Upgrading your benefits offerings is a tried and true method for keeping your company’s best people around. But many HR pros don’t realize it’s only one part of a two-step process for retaining top employees.
Maybe you’re thinking about boosting your 401(k) match or employer HSA contribution. Or maybe you’re thinking of adding some of the trendy secondary benefits that companies offer to differentiate themselves: things like student loan repayment, financial wellness apps, Popsicle Tuesdays—you know the drill.
Either way, this is a smart play: According to a 2017 AFLAC Workforces report, “an improved benefits package” is the second-most important job factor for retaining employees, right behind salary. It ranks well above “getting a promotion,” “more PTO,” and “more flexible work arrangements.”
Here’s the thing, though: if you offer a fantastic benefits package but don’t successfully explain the value of those benefits…your attempt to wow your most valuable employees is likely to fall flatter than your attempt to institute Mayonnaise Monday.
According to a study by Benz Communications, 76% of employees who say their company’s benefits communications are effective say they’re satisfied with their benefits, compared with a mere 6% satisfaction rate among employees who say their benefits communication is ineffective. Also worth mentioning: if you don’t use top-notch benefits communication, you’ll never be sure if the benefits that don’t get used much weren’t a good fit, or if the problem was a lack of awareness and understanding. And this uncertainty will make knowing what next steps to take that much trickier.
So to get the most mileage out of your benefits package, try pairing those benefits with the best possible benefits communication tools you can get your hands on. There are a variety of options on the market, but ideally, the benefits communication tools you invest in should:
• Be easy to access and use online
• Grab and hold your employees’ attention better than the Emails, Guide, and Benefits Presentation Approach
• Offer personalized guidance instead of one-size-fits-all advice
• Help your employees understand and make good choices regarding all of your benefits—from the flashy new gym membership reimbursement plan to their health plans, retirement, and tax-accounts
In short—if you’re trying to convince your best employees to stick with you for the long haul, don’t presume that offering a bunch of cool new bells and whistles is going to cut it. Make sure your employees understand exactly how those whistles make their lives better by providing them benefits communications that are just as helpful as the benefits themselves.
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