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 Educating Employees About Workplace Benefits

Educating Employees About Workplace Benefits

Educating Employees About Their Benefits

Benefits packages can be a powerful way to attract and retain top talents. Indeed, in competitive hiring markets, being able to offer superior health coverage, flexible PTO, or perks such as pet insurance can make all the difference.

One thing for business and HR leaders to keep in mind is that simply designing a benefits package is just step one. The next step is educating employees, as well as prospective employees, on what those benefits are and how they may be accessed. Indeed, without this education, some employees may be in the dark as to just how generous or helpful their benefits can be; and thus, they may never use those benefits to their full potential.

So, what can HR do to communicate with employees about workplace benefits? Consider a few suggestions from WhiteWater Consulting.

Educating Employees About Their Benefits

1) Know your employees
When it comes to how you communicate with employees, it helps to know a little bit about the demographics of your workforce. After all, different demographics prefer different forms of communication.

For example, research indicates that young and single employees are partial to one-on-one, face-to-face communication. Those with families, on the other hand, often prefer having digital resources they can access, perhaps because this makes it easier for them to remember key information and to share it with their spouse later.

Be aware of who you are talking to as you plot the best options for benefits education and communication.
2) Focus on the employee experience  One of the biggest mistakes you can make is using a lot of technical or overcomplicated language to explain how your benefits packages work.

Remember that your employees may not understand the nuances of insurance and other benefits the same way you do… and frankly, a lot of them probably do not care. Instead, focus on what each benefit is, the specific value it offers, and how it can make your employees’ lives better.

For example, if you are communicating your mental health benefits, be sure to specify what kinds of care employees can seek when they are feeling burned out or stressed; how much it will cost them; how getting the right care can improve their personal and professional lives; and how your workplace will extend flexibility and accommodation for employees seeking to put their mental health first.
3) Highlight customization

One thing employees tend to like in their benefits packages is customization. When employers allow their team members plenty of choices about their medical, dental, and vision coverage, for instance, that tends to result in a higher level of employee satisfaction.

As such, we recommend emphasizing customization whenever you can. Be sure your employees understand the autonomy they have to design their own benefits packages however they see fit.
4) Speak to voluntary benefits:
Something else to emphasize is the range of voluntary benefits you offer. Some common examples include FSAs, HSAs, and 401(k)s. Some employees may be uninterested in these benefits, while others will appreciate the added financial security. Emphasize that these options are available, but also be sure to stress that they are totally voluntary.
5) Talk about benefits year-round
Finally, avoid the common mistake of talking about benefits only during open enrollment season. Instead, be intentional in dialoguing with employees throughout the year, regularly checking in, soliciting questions, or providing reminders about the benefits available to them.

Employee Education is Key

The right benefits package can be a huge driver for employee retention… but only if the benefits are well-communicated. With questions, do not hesitate to contact WhiteWater Consulting at any time.

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