A Clear Understanding of Why Employee Benefits are Important Goes a Long Way

Apr 24, 2023

Man looking at laptop intently

When it comes to benefits, your employees are aware that they have a benefits plan, but do they really know what all that plan entails and how it’s actually benefitting them?

According to Employee Benefits News, 85% of employees are confused about their benefits. Meaning — there are a lot of employees who don’t fully understand their benefits and aren’t utilizing them to their full potential. The declining perception of benefits seems to be a trend. But it’s time to stop it in its tracks and help your employees understand why employee benefits are important and how they work to serve them and their dependents.

Let’s start from the top – Why are Employee Benefits Important

As an HR professional, you know the answer to this, but here are some high-level benefits for both employees and employers:

For employees:

  • Security of insurance for medical costs – both routine and unexpected
  • Benefits can include traditional healthcare coverage (as mentioned above) but also provide support for mental health, maternity/paternity and wellness initiatives
  • Employee benefits are another form of compensation from employers – and, by not utilizing them, you’re losing money.

For employers:

  • An employee benefits plan is an additional way to provide value to your employees that’s not in the form of salaried or hourly compensation.
  • The more you prioritize the employee benefits plans you offer, the more your employees will feel valued – this leads to higher employee satisfaction and increased productivity and retention.
  • When you can offer a stellar employee benefits plan to potential job candidates, you’re sure to set yourself apart from competing employers of choice.

Now that we have a better idea of why employee benefits are important, let’s get a better understanding of how a lack of benefits knowledge can poorly impact employees and employers. 

For employees, if they don’t fully understand the world of benefits and how to navigate it, they’re less likely to use their benefits – this can lead to decreased health and wellness, as well as lessened productivity. Benefits are a great way for employers to prioritize employees, and if your team doesn’t grasp the benefits that for many, are comparable to pay, then they may begin looking for other opportunities. 

For employers, the impact on recruitment and retention benefits can have is huge — the more you can offer, the more likely you are to become an employer of choice and keep top talent. Additionally, when your team understands why employee benefits are important and how to use them, that increased utilization means cost savings for your organization – which is always a goal.

So, how can you effectively communicate why employee benefits are important and help your team increase their understanding?

Here are a few ways to boost employee benefit understanding and utilization:

  • Employee Communications: Employee benefits communications, tools and the strategy to implement it all should be a high priority for your organization. The more benefits content you provide, along with training sessions, Q&As, etc., the more likely your employees are to engage.
  • Benefits Service Center: When you leverage a benefits partner such as Totem, you gain access to tools like our Benefits Service Center. This is so much more than a call center. Rather, it’s an extension of your team that takes a hands-on approach to educating your employees and answering any benefits questions they may have.
  • Benefits Website and Resources: Do you know the set of benefits guides and PDF documents that you update, print and distribute year after year? Your employees probably aren’t reading them. If you haven’t already, switching to a benefits website is the best way to keep all of your resources and information in one place, which your employees can easily access from anywhere.

Employee benefits are important – for all parties involved. If you’re looking for support optimizing your employee benefits package or increasing utilization, Totem can help. Connect with one of our team members today for a free consultation. 

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