“…77% of employees who understood the benefits on offer said they saw themselves at their organization for the foreseeable future.”

Employee Benefit News recently published an article that included some staggering statistics and strong insight into how important it is to not only listen to and get to know your workforce and their needs, but to also effectively communicate information to them in an understandable way.

FACT: employees are extremely confused by their healthcare benefits. Yet most companies are not doing their part to adequately educate their employees on the topic. Taking the time to explain what’s offered and providing employees with tools to make benefits easily accessible can have an astounding impact on an organization. “…81% of employees who can easily access their benefits said they feel loyal to their employer.”

What comes with such loyalty? Higher retention rates, more company pride, increased productivity and, quite possibly, a more successful organization.

Do any of these things sound worth it to you? We thought so. But we know that the time and talent required to communicate these sorts of things is not so easy to come across. That’s where we come in. We’ve tackled employee benefits from just about every angle. There are ways to get the right messages across to your team – videos, email newsletters, handouts, posters. And, having every message stay on point with your brand and your vision is equally important. Sound seamless enough?

In today’s world, there is so much being said about how important offering the right benefits is to your organization and the people you’re able to attract and keep. If you’ve worked hard to create meaningful benefits, don’t fail to make the details of your plan known and understood.

Below is the full article published by Employee Benefit News, titled “The right benefits can drive employee retention.” If after reading it you’re ready to create the right internal employee benefits communication plan, we’ll be here ready to chat!

This article below was published on October 9, 2018, on Employee Benefit News, written by Chris Bruce.

The right benefits can drive employee retention

As the workforce continues to change at a rapid rate and the U.S. experiences historically low unemployment rates and a competitive hiring market, employers must listen to the needs and expectations of employees when it comes to their benefits programs. Providing a variety of benefits that are relevant for employees and have an impact on their personal lives has a significant influence on how an employee feels about their organization.

Our recent Thomsons Online Benefits Global Employee Benefits Watch report, which surveyed more than 2,000 employees from global multinational organizations, found that 81% of employees who can easily access their benefits said they feel loyal to their employer. This understanding and accessibility also makes employees prouder to work for an organization, more likely to be workplace advocates and see themselves working for their employer for the foreseeable future. While employee loyalty and engagement is a complex matter, engaged employees can increase productivity and, as a result, profit for a company.

Our recent research shows there is still a disparity between what support employees actually want from their benefits programs and what is available to them. For example, 57% of employees surveyed would like support from their employer in improving mental well-being, while only 23% of employers offer this kind of benefit. Additionally, 45% of employees surveyed want benefits to help them with their personal finances, and only 20% of employers offer this service.

On the other hand, areas where employers are meeting employee needs the most are those that are less important to employees, including getting married and socializing. Data collection and the right technology to process it makes it easier for HR teams to gain a personalized view of each employee and understand what they want the most, even at a very large organization.

It is crucial to know the differences between each individual, since our research shows that what might be important for one person within the 26-35 age group, such as buying a home, might not be a priority for another person in the same age demographic. If employers are able to personalize benefits needs, they can better provide the support their employees want.

The importance of seamless communication

In order to offer a personalized experience, employers need to listen to their employees, especially when it comes to how they want to interact with their benefits programs. In a world where technology has transformed the way we receive information and manage our day-to-day lives, it is important to consider the experience employees are having when interacting with their benefits programs. The research shows the employees who are most satisfied with how they access and manage their benefits are those who do so face-to-face with their employer (46%) and those that have options for online access through email (44%). Employee preferences for managing benefits can reflect how they access information in their personal lives, which often includes having a variety of communication options. However, this need for variety is currently not being met as over 50% of employees said they were unsatisfied with the current access options available to them.

This is very detrimental as the research found that 79% of employees who can easily access their benefits said they were proud to work for their organization, as opposed to 37% who find it hard to access their benefits. If employers are looking to replicate a consumer grade experience when it comes to their benefits program, they must first listen to how employees prefer to access information and manage activities outside of work.

Loyalty solutions

Giving employees easy access to their benefits, while providing support so they truly understand and know how to utilize what is available to them, does have a significant impact on employees’ engagement with their organization. The research found that 80% of employees who said they had a good variety of benefits to choose from also said they identified strongly with their organization’s vision and values. And lastly, 77% of employees who understood the benefits on offer said they saw themselves at their organization for the foreseeable future.

Since benefits impact employees’ personal lives, there is no doubt that there is an emotive element in the benefits that an employer decides to give their employees.

There is clearly still some work to be done by employers to ensure their benefits programs support employees in the areas they individually want and need. This is essential as workforces are now expecting this kind of benefits support, as opposed to these benefits being seen as just a “nice to have.” Providing a variety of easily accessible benefits that are relevant for employees and that can impact their personal lives has a significant impact how an employee feels about their organization.

Employees who receive benefits that are personal to them, and help them achieve their life goals, are likely to be loyal to their employer, identify with their organization’s vision and values, and be an advocate for their organization.

This article originally appeared in Employee Benefit Adviser.