The “Great Resignation” and “Quiet Quitting” are getting quite a bit of media attention of late. As a business owner, you may be spending more of your time looking for ways to retain your employees. Offering the right combination of employee benefits can set your business apart from others in your area. Here are three easy ways to promote your benefits to current and prospective employees.
1: Communicate Often
There are many ways you can communicate the value of your employee benefits program. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking to current staff or those you want to join your workforce.
Here are eight methods to consider.
- Offer Letter: Your offer letter needs to touch on all of the important aspects of the employment offer you are making. It should include:
- expected work hours
- work location (especially if you have a remote-friendly or hybrid work arrangement)
- an overview of your employee benefits – and when they will begin
This “big picture” summary shows new employees what they can expect, and how you’re offering them more than just “a job.”
- New Employee Orientation: Some employers and employee roles may not have a formal process for new hires. Others may provide an employee handbook or binder, depending on the organization, benefits overview, photo ID Card, etc. If your employee benefits don’t begin right away, you can delay sharing details until nearer to enrollment. However, you won’t want to pass up the opportunity for employees to ask questions to be sure they know what’s available and how to sign up.
- Open Enrollment Meetings: Depending on your group size and whether benefits are employer-sponsored or voluntary, you may hold a company-wide open enrollment. This meeting – whether in-person, virtual, or recorded – gives employees a closer look at what their options may be. This can be especially important as compared to their initial hire date or your prior open enrollment.
- Intranet: Many companies operate an internal communications platform online. This can be through Slack or Microsoft Teams, or as part of a human resources program (like UKG). You may be able to customize yours to remind employees of their benefits.
- Kitchens and Break Rooms: Don’t overlook bulletin boards or office whiteboards. You can post news or reminders of what’s in your benefits package – or your next enrollment date. If employees are getting lunch or coffee, they can also get a refresher on what makes your business different – and why they should stick around.
- Health Fairs: Some of your benefits partners may want to come into your office to host a health fair or benefits awareness event. The past couple of years have been challenging for workers and family members, so you may want to include your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) vendor as well as health care partners.
- Lunch & Learns: If you don’t want to host a big event, you might consider a series of presentations during lunchtime. These can be in-person or virtual. This will allow you to focus on one aspect of your benefits program. For example, a retirement program sponsor or your EAP. You can do these quarterly or more frequently depending on space availability. You could even bring in experts to discuss topics to help employees at work and at home – like grief management/emotional wellness, funding for a child’s education, nutrition, and sleep.
- Emails or Newsletters: The tried-and-true method of reaching employees is email or a newsletter. Each message can focus on a different aspect of your benefits package. For example, PTO (vacation/holidays) in one message. That could be followed by health care options in the second. Retirement might make a good third topic. Your employee recognition programs (e.g., bonuses or events) could be message four.
2: Track Benefits Utilization
If your health plan(s) and other benefits partners offer information on utilization, use that data. For example, if you offer Dental, it’s likely a majority (or even a super-majority) of your employees access these benefits.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports nearly two-thirds (63%) of adults ages 18 and over visited a dentist in 2020. For children, ages 2-17, the rate was 20+ percent higher – 86.9%. How does that compare to your employee Dental plan participants?
What about stats for your group’s Health Insurance utilization? Ask your plan(s) partner(s) if data is available. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 91.4% of Americans had health insurance coverage for all or part of 2020. Nearly half (48%) of Californians got their 2019 coverage through their employer, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The CDC says 84% of adults visited a doctor or other health care professional in 2020. Among children, the rate was 94%. Of course, not all had health insurance.
Consider a “Did you know?” message to your employees. Sharing plan information can boost employee awareness of the benefits in your program. That increased awareness can drive greater employee satisfaction. That will help you attract and keep your most-valued employees.
3: Conduct Employee Surveys
Ask your employees – at least annually – how they feel about what’s in your benefits program. That will give you a better sense of what they like and what they would like to see in the future. There are numerous tools available to help you. Among them are:
- Zoho Survey
Ask employees about stories where their benefits really made a difference in their lives. Their testimonials can be very persuasive and empowering.
A Final Thought
Whatever methods you embrace, it’s important your communications be honest, open, positive, and frequent. Your employees need to know that you want to hear from them. That you are open to all feedback – positive and negative. While you may not be able to act on every suggestion or message you receive, you need to acknowledge all comments . . . even if you cannot discuss all ideas and their practicality of implementation in an open forum. If you receive suggestions to add benefits, research whether they can be offered on a voluntary basis.
Offering CaliforniaChoice to your employees gives them more choice. And they get value-added extras at no added cost to your business. To get a customized quote for your business and employees, talk with your employee benefits broker. If you don’t have one, we’ll help you find a broker here.