6 ways to increase benefits engagement with no budget

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Businesses of all sizes can benefit from engaging their employees in their wellness benefits offerings. Engaged employees have increased productivity, lower healthcare costs, and better overall job satisfaction.

Unfortunately, wellness rollout plans can be pricey. Below, we take a look at ways to increase benefits engagement without breaking the bank.

Increase awareness of benefits

Only 41% of employees report that they fully understand the benefits offered by their employer. An easy way to increase engagement rates is to communicate about benefits offerings more frequently to employees.

  • Benefits fairs: At larger organizations, benefits fairs are a great way to interface with employees about their benefits. You can set up booths to inform employees about providers currently working with the employer, or set up Q&A sessions to see how to better help employees use their existing benefits. For businesses on a budget, benefits fairs could be a simple “lunch and learn” session during the workweek.
  • Periodic emails: Another easy way to educate employees about their current benefits offerings is to send periodic emails. We suggest sending email campaigns quarterly to remind employees not only about the benefits they have access to, but also how to get the most out of everything offered.

Peer Feedback

A principal factor affecting employee participation rates in benefits programs is how their peers feel about benefits offerings. If an employee hasn’t yet tried a wellness program, but one of their coworkers has, coworker opinions about the program will influence how other employees interact with their benefits.

One way to prevent peer feedback affecting adoption rates is to address employee concerns early-on. If early adopters of a new benefit have concerns about signing up or find it difficult to find the resources they’re looking for.

Find time to talk to employees about how well a program is working for them. Work to create a positive experience for them so that word will spread.

Create contests

Depending on the benefit, some providers make it easy to roll-out company-wide contests that can act as either a friendly competition or a leaderboard-style contest with prizes.

Contests could be as simple as completing a sign-up process, or by actively participating in wellness or betterment programs.

A simple example of a contest can be seen in some financial and health wellness platforms where educational modules are available. As employees learn about their health or finances, they’ll earn points. These points will help them move up the leaderboard.

If you’re on a budget and are unable to offer cash or gift cards as prizes, you can offer things like additional PTO or work-from-home days to employees for winning the contests.

Lead by example

Employees often take cues from their employers about how to interact with their benefits offerings.

If managers and C-suite executives are actively using and advocating for the benefits offerings at the organization, employees are more likely to check them out and see if they’re a good fit for them.

Conversely, if managers never talk about how they’re utilizing benefits programs, employees are less likely to use them.

Make benefits easier to access

One of the reasons many employees don’t interact with their benefits options is because of a lack of accessibility.

While you may not have any control over the look and feel of your benefits portal or how employees login to see their current benefits offerings, even just making employees aware of how to find their benefits online or over the phone can go a long way.

Sending emails, printing posters and flyers, and having in-person Q&A sessions to help employees find their benefits can also increase adoption rates.

Use built-in tools

Finally, some benefits providers offer free resources to help encourage engagement with their platform. Email templates, suggested content, campaigns, and communication tools may all be available within your employer portal portion of a benefit.

Edukate offers similar tools in our own platform to help employers make the most out of the wellness benefit.

What budget-friendly methods are you using to engage with your employees?

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