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Keeping Employees Informed About their Benefits

When you own a business or run an HR department, there are seemingly endless challenges you must address to ensure your company can continue deliver its products or services to customers. In the interest of profitability and fostering a positive internal culture, it’s essential that you focus on taking care of your employees. One of the most important things you can do is provide your workforce with clear and transparent information about the benefits available to them.

Unfortunately, many employees know little to nothing about the benefits they have access to, and therefore don’t take advantage of things like dental insurance, 401(k) savings plans and health savings accounts. The good news is that there are several strategies you can implement to overcome this common obstacle and give your employees the opportunity to use the benefits you offer.

Why is there so much misinformation?

Traditionally, employers have provided their workers with long-form enrollment packets they were expected to go over and complete on their own to access benefits. Unsurprisingly, many employees don’t have the time or energy to read through extensive materials and navigate the enrollment process without any guidance.

In fact, many employers find that information regarding benefits transmitted via email or paperwork gets ignored completely. The root of this problem is typically a communication breakdown between employees and HR departments.

How to clearly communicate about benefits

Below are some important steps to take to ensure you’re communicating clearly and effectively with your employees about benefits:

  • Make a plan: Have specific goals in mind when it comes to employee benefits. Calculate employee need and allocate a budget to cover the costs of the benefits you offer. Then, be proactive about the implementation of your plan and regularly weigh your progress against your objectives.
  • Communicate constantly: It’s not enough to hold an annual meeting to inform employees about benefits. Communication about benefit enrollment should take place throughout the year—and via different channels. Plan quarterly meetings that give people opportunities to have their benefits-related questions answered. Also, send out emails and provide physical copies of enrollment information employees can access as needed.
  • Incentivize employee participation: Sometimes, you may need to offer employees a reward to encourage their participation in benefits programs and enrollments. Consider offering a free lunch for those who attend a benefits meeting or an enrollment session. Get creative and encourage people to get excited about their benefit options.
  • Prioritize employee benefits: You won’t be able to successfully implement a plan to promote employee benefit enrollment unless you allocate the resources necessary to make it happen. Give your HR staff the time, funding and latitude they need to keep your employees fully informed.

By taking a few small steps to communicate about benefits to your employees, you can watch your enrollment numbers skyrocket and significantly improve workplace morale. Although this could require an initial investment of resources, it will be well worth it to ensure that your employees are informed and happy.