Trends and Tips: How to Boost Employee Engagement

In a recent survey by Harvard Business Review titled ‘Better health starts with an employee-centered benefits experience,” the one question weighing on employers minds when it comes to their health benefits program is—’How can we increase employee engagement with our benefits offering?’

Although the poll surveyed 258 organizations with 500+ employees, this question arises for owners and HR managers from companies of all sizes. Because while an employee benefits plan is a great strategy to attract and retain top talent, it’s still a sizable company expense. Ultimately, organizations want to ensure that employees are exploiting the full value of the benefits plans that they have invested in. Below are the top three takeaways from the survey and few tips to help you better engage employees with your benefits offering:

 Most employees are unaware of the benefits they’re entitled to:

58% of respondents said employees are unaware of the benefits they’re entitled to. To add to that, only 41% of organizations said employees know which benefits plan is right for them. This isn’t a new challenge. Many companies don’t have the resources and time needed to properly educate employees on their benefits plan options. Often, employees are given short introductions to the benefits plans and then left on their own to read through pamphlets or online databases to get more details. The survey also indicates that almost half (46%) of respondents said employees use up to three systems to find the information they need. And, once employees are immersed in their job, they lose track of what they’re entitled to or what benefits options might be available to them.

Pro tip: Choosing the right employee benefits consultant can make all the difference. Working with a consultant that assists with employee enrolment, onboarding, and communication processes can alleviate a lot of stress on your internal HR teams or other resources. Implementing an HRIS system can also help you to centralize all benefits-related information, giving your employees one go-to source for all queries.

Most employees don’t fully understand how to leverage their benefits:

63% said employees don’t know enough about how to leverage their benefits. And a mere 28% of respondents said employees are actively engaged with all the health benefits programs they offer. Communication shouldn’t stop at enrolment. Providing ongoing updates, information sessions and support on employee benefits is a must for any organization that wants to ensure their team get the most from their health plans. The reality is most organizations are usually focused on growth and strategy, so talking benefits can fall down the priority list. 

Pro tip: Conduct an anonymous survey to find out what your employees appreciate, dislike, know or don’t know about your current benefits plan. Then you can host lunch and learns, add information in newsletters or start discussion on your intranet to spread awareness and direct them to the information they might be seeking. Your trusted benefits consultant can help you build and execute a comprehensive communication plan. 

Most employees don’t use the full range of health benefits available:

Only 27% said they use the full range of their health benefits. And 65% of respondents agreed that employees don’t comprehend the value of their provided benefits. Communication is key here again. This can also happen when organizations fail to choose the right options and plans for their employees. That said, varying employee demographics in an organization can make it difficult to keep everyone happy with the traditional one-option-fits-all plan. Companies also evolve, and demographics change. So, what was once a great benefits plan might need updating as an organization grows. 

Pro tip: Think about a flexible employee benefits plan. This allows your employees to choose from varying levels of coverage and wellness options which suit their needs and lifestyles. As an employer, there are many reasons to consider a flexible benefits plan as well, one being— you can set a budget and stick with it. If the employee wants more than what’s being offered, they can simply pay for the extras. The survey concluded that 86% of organizations agree that better matching employees to health benefits and programs that best suit them helps control costs at their organization.

Achieve higher employee engagement with a little help  

If you can relate to some of these statistics but not sure what strategy is best for you, reach out to our experts. We’ll work with your team to make sure you have a benefits plan that all your employees know about and value. 

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