Employee benefits offerings and programs vary between employers; however, standard offerings include medical insurance, retirement plan benefits, life insurance, disability insurance, paid time off, tuition reimbursement, dental insurance, and vision insurance. Many companies offer additional benefits options and company perks. It’s common knowledge that benefits are important to employees, so it might be surprising that employees often don’t know all of the benefits and perks that are available to them through their employer. It’s also common for employees to take a passive role when selecting their benefits.
Though typically not to the same degree, benefits offerings can vary from year to year as much within a single organization as they do between different organizations. The variation and yearly changes can make understanding benefits confusing for employees. Considering that benefits cost an average of 40% of an employee’s total compensation package and are tied to a company’s employee value proposition, we encourage employers to take a vested interest in helping employees understand their benefits package. Poor benefit plan choices can cost both the employee and employer money, an avoidable scenario if proper benefits education ensues.
As shared by SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), in a survey sponsored by the disability provider Unum, 79% of the 1,521 adult workers who responded and rated their benefits education as very good to excellent also rated their employer the same. In the same survey, only 30% of respondents who rated their benefits education as fair or poor rated their employer as very good or excellent. These results imply that employee benefits education is linked to the employee’s perception of their employer and ties to overall job satisfaction.
With years of research and experience in supporting clients with benefits implementation and management, we understand the common challenges that come with employee engagement. Fortunately, we know a thing or two about how to support employers to move through and beyond these challenges.