaging online and in print, while still others are delivering digital on-demand personalized information. Most employers have moved from one-way, once-a-year communication to employees to create a multi-layered marketing approach that includes varied touch points throughout an employee’s career.
When you’re thinking about what to say to your employees about the excise tax, think about how to make it into a message about the value proposition. And then consider finding a new way to deliver it — because the medium itself can reinforce the message. Personalized information says “you matter.” Two-way communication says “we’re listening.”