How to Improve Employee Benefits Engagement
A comprehensive benefits package isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on if employees don’t understand it or engage with it.
Watching employees underuse their benefits—and your hard work go down the drain—is frustrating. Hiring and keeping top talent is more competitive than ever, so finding the right HR tech and cracking the employee benefits engagement code is crucial.
The good news: HR can increase employee benefits engagement. And there’s no big secret. Focus squarely on education, communication, and feedback. You can make that easier by leveraging smart HR tech integrations and AI-powered virtual assistants like bswift’s EmmaTM.
A few simple strategies can help your employees better understand their benefits. That starts a virtuous cycle. When employees understand their benefits, they’re more likely to use them. And when employees use their benefits, we find that they’re healthier and happier—which boosts job satisfaction and improves employee retention rates. All that helps your organization stay competitive.
Four tips to increase employee benefits engagement
According to a recent commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of bswift, 71% of HR professionals agree that their employees underutilize benefits. And poor employee benefits engagement hurts organizations. It can decrease productivity, increase burnout, hurt retention, and your ability to attract and retain top talent.
Here are a few ways you can overcome the challenges outlined in the study and help your employees make the most of their benefits:
1. Focus on clear, concise communication
Information overload is a big blocker to better employee benefits engagement. We’ve all been there—bombarded with complex info, our heads spinning. It’s overwhelming and it’s not fun.
To overcome this challenge:
- Provide clear, concise information about benefits in “snack-sized” bites
- Offer educational resources like webinars, articles, or even workshops, to dive deeper
- Communicate regularly about the benefits and any changes or updates
Even with a great employee benefits communication plan, the goal isn’t to explain every nuance of each benefit available to employees. You want to help them navigate their options so they can see the value in each benefit.
2. Prioritize employee listening
Communication is a two-way street. Keeping employees informed about their benefits is only half the equation. You need to understand what your employees need and want from your benefits program, including what benefits your employees want, and adjust the program to match. It’s all about building a feedback loop.
You can gather employee feedback through surveys, interviews, or focus groups to identify areas for improvement. Do this at least twice a year to better understand and address employees’ changing needs and preferences.
3. Embrace HR tech integrations
A whopping 79% of HR professionals agree: Leadership is highly invested in adopting modern HR tech to make employee benefits more accessible. If leadership is on board, a user-friendly, accessible benefits platform is a natural next step.
A benefits platform with HR tech that guides employees through the process makes enrollment a breeze. And when benefits are easy to access and understand, your employees are more likely to use them. Shocking, right?
4. Rethink fringe benefits
One-size-fits-all benefits just won’t cut it anymore. Two-thirds of HR professionals in the Forrester study agreed that their employees seem uninterested in many of these offerings.
Benefits that promote physical, mental, and emotional health should be a priority. Think gym memberships, onsite fitness centers, and flexible work arrangements. There’s also financial planning, parental support, and other whole employee wellness programs.
In short, when employees are happy and healthy, they’re more likely to be engaged and productive.
The bigger picture: Employee wellbeing and employee retention
The numbers speak for themselves. According to the Forrester study we mentioned earlier, 83% of respondents agreed that employee benefits engagement has a direct impact on employee turnover.
When HR leverages the right HR tech integrations and solutions to improve benefits utilization, you’re helping your organization stay competitive. The keys are clear communication, active listening, relevant fringe benefits, and technology integration with innovative solutions like Emma.
So, if you’re building a workplace that truly values its employees, prioritizing employee benefits engagement is a must.
Learn more about bswift’s virtual assistant, Emma.