Businesses work throughout the year to refine their benefits packages and ensure that they have the best offerings for their workforce. But how can you make sure your employees are aware of what their benefits even entail?
Benefits packages can be complex at times, leading many employees to ignore or misunderstand the full offerings available to them. Around 20 percent of employees say that they do not keep up with benefits correspondence, often skipping company meetings and throwing away documentation detailing their packages. Employers are also presented with the challenge of communicating benefits to an ever-changing workforce. The shift to a cross-generational workforce that includes everyone from Baby Boomers to Generation Z makes benefits education a trickier task for human resources personnel.
If your business is trying to better navigate conversations with employees around benefits packages, consider these tips:
- Survey your workforce to assess their current understanding of benefits. Do they feel as if there is enough education on the subject? What benefits tend to give them the most confusion? Starting the conversation with questions like these can help ensure that your communication tactics will be successful. Email surveys are a great way to gather the data you need to develop a plan.
- Gather your documents so there is one central place where employees can retrieve information. Human resource departments are sometimes understaffed, which splits up guidance documents and spreads them throughout the office. Consolidating all of your benefits information into a single location will prevent issues that result from employees not knowing where to turn.
- Use accessible language that all of your employees can understand. Those who work to develop benefits packages are knowledgeable of industry jargon, but remember that others in your office may not be. Walk through your guidance documents and make sure they can be understood by employees at every level. Simplifying the information while still ensuring that there thorough information for employees is key.
- Find the best format for information sessions. Some employers prefer to educate their employees in a group setting, while others may opt for a one-on-one conversation. The best format for your specific workforce depends on the complexity of the benefits offerings, the number of employees you have, and the availability of personnel that can host those discussions.
- Make yourself available to employees after the fact. Questions may not come up until well after the initial conversation, so establishing a time when you can address those concerns is crucial to educating everyone. Designated office hours or informal sessions such as brown bag lunches can work to open those channels of communication around benefits.
- Educate all year long, not just during re-enrollment. The enrollment process tends to be one of the busier times of year, and employees often rush their paperwork and overlook certain aspects of their plans. Continued education will help employees stay on top of their benefits and address their specific needs. Discuss the topic throughout the year so you can see what is and is not working regarding your benefits education – this will help inform your strategy for the years to come.
Benefits are designed to better the quality of life employees experience, which in turn enhances the quality of work within a company. Our team at Creative Benefit Solutions understands that benefits can sometimes be difficult for employees to fully understand, and even more difficult for employers to explain. We provide education and communication services that will ensure your workforce is up-to-date on its offerings and never left out of the loop. Contact us today to learn how we can help you best communicate with your employees about their benefits packages.