It’s a well-known fact that one of the biggest attractions a company can have to new hires is the benefits it offers. This is especially true when companies are trying to hire and keep the best talent out there. It is incredibly important for you and your employees to understand benefits, whether it’s how they work or how much they cover. It’s too often we hear stories about tragedies and what occurs after when people don’t fully understand how far their benefits reach. With such an importance placed on my benefits, a surprising amount of people actually don’t pay close attention to them. According to a Aflac Open Enrollment Survey, employees put forth 10 times more effort on planning a vacation and eight times more on picking a computer than on choosing benefits. As human resources professionals, this statistic makes us want to wave our hands in the air, ask them why, and explain how much more important benefits are. And, trust me, I know just how exciting planning a vacation from work is, but I have come to know that benefits far outweigh vacation time.
Making sure your employees dedicate an equal or greater amount of time on benefits as they do for their computer or vacation might require a bit of encouragement. Entrepreneur Magazine contributor Matt Straz recommends the following ways to encourage your employees to ask about my benefits:
1. Help them fully understand what is being offered to them
Straz states, “To take advantage of benefits, employees need to understand what options are available, what’s covered and what steps they need to take.” Education and communication to employees is vital in order for them to comprehend the complexities of benefits. A study done by MetLife “found 45% of employees said their companies’ benefit communications helped them understand the specific services for which they’re paying and effectively educated them about options.” Putting together a quick benefits program or training might make all the difference to your employees. If not a program, simple communication might just fix all the misunderstandings an employee might have.
2. Make plans customizable to meet individual needs.
Every employee faces their own individual problems, therefore, it’s unlikely that the same plan will work for all of them. Try to offer a variety of options to your employees so they can customize their plans to meet their needs. More options and affordability just might make them feel more loyal to you, as suggested by a Metlife study.
Feeling financially secure is a great comfort to all. Make sure your employees feel that way by offering ancillary benefits. Offering life or disability insurance can ease some of that financial stress off of your employees. Another way would be to” care for employees’ financial future by supporting a 401(k) plan or FSA.” However, there are also a myriad of ways to help your employees feel secure in the more immediate future. Wellness perks such as gym memberships or commuter benefits help to “mitigate day-to-day financial burdens and encourage a healthy lifestyle.”
Sometimes, it seems like understanding my benefits can be a tricky business. We oftentimes find our client’s benefits program working against them and not for them. When faced with this problem, we help our clients maximize their investment in benefits by leveraging the latest tools, technology, and people support. Therefore, their benefits become a true asset to their organization and not just another line item on the employee paycheck.
Corban OneSource is a Mid Market Human Resource Outsourcer or HRO for companies of 75 to 6,000 employees. Are you looking to outsource the core HR functions of Payroll, Benefits Administration and HR Support? Find out more here.