How to delight employees and create exceptional benefits education
Employees feel better about their employment when they know their employer cares. Employee benefits can generate this goodwill, but only if employees know and understand their benefits. In a company where employee benefits are generous and wide-ranging, benefits education is the key to keeping a satisfied employee.
Start From the Beginning
Communication about employee benefits begins when the employee is hired and sometimes even before as they are researching your organization. Clear benefits education can help your employees during the benefits selection process and helps ease their transition into the new job.
- Prepare a packet of information or a video for new employees that summarizes benefits and makes choices easier.
- Provide an employee orientation that goes over benefits in-depth and provides employees an opportunity to ask questions.
- Update your employee benefits packet yearly as benefits change.
Tailor Benefits to Your Employees
Employees focus on the benefits they need most. Therefore, review your benefits package regularly and update it yearly to ensure that your company's benefits meet your staff's needs.
Survey your employees regularly to find out more about their needs. Ask questions such as:
- Are you satisfied with the company's health plan options?
- Which of the current employee benefits do you like the most?
- What type of education efforts may help you understand the company’s benefits better?
Taking a regular survey helps you keep up with the changing needs of your employees to ensure that your benefits package is relevant and valuable to your staff. Collecting a wide range of information during your survey is essential, including demographic information, if possible. For example, if most of your employees are young, then it may be more important to them to have benefits for young people starting families. On the other hand, a robust retirement package may be more valuable if your employees are primarily older.
Importance of Effective Benefits Education
Communicate About Benefits in Different Ways
Not all people learn the same. Some employees prefer to find out about benefits from email. Others may need a website or may want a face-to-face interaction to discuss benefits. Use different platforms for communicating about benefits to meet the needs of all your employees.
Here's a tip: when you survey employees about their preferred methods for learning about benefits, ask them about communication platforms they prefer. Give them a chance to tell you what they want
Provide Year-Round Benefit Education
People tend to forget about benefits they don't need all the time. For example, maybe your organization offers a transportation benefit that allows your employees to pay for their commuting expenses with pre-tax dollars. An employee who used to walk to work probably ignored that benefit when they first started. Now that they've moved and must commute, they could use a reminder about this perk!
Create a year-round education program that spotlights various benefits throughout the year. This education program could take the form of a newsletter or even a monthly webinar series.
By creating a program for communicating with employees about benefits, you empower your workforce to take advantage of their benefits, potentially helping with your retention goals. The better your communication, the more everyone benefits.
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This blog is up to date as of January 2022 and has not been updated for changes in the law, administration or current events.