Employee Retention Problem or Communication Problem?

The race to attract and retain talent is on. Strategic employers know that developing and offering competitive benefits plans is crucial to staying ahead of the competition. According to an Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Survey conducted by The Society for Human Resource Management, benefits are the third most important factor in job satisfaction, behind the respectful treatment of employees and pay. However, data indicates that employees aren’t making the best possible use of their benefits throughout the year. In fact, it’s common to find that employees aren’t aware or don’t understand their benefits, resulting in low utilization and dissatisfaction with compensation packages. 

While many employers invest valuable time and resources in building these plans, they often miss a crucial step – communicating these plans to employees. Implementing a clear and consistent benefits communications strategy will help team members understand what’s available and encourage them to take full advantage of tools to bolster their health, finances, and overall well-being. 

Here are a few tips for communicating your organization’s benefits to employees: 

Make information easy to access

Your employees prefer to receive information in different ways. Make sure benefits information is available on all internal communication channels, including your intranet. Additionally, ensure that your management team is prepared to talk to their team members about benefits.  

Take a consultative approach

Some people prefer talking face to face when it comes to confusing topics like determining the right health care coverage and appropriate 401(k) contributions. Offer informational sessions such as presentations, office hours, or workshops where employees can speak with an advisor and ask questions. For those in hybrid or remote settings, provide webinars to disseminate information. 

Continue communications beyond open enrollment

Frequent reminders throughout the year keep benefits top of mind and ensure that they get used. Sending a monthly or quarterly reminder of benefits to employees through internal email newsletters or print fliers is a good start. You can also highlight specific benefits at all-staff meetings. 

Make it simple

Benefit details are oftentimes filled with confusing terms, which turn employees off from doing the proper research to understand what’s available. Keep messages short and to the point, simplify the jargon, avoid acronyms, and include clear and actionable directions on how to start utilizing benefits. 

Final thoughts 

When your employees are aware of and utilize their benefits, it supports your talent retention strategy by enhancing employee productivity and satisfaction. The next time your employee is thinking about joining a gym, considering going back to school, or jumpstarting their retirement savings, they can rest assured that you – their employer – has the tools to support them on their journey, positioning you as a trusted resource and true partner. 

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