Businesses spend considerable time and resources on their employee health plan. When you invest in something so important, you want to know that employees are fully utilizing what you provide.

But what if your staff isn’t using all the features of your plan? What if they’re unhappy with what you’re offering or don’t understand all their options?

Polling your employees about your plan can help you take stock of how they’re feeling, but what are the benefits of polls, and how can you get the most out of them? Let’s take a closer look.

Gauging Employee Satisfaction

First, the good news: If you’re worrying about the quality of your health plans, you might be worrying about nothing. A Kaiser Family Foundation poll revealed that 71 percent of insured adults under 65 believe their health care services are excellent or good.

If you poll your employees about your health care options, you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that they’re satisfied with what you’re offering, saving you time you might have spent fixing something that isn’t broken.

Pinpointing the Problem

Desirable health plans can help you retain your employees and avoid the cost of having to find and train new hires. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your staff members are happy with their plans.

But if you’re only guessing, you might make all the wrong changes. It’s like throwing darts at the wrong board: You’ll put in a lot of effort, but you won’t get anywhere. By anonymously surveying your employees, you can pinpoint what part of the plan troubles them and solve the right issues.

What to Ask

If you make your poll anonymous, employees will be more likely to answer honestly. But what sort of questions should you ask?

Ask how they feel about the cost of the health plan. Is the monthly premium acceptable? Are the deductibles too high? Do they prefer lower premiums and higher deductibles, or vice versa? Ask about the coverage options, too. Are their preferred doctors or hospitals covered by your plan? Do they have access to the type of care they want? Are they happy with their ancillary plan options (eg. dental, vision, life insurance)?

You should also allow for open-ended answers. Employees may have concerns you wouldn’t even think of asking about. For example, the insurance company may not be paying certain costs that you assumed were covered, or a particular procedure may not be included under the most affordable plan. Leave room for your employees to add a wish list — maybe discounted gym memberships or exercise classes would improve satisfaction.

If you’re unsure how to create your survey, you can use SurveyMonkey to get started.

Better Health Plans, Better Employees

If your employees see that you’re making a concerted effort to improve their health benefits by getting them involved in the process, they’ll appreciate the effort. And if you can pinpoint what’s most important to your team and address those needs, you may find that your staff is happier and more productive.

A survey revealed that professionals who are satisfied with their benefits are also twice as likely to be happy with their jobs, and job applicants strongly consider benefits when choosing where they want to work. Of course, benefits include perks beyond health care, but offering a comprehensive health plan can make your company that much more attractive to potential hires.

Employee satisfaction is a top priority for any business owner. If you take the time to survey your team, you can determine if your current plan meets their needs and get ideas on how to improve. If you’re looking to strengthen employee retention and hire new, competitive staff members, knowing and delivering what they really want can make all the difference.

Stephanie Dwilson has extensive experience providing expertise on topics including health, law and marketing. She’s a science journalist published by Fox News, a marketing expert and an attorney with expertise in personal injury law. She’s also a small business expert featured by Businessweek and Millionaire Blueprints magazine and has worked as a marketing consultant for ministries and as a PR lead for one of the largest churches in America.