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5 Ways to Help Employees Get More Value Out of Their Benefits

CoAdvantage-In our article, 5 Best Practices for Communicating About Employer Benefits,” we discussed how principles like simplicity and knowing your audience can improve communications around benefit packages. We also mentioned paying attention to what the audience (your workforce) wants out of their benefits. Today, we’re going to dive into one thing employees definitely want: more guidance to getting more value out of their benefits.

In other words, don’t stop at just helping employees pick benefits, help them maximize the value of their benefits.

Benefits clearly influence whether employees are attracted to an employer and whether they’ll stay at that employer over time. Seventy-two percent of employees say the safety and protection of themselves and their families is more important now than ever before, according to MetLife’s 19th Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study 2021; and two out of five (39%) of employees say, “My employer is not currently offering plans or programs to support or improve employee well-being.”

What’s interesting, though, is that employees often don’t know how to make best use of the offerings they have available to them. More than half (55%) of workers surveyed by MetLife say they “wish they were more informed about their benefits so that they could get more value from them.” Here’s 5 ways to help.

1: Communicate more. Too many employers offer only basic communications about benefit offerings, when employees really want more help understanding those benefits, how they fit together, and how to figure out which benefit plans best meet their unique circumstances.

2: Personalize. Instead of just sending out top-level information that applies equally to everyone, it can be helpful to think about employees in terms of different groups, such as those with families or those nearing retirement. Then, employers can customize communications to the needs of those target groups.

3: Make sure employees understand the communications. One major area of concern: employees just don’t understand what they’re reading or hearing about their offerings. Make sure employees have an opportunity to ask or submit questions, whether it’s through one-on-one consultation, a group forum (online or off), or even just emailing HR.

4: Follow-up after benefits have been chosen. Interestingly, MetLife also found that seven out of ten employees want to continue hearing about their offerings even after they’ve already signed up for them. It makes sense: reminders and tips on how to use their benefits wisely can make a big difference in how effectively they leverage their benefits and how much value they get out of them.

5: Get help. Following these tips can admittedly be a tall order for many businesses, especially smaller operations with only one or two people available to handle more communication, field employee questions, or handle follow-up. Getting help – ideally from the same PEO or vendors who provision your offerings – can make all the difference in the world in helping employees maximize the value they get from your benefits packages. In turn, that will maximize the value the employer gets (in employee retention, loyalty, and engagement) from offering those benefits in the first place.

CoAdvantage, one of the nation’s largest Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), helps small to mid-sized companies with HR administration, benefits, payroll, and compliance. To learn more about CoAdvantage’s ability to create a strategic HR function in your business that drives business growth potential, contact us today.