Employee Benefits: Are You Getting Your Money’s Worth?— Employers aren’t getting the maximum value from their employee benefits if they’re not effectively communicating them to their workers. That’s the message of a new white paper released today by Colonial Life.
Colonial Life “Employee Benefits: Are You Getting Your Money’s Worth?” cites the latest data from Colonial Life’s proprietary research, national research organizations and government resources to examine the importance of benefits communication in helping employers maximize the investment they make in employee benefits. Employee Benefits: Are You Getting Your Money’s Worth?
“Benefits today account for more than 30 percent of employee compensation,” says Steve Bygott, assistant vice president of marketing analysis and programs at Colonial Life. “But if employers are not effectively communicating their benefits, they’re not getting the full value of their investment. That kind of oversight can be very costly.” Employee Benefits: Are You Getting Your Money’s Worth?
How effective are employers at communicating benefits?
Colonial Life The majority of employers think they do an effective job communicating benefits, but Colonial Life research1 conducted among employees with employer-sponsored benefits tells a different story.
“Only 23 percent of employees think their employers communicate their benefits very effectively,” says Bygott. “Even more troubling is our finding that 9 percent of workers say the benefits communication they receive is not at all effective.” Employee Benefits: Are You Getting Your Money’s Worth?
Employees say understanding their benefits is very important.
The majority of American workers with employer-provided benefits — 73 percent of them — say understanding their benefits is very important, according to the latest Colonial Life research.1 However, not all employees have access to basic communication tools and best practices. Survey respondents reported employers could make several changes to improve benefits communication, including the following for Colonial Life: Employee Benefits: Are You Getting Your Money’s Worth?
- Provide benefits information they can access at home or at work (38 percent)
- Provide benefits information that’s easier to understand (37 percent)
- Provide an opportunity to talk with a benefits expert on company time (34 percent)
- Provide benefits information more frequently (31 percent)
- Provide benefits information more personalized to their needs (30 percent)
Effective benefits communication strategies don’t have to add expenses or administrative burdens for employers, according to the white paper. There are many relatively easy and practical steps employers can take to strengthen the value of their benefits plans, including partnering with a benefits provider that can offer comprehensive benefits communication and education services. Employee Benefits: Are You Getting Your Money’s Worth?
“For employees to ultimately get the most value from their benefits investment, they need to provide face-to-face, personal communication with their employees,” says Bygott. Employee Benefits: Are You Getting Your Money’s Worth?
Employee benefits go beyond the individual. Family benefits are important to potential employees when choosing where they will work. Laws such as the FMLA help individuals when it comes to being there for themselves and their families.
Once you have great employees on board, how do you keep them from jumping ship? One way is by offering a good benefits package.
Many small-business owners mistakenly believe they cannot afford to offer benefits. But while going without benefits may boost your bottom line in the short run, than penny-wise philosophy could strangle your business’s chances for long-term prosperity. “There are certain benefits good employees feel they must have,” says Ray Silverstein, founder of PRO, President’s Resource Organization, a small-business advisory network.
Heading the list of must-have benefits is medical insurance, but many job applicants also demand a retirement plan, disability insurance and more. Tell these applicants no benefits are offered, and often top-flight candidates will head for the door.
The positive side to this coin: Offer the right benefit, and your business may just jump-start its growth. “Give employees the benefits they value, and they’ll be more satisfied, miss fewer workdays, be less likely to quit, and have higher commitment to meeting the company’s goals,” says Joe Lineberry, a senior vice president at Aon Consulting, a human resources consulting firm. “The research shows that when employees feel their benefits needs are satisfied, they’re more productive.”