How Benefits Help With Retention and Recruitment


Employers who want to offer the most compelling benefits package should develop a benefits strategy that reflects the vision, mission, culture and needs of the organization (Image: Shutterstock)

When employers consider attracting and retaining talented employees, delivering first-class benefits is more important than ever. As this year’s open enrollment season approaches with much of the workforce still in a remote or hybrid environment, HR teams need to think carefully about how they will communicate their benefits to ensure that employees understand the value of their benefits package.

Benefits represent a growing percentage of employee compensation programs, and the cost of health insurance continues to rise. For many employers, the cost of insurance and benefit plans is the second most expensive line item after employee salaries. However, the past year has proven that there are other ways to attract and retain employees outside of traditional benefits.

Related: The Art And Science Of Retaining Key Talent After The Pandemic

As the lines between work and life become increasingly blurred, employees see value in non-traditional benefits such as flexibility, childcare support, student loan repayment, etc. financial counseling services, mental health support, discounts on gyms, yoga classes, meditation programs and more. Employees are no longer content to evaluate their salary when choosing between potential employers. They look at the whole picture, including core benefits (insurance and retirement), non-traditional benefits (such as flexibility and ancillary programs), and overall quality of life.

Employers who want to offer the most compelling benefits package should work with an innovative consultant to develop a benefits strategy that reflects the vision, mission, culture, and needs of the organization. Once a strategy has been developed and a program has been put in place, it is extremely important for the employer to successfully communicate the program to their employees to ensure:

  • Employees commit to your benefits program
  • Your employees understand how their programs work and the depth / breadth of what is available
  • Your employees understand the value of the programs offered and the level of investment that is made in the well-being of the employees

So how do you communicate the program to employees so that they engage, understand and appreciate the benefits available to them? The most effective way to do this is to open registration for your organization. Employers can implement best practices such as:

Make decisions early: Your HR team should think months in advance about ways to simplify the process for your employees, as well as the benefits of continuing, adding, or removing. Using virtual tools such as online surveys, employers can use direct employee feedback to gain insight into the changes they should be considering.

Communicate effectively: This can include emails, texts, informational videos, push notifications, Teams or Slack channels, and Zoom meetings. Employees have individual preferences, so using a variety of channels ensures that everyone is informed.

Add human elements: Create opportunities for personal interactions throughout the process. This could be done through individual scheduled “virtual office hours” through an online platform, Zoom sessions or a dedicated support team for benefit-related questions.

Call in outside help if necessary: If your HR team is struggling to manage all facets of benefits administration, it might be time to consider enlisting outside help. A trusted partner can take on the challenges of designing a benefit plan and communicate effectively in a virtual environment to allow your internal team to focus on other priorities.

An employee benefits consultant can not only bring a variety of strategies, technology tools and capabilities to the table; they can also effectively communicate the value of a benefit package in an engaging manner. An experienced benefits consultant should also have a customer service team that is knowledgeable, skilled, flexible, and provides your employees with the information they need. With these practices in place, organizations will be poised to successfully deliver and communicate better benefits to attract new talent and retain top performing employees.

Jeff Ryckbost is Director of Customer Service at Exude.

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