Nearly 40% of working professionals say they don’t fully understand their wellness or retirement benefits. And only 14% said that they could explain the differences between co-pays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket maximums.
While the problem is obvious, why do so few employees actually understand what their employers offer?
Your Communications Are Confusing
There’s a good chance that your benefits communications and plan documentation is difficult to understand. When possible, use simple language to explain benefits and enrollment criteria.
Create summary documents that highlight the top 3 or 4 features of a particular benefit and make that the first piece of collateral employees see when they’re trying to enroll for a new benefit or make changes to their plans. And when you host info sessions or get closer to open enrollment, try to keep things simple and not overwhelm your employees with options.
Your Messaging is Impersonal
Regardless of the size of your organization, there are likely many different types of employees working there — younger employees who are just beginning their career to those ready for retirement.
Your benefits communication should be personalized to address the unique needs of each employee at your organization so that they can get exactly the benefits that meet their needs. A single brochure or piece of collateral will be impossible to communicate all of the benefits to every employee.
Create custom communication plans for each of your employee personas to make sure every employee is able to find the information they need when it matters most.
You’re Not Communicating Enough
Most employers only communicate with their employees around open enrollment or when they’re making changes to an existing benefit. Only reminding your employees about their benefits once a year can directly affect your adoption rates and keeps employees in the dark about what’s available to them.
Start communicating more frequently not just about the existence of a benefit, but also how to utilize all of its features!
Aim to communicate about benefits at least once per quarter and benchmark your results so that you can continually revisit the ROI you’re getting from a particular benefit.
Your Tools are Difficult to Find
To help employees get the most out of their benefits, try moving some of your tools and resources to an employer intranet or by utilizing online wellness platforms to give employees access to materials whenever they need them.
When information is only available during in-person sessions with your HR team or communications are only physical handouts or posters, it’s easy for employees to forget or lose track of their next steps. With online tools, you can send communications that direct employees straight to the tools and resources they need.
In addition to selecting the benefits most beneficial to your organization, employers should go the extra mile to not only rollout the benefits, but also find ways to both continually engage and communicate with employees to help them better understand how to utilize what’s available to them.
If you haven’t already, try surveying your organization to see if employees fully understand the benefits you’re offering.