Employee Benefits

How to Help Employees Understand and Pick the Right Benefits

Asian businesswoman looking at brochure, trying to understand and pick the right benefits.

Every year workers struggle with an important decision: picking plans for their employee benefits packages. Many try to research the differences between benefits but give up because the plans are confusing. Often, they ask family members and friends for advice on the best plans and companies. Here’s how to help employees understand and pick the right benefits.

Offer personalized benefits

In most companies, employees from several generations work together. Employees have unique benefit needs. One study found that about 66% of millennials worry about managing a monthly budget. Over 50% of boomers are concerned about large, unexpected costs.

Employers should set up listening sessions with employees to know the right benefits to offer, with premiums that fit workers’ budgets.

Many employees today have student loan debts that impact their financial well-being. They look for employers that can help them with student loan repayments, while also helping them save for the future. So they want plans they can personalize to fit their family needs, finances and health conditions.

Set up virtual benefit meetings

Employees work from just about anywhere. They may work from a company office two or three days a week, but spend the other days working from home or remote locations. The idea of a traditional benefits meeting doesn’t fit today’s workforce needs. Instead, set up virtual benefit fairs on specific dates so employees can log in at any time during the day to learn about their benefits choices.

Use simple words, pictures and formats

About one-third of employees are frustrated with their group benefit plans. They find the terms and conditions of the plans confusing. They would like their employers to explain benefit choices using simple terms that are easy to understand.

In addition, use interesting graphs, pictures and stories to help employees understand and pick the right benefits. One study found that people who follow directions that use text and pictures do better than those who have directions without pictures.

As you plan your benefits communication ideas, make sure to communicate plan information in several formats. Use team and group meetings, emails with audio messages, newsletter articles, video stories or one-on-one broker meetings to help employees understand their benefits.

Share information every month

Discussions on employee benefits should happen every month, not just once a year. Explain your benefit plans and coverage details each month to help answer common questions. Share real stories about benefits employees value and how they use plan features. Keep the information interesting to help employees understand and pick the right benefits.

Learn about best practices for approaching employee benefits strategically by reading this whitepaper: Using Benefits for Competitive Advantage

Extensis Group