Employee Benefits

How to Help Employees Use Their Benefits

Hispanic female business professional standing in office boardroom.

Employers invest a large portion of their operating budget on employee benefits. They know their employees make a huge difference in their success, so they want to care for their well-being. Businesses want to make sure employees and their families are healthy. However, many employers have difficulty getting employees’ attention to enroll in benefits programs and take advantage of their coverage. Review these tips on how to help employees use their benefits.

  1. Design an attractive benefits package

    There are thousands of benefits and perks you can offer. But not all of them will fit your employees’ needs. Design employee packages with benefits employees value. Keep in mind that the quality of the coverage is more important than the number of plans. Employees may be overwhelmed by the options if you offer too many benefits. Instead, focus on providing plans employees value.

    Find out what employees want by analyzing how they use the current benefits offered. When looking at these numbers, you may find benefits that employees rarely use. Consider dropping these benefits or offering them as voluntary coverage. Use the savings to provide new benefits that employees want. Conduct employee surveys asking for feedback on benefits options. Distribute pulse surveys to employees and set up informal meetings to learn about employee needs.

    After gathering this information, work with your broker and insurance carriers to design an employee package with the right benefits. Thank employees for investing time in providing feedback so you can ensure they have access to benefits they value.

  1. Educate employees about their benefits

    Let’s face it. Insurance coverage descriptions can be confusing. Employees may avoid choosing certain benefits because they don’t fully understand how the coverage works.

    Spending time educating employees about their benefits is worth the investment. Business experts say benefits can keep employees healthy and engaged, so they’re more likely to stay on the job. Bring in brokers and insurance carrier representatives to explain coverage options so workers can ask questions to help them choose the benefits that fit their needs.

  1. Adopt new communication methods

    Most employers have relied on traditional communication methods to share benefits information with employees. But to reach today’s employees, you’ll need to use a variety of communication tools. Ask employees for feedback on how they prefer to receive benefits information. Do they value printed handouts, in-person meetings or online communications? Also, tailor benefits information to reach a varied workforce, taking into account multiple generations with different needs. Your base messages can be personalized to reach each employee group. Create short videos of current employees discussing their favorite benefits and how the coverage makes a difference for their families.

  1. Simplify enrollment

    Employees juggle many responsibilities, so they rarely review benefits packages. Research shows that most employees spend less than 30 minutes evaluating benefits plans.

    Employers can help workers navigate their benefits choices by simplifying the enrollment process. Start by explaining the new benefits, including details about the coverage and estimated monthly cost. Add in information about any changes to their traditional benefits, such as medical, dental and vision coverage. Make sure to provide examples of how different levels of coverage can meet their budget and health needs.

    Create a short enrollment tutorial video explaining benefits and enrollment. Design a step-by-step enrollment guide to help employees work through the process. Post it online, share it in email, and have printed copies employees can pick up. Offering enrollment information in several formats will engage employees of all ages with their benefits.

    Provide the most popular employee benefits to attract and retain the best employees. Review this whitepaper to learn how to leverage data and recommendations from brokers and insurance carriers to design the right benefits packages.