Who do you trust for advice on which specialist to see for a medical issue? How do you make the most of your healthcare benefits? If you ask this of your employees, there's a good chance they're going to return the question with a shrug or, "I don't know."
So, where do your employees turn when they need healthcare resources or information?
Do they seek out answers? Do they turn to you? Do they consult "Dr. Google" or see what they can find online? Do they turn to their insurer, friend, or family member?
Unfortunately, many employees are wired not to trust their employers. Whether it's because of the culture or their own past experiences, there's an "us vs. them" complex. Although you work hard to provide quality healthcare for your employees, that is only the first step. As an employer, you need to take additional action to establish and build trust.
According to a 2019 Gallup Workplace study, one in three employees strongly agrees that they trust their organization's leadership. However, trust depends on the organization, the study found. Some companies rate higher with seven in 10 employees indicating high confidence, and other teams are more doubtful, with one in 10 workers expressing trust.
The good news is, trust is on the rise because employers are recognizing how important it is when trying to drive success and for implementing initiatives, including adopting healthy habits and effectively utilizing healthcare benefits. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, more people trust employers than institutions like the government or media.
The keys are to be transparent and informative. Listen to your people and leave a door open for them to access leadership to share their thoughts and concerns.
Relate to them—and, in our experience, the best way to do this is through storytelling. Work to understand their perspectives, gather their questions about healthcare and the benefits you provide. Then bring those issues to life by explaining scenarios, sharing case studies, and giving employees the mic so they can talk about their experiences and learn from each other. As an employer, you are in a position to educate, facilitate connections and build trust.
Heading into open enrollment, you have the power to deliver trusted, relevant healthcare information to your employees. Your job is to build trust and deliver accurate information and encourage employees to do the same—to ask questions of providers, doctors, and specialists. Then, when an employee is experiencing a medical situation, they are prepared to do thorough fact-finding to maximize benefits and make the best healthcare choices for the circumstances.
As an employer, you're in a position to educate, inspire and encourage better health, healthcare and education.
About Health Action Council
Health Action Council is a not-for-profit 501©(6) organization representing mid and large-size employers that enhances human and economic health through thought leadership, innovative services and collaboration. It provides value to its members by facilitating projects that improve the quality and moderate the cost of healthcare purchased by its members for their employees, dependents, and retirees.
Health Action Council also collaborates with key stakeholders - health plans, physicians, hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry - to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare in the community.