Knowledge Center / Blog
Start Helping Employees Understand Their Additional Benefits
As we are approaching the post-COVID era, employees are expecting more and more to accept job offers. One thing that is particularly cost effective for businesses and attractive to prospective hires are additional voluntary benefits. After the worst of COVID, everyone knows people that were affected by the disease and are more likely to want to do anything to give themselves a safety net in case anything like that happens to them or their family.
Certain voluntary benefits, i.e., benefits which employees pay for, protect employees and their families against potential income disruption, include benefits like short term disability, long term disability, life insurance, or critical illness coverage. Along with health-related voluntary benefits, other voluntary benefits that attract prospective employees such as legal protection, identity theft insurance, professional development and tuition assistance, can also be attractive to job seekers. However, with so many voluntary benefits being offered, employees do not always understand the complexities and differences between these benefits, and this may prevent them from enrolling.
According to Stephen Miller, CEBS, in his article, “Employees Want Voluntary Benefits but Don’t Always Understand Them” on SHRM.com, “Nearly three-quarters…of employed individuals who are eligible for benefits agree that they are more likely to work for an employer that offers employee-paid voluntary benefits. However, according to Forbes.com, less than half of benefit-eligible employees actually took advantage of these voluntary benefit coverages offered by their employer.” Just offering these benefits are not enough to keep the talent that is attracted by them if they are not comfortable enrolling in these benefits.
Here are some tips to help employees understand benefits better so they can make informed decisions and take advantage of their additional benefits more effectively:
- Have a comprehensive benefits orientation. When coming into a job, employees can get all of the benefits materials in the world and still not understand what they are being offered. It’s critical to have someone who is well versed in how the benefits work to explain the benefits and answer any questions they may have during and after the orientation.
- Understand your employee population and how they communicate. One way to address this issue of employees not understanding benefits is to analyze your employee populations and adjust benefit communications depending on how your employees will best understand. Employees in an office setting may communicate best over email or webinar, but an employee who works outside of an office may receive information better in a presentation or a one on one.
- Don’t overwhelm the employee. Be careful not to throw a bunch of material at them and let employees sort it out. It is important to discuss benefits with the employee and interactively guide them through any benefits they are interested in.
Trying to figure out how to best market your full benefits package to staff, or need a review of your benefits to see how you might make the most out of what you offer? Let us know!