One of the more common concerns in the open enrollment discussion has to do with employees utilizing their benefits. Benefits have been increasingly more important to employees, and they are subsequently spending more time reviewing them, but utilizing them? That’s still on the sluggish side, and it’s hurtful for both employers and employees. What is the cause?
Primarily it’s that employees don’t understand how to utilize their benefits. This is due to the open enrollment process being sloppy, necessary materials difficult to find or understand, and company cultures that do not celebrate a work-life balance for employees, even if they offer the benefits to make that happen. And the result is employee dissatisfaction with the company’s benefit program.
Making sure benefits get used
There are several ways employers can make sure that employees understand and use their benefits, and the well, benefit of doing so can very well increase productivity, retention, and overall employee satisfaction. Let’s discuss.
- Understand what employees want. Step one in creating a successful benefit program is making sure the offerings are actually relevant to employees. Take it to the source and ask employees what they need.
- Educate during, and after open enrollment. Continue to educate, and encourage, employees on their benefits and how to use them after the enrollment period has ended. Make it a part of the company culture to take the time to care for mental and physical health and to take time off work.
- Check-in regularly and encourage questions. Consider hosting ‘wellness retreats,’ a benefits-focused team event/meeting that can serve as a reminder of offerings and afford employees the opportunity to ask questions.
- Make materials easy to access year-round. It’s typical to hand employees folders full of pamphlets and leave it at that, but they’re going to need to be able to review this information easily throughout the year and the best way is to have a one-spot shop where all this stuff is stored. Host them on the company website or an employee-only portal.
- Diversity is key. And offering a variety of benefits, and a variety of support for corresponding materials, will go a long way in employees understanding and using their benefits.
Did you see our most recent blog posts on open enrollment? If you still need help, check them out here for all the information you need to make the process a success! And remember, Eos HR can answer any questions you may have. We offer small businesses an HR team that will help them navigate the intricacies of the modern workforce. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more.
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