Explain the reasons for the change.
Typically, people appreciate honesty and transparency. Explaining the reasons for key changes in employee benefits can help with increasing understanding. When they can understand why the change was necessary and why the decision was made, they will often be much quicker to accept them. When you can show them the advantages of the change for them and for the company as a whole, it may be met with more positivity.
You may want to create a list of frequently asked questions, with the answers, to give to affected employees. This way, your words are supported by a written document that they can take with them. It gives them time to read and process the information, so they can better understand it. If they forget a portion of the changes, they will have the document as a reference.
Show compassion and empathy – This is people’s money.
Often employee benefits changes mean personal changes for the employee, such as a bigger chunk taken out of their budget due to increased premiums or changing their primary care doctor. When these changes are looming, it is natural to be upset and even panic. When humans are afraid or frustrated they may not show their best side. Showing some compassion and empathy can quickly diffuse the situation and help make the change a little easier.
Remember, you are dealing with people’s money and that can be a touchy subject for them. Having to pay more can be a source of fear and changing doctors can be frustrating. The calmer you are, showing sensitivity to what that person is going through, the easier you can make the transition for them.
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