Recruit and Retain Employees with Effective Benefit Communications

Feb 09, 2022

It’s no surprise to any HR professional what a critical role benefits play in recruitment and retention. Yet many companies fail to leverage their benefits package in their communications. Too many recruitment materials don’t effectively explain the benefit offerings. Likewise, many organizations often only talk about benefits with employees once a year when it’s time to make decisions for the coming year.

Creating a strategic benefits communications not only makes good business sense, but it also pays off. Just consider MetLife’s recent U.S. Employee Benefit Trend Survey. The latest version of the annual survey reveals that when employees understand how their benefits work, they are:

  • 100% more likely to trust their employer’s leadership;
  • 78% more likely to be happy with their jobs;
  • 50% more likely to be loyal to their employers.

And, yet, nearly a third of employees (31%) don’t think their employer’s benefit communications are easy to understand—and more than half (55%) wish they were more informed about their benefits so that they could get more value from them (MetLife).

So, how do you elevate your benefit communications and make them a strategic tool for both recruitment and retention?

Make your benefits easy to understand.

Insurance and benefits have a language of their own—and it’s “Greek” to your employees! That’s why it’s important to talk about benefits without all the jargon. Westcomm’s new Virtual Benefits Assistant does that and more. The Virtual Benefits Assistant uses easy-to-understand terms, visual graphics, video and animation. It also includes a medical plan expense calculator to help evaluate the costs among plans. You input information on how you anticipate using a medical plan, and it compares plans and shows you the expected costs. Employees have a greater understanding of what they are purchasing and why—and that goes a long way.

Focus on the value of your benefits.

Benefits are a key part of an employee’s overall compensation, but employees are often unaware of the dollar value behind their benefits. They don’t consider benefits part of what they are “paid.” That’s why it’s helpful to remind employees how much the company contributes to provide healthcare benefits plus life insurance, disability, etc. To help employees understand the value behind their benefits, some employers are issuing annual compensation reports—personalized to each employee. These reports highlight an employee’s salary plus the value of each benefit the employee is receiving. It gives employees a more comprehensive view—and serves as a reminder that their compensation is more than just what they see in their paycheck. Many employers deliver these reports via the web. However, if possible, we recommend going “old school” and printing and mailing these reports to employees’ homes. This ensures it doesn’t get lost in the mountain of emails employees get. It’s also helpful when you don’t have a workforce that’s in front of a computer often—like manufacturing and healthcare, for example. Additionally, mailing to the home increases the likelihood of it being shared with a spouse or partner.

Our Approach to Benefit Communications and Internal Comms

Detail the holistic nature of your benefits

Employees often decide to stay with a company because they feel supported. Benefits are a tangible and effective way to show that support, especially when the benefits are comprehensive and cover many areas of overall health and wellness. To help reinforce that point, many companies are beginning to center benefit communications around holistic well-being. Take Purdue University, for example. Through the University’s multi-faceted Healthy Boiler program, employees are encouraged to take full advantage of their benefit offerings, all of which support one of the following elements of overall health and wellness

  • Behavioral health
  • Financial wellness
  • Physical health
  • Social wellness
  • Work-life integration

Make information available externally.

Benefits are used by the entire family, and the decision of which benefits to select—particularly medical plan coverage—is often a joint one with spouses or partners. So it’s important that benefits information is accessible outside of a company’s internal systems. Mailing key information to the home is one way to ensure that. Additionally, more companies are creating benefits webpages that are outside of the company firewall, so spouses/partners can access the information, too.

If you need to strategically use benefits to meet recruitment and retention goals, Westcomm is here to assist with your efforts. Simply reach out at helloindy@westcomm.com or follow us on LinkedIn for more insights.

Recruit and Retain Employees with Effective Benefit Communications

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