Employee benefits diagram concept showing different factors needed by employees.

Employee Benefits: 5 Ways to Maximize Perks in the Workplace

Employee benefits are significant to any organization and can secure your reputation as a stellar employer. These perks can also help attract and retain talent, thus positioning a company to succeed amid a competitive landscape. The provision of employee benefits indicates that you invest in their overall health and their future.

Although HR professionals fully understand the importance of providing appropriate and effective employee benefits, maintaining employees’ engagement with them is usually an uphill task. Many employees fail to take their full advantage despite them being incredible. Therefore, it is vital to find ways to ensure your employees get the most of what you offer. Below are five tips to assist in the effective engagement of employees, even without incurring extra costs.

1. Ensure your Employees are Fully Aware

Making your employees more aware of the availability of their benefits is among the easiest ways to get them engaged. It is recommendable that you begin educating your team right from the moment they join your organization by utilizing the orientation program and the hiring process to teach about the benefits.

Create a comprehensive and easily understandable print entailing the available benefits. Give it to the new hires and remember to include any out-of-pocket costs. Besides, you should give them a detailed guideline with instructions on how and when to enroll. Including the online sign-up process if the option is available. Each new hire should get easy-to-follow guidelines on how to get questions such as contact details for the company’s internal benefits reps, insurance, and investment company (outside vendors).

Some organizations have an extensive new-employee orientation program. If available in your company, set aside a session where you discuss benefits and answer any arising questions. You can create a resource section if your organization has an intranet where you upload resources and office news.

In the section, share with them short clips explaining the benefits. Such a move allows employees to easily find answers to questions they could have. And saves human resource time by not answering the same questions repeatedly.

2. Communicate Consistently About Open Enrollment

Open enrollment presents a great opportunity for an organization to present the employer-sponsored health insurance plan. It is the only period in most companies when the employees can make changes to some of their benefits, particularly health insurance, with exceptions on eligible events, including child adoption or birth.

During the open enrollment period, give your employees sufficient time to read and evaluate information by communicating beforehand. Advise them to involve their families in the discussion and seek necessary clarifications.

Employees can easily forget the open enrollment period, or it finds them unaware. Ensure you regularly communicate using every method available, including:

• Give them annual brochures with comprehensive information about benefits.

• Provide flyers with dates, some few days before the deadline

• Send them email notifications from around a month before the annual enrollment, and throughout the period it is open.

• Place notices in well-trafficked locations.

• Send mail postcards to their home addresses. 

• Schedule sessions to have an overview of the benefits if necessary. 

In all the communications, ensure you indicate the open enrollment dates, contact details for a rep who can answer queries, and an address for online sign-up if available.

When it comes to the benefits efficacy, employees hold more trust in their colleagues. And those who have used a benefit will spread the word with those who are yet to use it. You can schedule some time and discuss with employees who already use the benefits to know what they like and address any concerns. When benefits work better for employees, they are more likely to share positive views with others.

Leaders have a great influence on their employees. When the management team participates in the benefits, it sets a good example. Otherwise, employees are less likely to avail themselves if their managers do not use benefits.

3. Be Clear About Any Out-of-Pocket Costs

Some employees believe that benefits are out of their reach. It is your responsibility to ensure all necessary tools are available to help the employees make the right decisions. Clarify the impact of the perks on employee’s earnings using printed materials and other communication means.

For example, explain the costs that employees are responsible for. Such as deductibles, flexible spending modes, and deductions on employee’s payslips. It is also necessary to provide links to online calculators since they help the employees estimate their out-of-pocket costs.

Diverse group of newly-hired employees having an onboarding orientation with their company.

4. Host Contests and a Benefits Fair

Some benefits come with built-in contest tools that allow the engagement of the entire company at once. If resources are available, you can create friendly contests to encourage employees who haven’t benefited from trying it out. The award can go to those who finish the most challenges or garner the highest number of points for a specific duration. You can also award employees for their participation. Contests encourage employees who haven’t yet used a benefit to try it out for the first time. Spice the open enrolment a bit while still communicating comprehensively about the benefits.

Additionally, you hold benefits fair to present your perks by setting aside a conference room for one day where an employee walks in at their pleasure to learn more about your benefits. You can offer lunch and snacks, raffles for a meal at a nice restaurant, or even fitness equipment. Ensure your HR personnel is available to address any questions.

5. Maintain Flow of Information Throughout the Year

You have to communicate consistently about all the available benefits. Including the ongoing perks such as Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) and health club membership or changeable ones once a year. It is recommendable that you update the employees after every three months via intranet, email, and employee newsletter if applicable.

You can spice it up by posting benefit-related questions via intranet or email, and the first individual to submit the right answer wins an award prize. It is also important to track the effectiveness of the engagement techniques you use overtime to make appropriate adjustments.

The Bottom Line

Employee benefits impact your employees and can transform your workforce to become healthier and more productive. But that is only when you maximize the employee benefits effectively. At Pioneer Benefits Partners, we are dedicated to assist you in this process. Contact us today to find out more. 

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