Do your employees truly understand the benefits you offer? There are reports going around that say a good portion of employees don’t understand their benefits. And that’s not good because if they don’t understand them, they won’t use them. And that spells dollars lost for firms.
What do you do?
First off, don’t get frustrated. It’s not all bad news. Your efforts are paying off.
In fact, 63% of 900 part- and full-time workers age 21 to 64 said they were satisfied with their health and wellness benefits, according to the Workplace Wellness Survey conducted by the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI) and Greenwald Research.
And it gets even better. The number of employees who are “extremely” or “very satisfied” with their health insurance plans went up from 49% in 2018 to 55% in the summer of 2020 – yes, during the pandemic.
This is good news. But are you OK with “satisfied?”
There’s still a good portion of workers who aren’t satisfied.
So how can you reach your people who don’t understand their benefits and/or aren’t satisfied with them?
Fill in the gaps
You fill in the “communication gaps” so your employees understand their benefits and use them.
Two options for doing that: personal advisors and online programs.
Many companies may be tempted to go with online programs since they’re less time consuming and cheaper. The study, however found that many employees, especially at small companies, want a live person to talk to and answer their questions.
It’s more personalized – employees get their specific questions answered and feel they can make smarter choices.
If your company is small, and you’re the only HR/Benefits pro, consider offering both options: online programs for the majority of questions and personalized one-on-one meetings for those who need more info.
Rethink compensation strategies
Adding benefits doesn’t always have to mean shelling out a lot of money. Especially, now during the pandemic, employees appreciate companies that show they care about them and their circumstances. And they understand that regular bonuses and raises probably aren’t in the cards this year.
The key is having a diverse array of options so there’s something for everyone. For example, offering parent support groups for employees who have young kids in school or who are taking care of an elderly parent. For younger employees or those who don’t have children, some options are offering virtual personal training, online cooking classes, music concerts, virtual counseling, etc.
Offering caregiving support and resources is a powerful benefit. It can be the difference between whether an employee has to quit their job or accepts your job offer.
And don’t pull back on mental health benefits. December had the lowest levels of employee well-being since COVID-19 hit, according to the Mental Health Index by Total Brain and the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions.
In today’s world, comprehensive and unique benefits are key to maintaining and attracting talent.