Employees rarely take full advantage of employer-provided benefits, but human resources (HR) can help remedy the situation by taking some simple steps. First, have a benefits communication plan in place to clearly explain, in simple language, what different benefits are available. Many workers are not familiar with terms such as vesting, match, copay, deductible or in/out of network, among others. Showcasing your benefits with visuals can help employees pay attention and remember the content. Second, make the process less complex by minimizing the paperwork and making sure employees have time to participate. In addition, regularly assess usage data of benefits in relation to the cost of the benefit in order to determine the return on investment. And, ask which benefits are important to employees so you can focus on providing a few useful benefits to each segment of the employee population. Ensure employees are aware of which benefits are available to them during onboarding and in the employee handbook. Continue to educate your employees by offering a variety of platforms through which to share information, such as Q&A sessions, webinars for those who work remotely, and emails with important updates, reminders and information on a regular basis. A final tip is to improve spousal benefits. Some employees may find that their spouse’s employer-provided benefits are a better option than their own. HR should analyze enrollment numbers and understand how benefit offerings compare to other organizations of a similar size and in a similar industry.
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