#HR Trends and Insights

33% employees don’t understand benefits: HR solutions

March 16, 2021

Did you know that over a third of employees don’t understand their benefits? And it’s even higher for younger workers at 54 percent. When your employees enroll for benefits during the open enrollment period, they may not know what they are in for.

The disconnect came even after employees spent a lot of time reviewing benefits, with 56 percent saying they spent more time researching benefits during the last open enrollment than in the past.

Confused employees?

Employees not fully understanding benefits is nothing new. In 2017, a survey by Guardian revealed that only 49 percent of employees could accurately recite what benefits they selected. And 20 percent of workers surveyed in a MetLife survey said they were confused and stressed about open enrollment periods.

Those surveys were done before Covid. The pandemic has placed a new emphasis on health insurance, supplemental health coverage, and other benefits. In the past, workers may not have paid as much attention.

How to improve benefits communication

Finding ways to communicate benefits better is crucial since companies are increasing their offerings, including financial and mental wellness, along with staples like health insurance.

Voya’s survey said 66 percent of people wanted a year-round approach to benefits education, with the number reaching 78 percent for younger workers. Make education about your offerings to employees during the employee onboarding process. Consider providing a checklist for employees to sign up for all benefits in their onboarding, and have managers check in on this list with new hires in a one-on-one meeting.

The age of employees can also make a big difference in how they prefer to receive communications about benefits. Make benefit information accessible. Email may work for some, but others may prefer a group or one-on-one meeting. Ensure your employees know where and how to access it. Make it as easy as possible for employees to find all the information they need about available benefits in one easy-to-access place. Provide clear contact information for vendors and insurance companies and utilize webinars or training from providers to explain benefits in detail.

Raise awareness on your benefits

There are ways you can raise awareness on your employee benefits. One of which is highlighting a different benefit each month with your most effective communication channel. Be sure to make it relatable by sharing how this benefit can be helpful to employees. Then you can monitor any changes with the participation of that particular benefit to determine if it’s useful or not to your employees.

Another way is to encourage employees to do a yearly audit of their needs. Needs change all the time so making them aware of that can be beneficial. Employees should make sure their benefits support their needs and lifestyle, whether due to life changes (like a new marriage or the birth of a child), health changes, or new benefit offerings.

Lastly, conduct employee surveys to get feedback and even help you forecast future needs, allowing you to customize, adapt, and build suitable plans.

Edenred is here to help

If your business is back open, we can help you build your benefits package, so your employees love and understand what you have to offer to them. Today’s benefit packages are more than just health coverage. They can reach into every aspect of an employee’s life to support their physical, mental, and financial well-being.

These tips are meant to be a jumping-off point for you to communicate and build awareness of your benefits with your teams. Schedule a meeting with us to ensure you’re offering the most comprehensive package that supports your employees. We’d be happy to find the best options for you and your employees.

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