Here's how bias in your company's senior management could be impacting your ability to make smart decisions regarding health insurance — and perhaps even employee benefits as a whole.
Gender Parity In The Workplace
Although great strides have been made in making the workplace more equal for employees of all types, things are still far from equalizing. Boardrooms and executive suites, in particular, are still overwhelmingly male. This can introduce some problems when it comes to planning for health insurance and employee benefits.
This bias isn't purposeful, it's just the natural result of a person not having access to the life experiences of another. What a man values in his health insurance often differs — even if only slightly — from what a woman values. This opportunity for bias would hold true if your executives were primarily women as well. Make sure you consider everyone's needs when making decisions about your group health insurance.
Age Isn't Just A Number
Employees of different ages value very different things when it comes to health benefits. For example, younger employees are often much more comfortable with low-premium high-deductible insurance plans. This is something that executives — many of whom tend to be older — often miss. Make sure you offer health insurance that has something for every employee no matter their age or fitness level.
A Few Words On Combating Bias
So, your decision making process could be flawed when it comes to employee benefits. Recognizing the problem is always a good first step, but where do you go from here? Yes, it's difficult to fully eliminate bias or choose a benefits package that fully satisfies every employee in every way, but that doesn't mean your hands are completely tied. Here are a few policy ideas that can help you choose and refine your employee benefits.
- Listen To Employees - The best way to counter bias in benefits is to listen to the people who are actually using the benefits — namely your lower level employees. In order to listen to your employees, you need a formal method of receiving and replying to feedback. Make sure that there is a way they can get their feedback documented and that you have someone who follows up on every legitimate suggestion.
- Keep Up With Regulations - One handy way of determining whether your not your decision is legitimate or whether it's motivated by bias is to see what the courts have to say. A great example of this is the recent lawsuit regarding paternity leave leveled against Estee Lauder.
- Explain Your Decisions - A unilateral decision-making process is much more prone to individual bias. Even if an executive ultimately has to make the final call on something, they should be prepared to explain and justify their decision to others.
Summerlin-Roberts are experts in healthcare cost containment. We will work with you to ensure that you can provide your employees with the best possible health benefits at the lowest possible price, resulting in happier employees and leaner budgets. For more information about providing affordable health insurance that satisfies employees, please, contact us today.