Almost 9 out of 10 employers say that attracting top talent and increasing employee engagement are their biggest motivators for offering quality employee benefits. However 7 out of 10 also says they’re having a hard time helping their employees understand and appreciate their benefits package.

Recent research from Thomsons Online Benefits revealed that many employers are making two big mistakes that are resulting in employees’ dissatisfaction with their benefits. The first is their failure to analyze employee benefits data. The survey found that employees of companies who do rely on analytics to devise their benefits strategy were 14 percent more engaged than those working for companies who do not (73 percent vs. 59 percent). By using analytics, employers can see how employees are using their benefits and, as a result, determine the ones their workers really want.

Another common blunder was that employers are doing a poor job of tailoring their benefits communication to a diverse employee base. As a result, much of their messages about benefits aren’t resonating with their target audience.

As a result of these costly errors, over 60 percent of employees say they’re dissatisfied with their current benefits package.

  • Over 1/4 are unhappy with the level to which their employer helps fund their benefits.
  • Almost 1/5 dislike the way their benefits are managed.
  • More than 1 out of 6 don’t like the way their benefits are communicated to them.

Given the fact that employers spend an average of 31 percent of employee salary on benefits, it’s important for business owners to make sure they’re getting a good return on their investment.

Communication is key.

Another big way employers can improve their employees’ satisfaction with their benefits package is by amping up their communication. For example, 70 percent of employees say they want more information about benefits when they go through major life changes such as marriage or buying a home. But only 46 percent of employers use these milestones to engage their workers.

Employees’ perceived value of their benefits is also increased by as much as 20 percent when they’re merely given a total reward statement showing them the full value of their benefits package. That number was even higher when the statement was delivered online via a benefits portal. However, while 64 percent of employees want to access their benefits online, only 44 percent of employers currently make that possible.

Technology is key in communication about and managing benefits, as workers were almost twice as likely to perceive their benefits as being innovative or unique than if they were forced to handle everything on paper (93.8 percent vs. 46.6 percent).

With more health plan choices than ever, increasing complexity in coverage, and a wide variety of voluntary products to choose from, employees need more help than ever. Ask us how we can help you educate and engage your employees and get you the best bang for your benefit buck.