Employee Benefits & Communication
Healthcare and other employee benefits play a major role in attracting and retaining talent. In fact, a recent survey showed that nearly 60% of employees would leave their current position for one with slightly lower pay but a better suite of benefits. Because of this, many business owners devote a great deal of time and money to securing the best benefits possible for their employees, with group health benefits in particular being one of the largest expenses that a given employer will face.
However, all of that money can go to waste if employees do not participate in the programs that are offered. The best benefits package in the world is worthless if no one decides to enroll. Investing in benefits programs for your team is only half the battle - you also need to communicate what these benefits are and why your employees should get excited about them. Here are four points to keep in mind when it comes to employee benefits and communication.
- Advertise benefits to attract new talent
If you have a great benefits package to offer, show it off! Include at least a brief description of your company's employee benefits package in each job listing you post. Bring the topic up again in interviews, and give the interviewee a chance to ask questions. Mention your benefits package a third time when offering employment. Benefits are a key factor in bringing in new employees, and if your job candidate is considering positions with more than one company, you can be certain that benefits will be a major part of his or her decision. Do not miss this opportunity to put your best foot forward and show what your company has to offer!
- Highlight benefits to improve employee retention
Good benefits not only attract employees to a company in the first place - they also help ensure that those employees will stick around for many years to come. However, many employees do not know or understand the full range of benefits offered by their company. This lack of understanding is one of the biggest barriers to employee participation. Improve employee retention by making sure that you are communicating the full extent and value of your company's benefits package, including 401(k)s and retirement planning, employer-sponsored health plans, voluntary benefits, and other programs, such as special training opportunities. The more that an employee understands the options that are available and why each is useful, the more likely they are to enroll, and the more they will appreciate the package as a whole.
- Make benefits a year-round conversation
Sending out material for open enrollment is not enough. If you want your employees to fully understand and appreciate the benefits that your company has to offer, that information needs to be communicated year-round. Communication at regular intervals can help increase employee awareness and understanding, which in turn leads to greater engagement and participation. Consider sending monthly or bi-monthly communications, scheduling optional learning sessions a few times a year, creating informative videos or other media available online 24/7, and so forth.
- Keep it short and simple
More frequent communication is a great start, but it is also important to consider the content of the messages that you are sending. Overly lengthy documents with lots of tricky terminology are never fun to read, and employees may only skim them and miss important details. Make sure that the information that you are conveying is simple and easy to understand. Tailoring the information so that it suits an employee's needs is even better. If possible, one of the best things you can do is to give employees the opportunity for a face-to-face discussion with a benefits expert who can explain things clearly and answer any questions that they may have.
Your employees work hard for your company, and you work hard to give them the best benefits possible. A great benefits package can be crucial in attracting new team members and holding onto the employees that one already has. However, in order for this to succeed, communications need to be clear and concise, and they need to be delivered at regular intervals both during the hiring process and once the employee has been brought on board. The key to increased enrollment is communication - because your employees will not engage with programs that are not aware of or do not understand.