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26 Sep

How Well Do Your Employees Know Their Benefit Options?

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It’s no secret that potential new hire candidates care deeply about the employee benefits they will be offered upon accepting their new role. Unfortunately, not all candidates or employees fully understand the benefits being offered to them either at onboarding or open enrollment.


While half the battle seems to be on the benefits arm of an organization’s HR team, the other half of the battle is properly communicating the benefits in a manner that allows employees to really understand what is being offered to them.


Bridge your organizational benefits communication gap by first informing employees of all their options. It also helps to break these options into categories. For example, primary insurance categories could include medical, dental, life insurance, flexible spending, retirement, and leave. Secondary or voluntary benefit categories could include pet insurance, hospital indemnity, critical illness, identity theft, or student loan consolidation, among others.


To help employees better understand the benefit options being provided, consider taking one or more of these steps prior to and during open enrollment.


Survey Employees to Gauge Level of Interest and Understanding
Employee understanding of benefit options may be better or worse than your teams initially assumes. To properly gather a consensus, start by initiating an employee survey. The survey results will give a better picture of what employees like or dislike, and what they currently understand about the benefit options. For example, not all employees may be familiar with the terms FSA or HSA and how to use them if they are elected.


Early and Regular Communication
Before open enrollment begins, preempt the enrollment period by communicating the plan options early. Find a way to quickly and easily convey plan changes or any new plan options that have been added. By taking the time to communicate with employees early, the business is showing their commitment to a successful open enrollment period and commitment to ensuring employees have all the necessary information upfront.


Drive Engagement
Preparing for open enrollment is just as stressful on the employees as it is for the HR and benefits teams who coordinate the plans. “Key drivers of engagement include consistent communication, including intranet and newsletters events and meetings…” Bringing employees together in an event or meeting to better understand the benefit program options. Digital tools are available, also, to aid in employees accessing the benefit plan options early, in addition to details and simplified realistic explanations.


Aside from offering quality benefits in which employees and candidates are interested in enrolling, ensuring employees are able to understand benefit options is crucial to open enrollment success. Contact Vensure to get assistance with open enrollment and in ensuring employees are informed prior to your open enrollment period.


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