Companies spend a large amount of time and money creating valuable benefits plans for employees. But after all that work, they often get low participation. Good benefit choices require an effort from employers to ensure that employees have help in understanding their benefits options. To make things even more complex, employers are having to consider options for a span of 4 generations in the workplace which can look very different. Providing benefits for a multigenerational workplace can be challenging but it is important for employers to simplify the process by delivering education through the right channels while avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach.
Understanding your audience and how to effectively communicate with them is the first step in creating your benefits messaging. For example, what are the demographics of your workplace? Do you need to provide multiple messages across various channels? Does your workplace speak English, or will you need bilingual messaging?
A recent survey indicates that 83% of employers believe that communication, employee education and engagement are key for employee participation.
Here are 5 tips on educating your employees about their benefits to encourage benefits participation:
- Break Down Health Insurance Options
- Distribute a simple guide that explains the key things employees should know about their health insurance and basic terminology
- Explain in simple terms about provider network, covered prescriptions, monthly premiums, deductibles, and additional plan benefits, if applicable
- Have an efficient way for employees to manage benefits and ask questions
- Automate the Process
- Use an automated benefits administration system to keep your employees informed
- Provide the option for employees to ask questions prior to choosing a benefits plan
- Make Plans Customizable
- Provide plenty of benefits options including medical, dental and vision from leading carriers
- Offer a lifestyle benefits program that allows employees to personalize their plan according to their needs
- Consider offering perks like commuter benefits or health club memberships to reduce financial burdens and encourage a healthy lifestyle
- Provide Multiple Communication Strategies
- Offer educational tools and channels preferred by employees so they can stay informed year-round to make better purchasing decisions
- Utilize effective benefits education tools that include in-person and virtual meetings, digital communication or print media
- You can utilize a short video to explain key concepts; use graphs and images or create short quizzes for employees to ensure they have read and understand the material
- Make it Easy to Sign-Up
- Invest in updated HR and Benefits technology that includes easy message capabilities such as email, text message alerts, video support, and live chat integration
- Provide a Benefits mobile app
- Offer a benefits website which houses benefit information, HR information, and enrollment material such as “BenefitsEasy”
Although you may use one or more of the tips above, it is vital to keep the information flowing throughout the year. A fun way to do this is to pose a monthly trivia question to your staff related to the benefits and wellness programs you offer and award a prize to the person who submits the correct answer. Highlighting different features of your benefits or wellness programs each month will keep your employees engaged and informed!