When you mentioned benefits, everyone tends to run! This topic seems to confuse and frustrate both employees and HR. What we don’t realize is by communicating these benefits effectively can help your company manage its costs. The more knowledge an employee has about their benefits package, the more they will utilize it in a more cost-effective manner.
You must remember that your staff are not experts in benefits. The key is to help staff see what is in it for them. With all the legal requirements of documents that employers need to distribute to their employees under the Affordable Care Act, practitioners need to simplify the language for better understanding. Using simple tools like check lists and summaries so employees do not have to read through all the legal language that is often found in these documents will be most beneficial to your employees.
8 Effective Ways to Communicate Employee Benefits to Lower Costs
- Employees should be made aware of the benefits you offer from the beginning and often. Frequent communications will ensure all employees remain engage and up-to-date. Periodically reiterate the details and costs associated with your benefits packages so that employees appreciate and understand what is available to them.
- I suggest having quarterly meetings updating employees on any changes or just a refresher so they are utilizing the plan in the most cost-effective way for them.
- Know your audience. Communicate in language your employees understand. Do not use the terms the benefits uses without explaining what they mean.
- All information about your benefits package should be in writing. Every employee should be given a copy of your benefits handbook and a benefits summary, and an overview of how to locate commonly sought information.
- Go online. If your company uses an intranet site, it is a strong tool for communicating benefits information as well as providing a “one-stop shop” for forms and links to the carriers.
- Don’t overwhelm your staff – keep it relevant. If certain benefits do not apply to some of your employees until later on in their employment, save that information until you get closer to that time.
- Employee opinion surveys are a great way to measure the level of understanding and usage of the benefits you provide employees. Ask for their feedback.
- Officer assistance. Providing a direct number for employees to call when they have questions is a critical part of the entire communication process.
The more you communicate, the more informed your employees will be and the fewer questions they will have in the future. For more tips on communicating benefit information to employees, here’s another blog that was posted by my colleague.