Trouble Communicating Employee Benefits? PEOs Can Help With That
Considerable time and expense is spent planning and executing an effective benefits program and communications strategy. Owners and managers typically do not have the time, knowledge, or ability to administer a benefits program, let alone effectively communicate the value to employees. This is where the expertise of a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) comes in....
By outsourcing your HR, you gain access to dedicated communications and benefits specialists, who have the resources to stay abreast of and appropriately distribute on-going plan changes. PEO specialists are able to identify what is necessary to communicate, prepare content to share with employees, tailor that information to plan participants, refresh the information to accommodate changes, use various communication modes to reach individual participants, and quickly and efficiently answer benefits questions for individuals. In addition to communicating plan information, we also keep record of personal participant information and changes, provide hands-on administration for individual plan participants, and assist employers in selecting and providing the best and most appropriate benefits for the specific needs of the company.
According to the 2012 Open Enrollment Survey of the Aflac Workforces Report, 49% of employers believed they communicated very to extremely effectively with their workers about company benefits. However, employees tended to disagree:
- 65% felt they were only somewhat prepared or not prepared for open enrollment
- 52% said that their company had not communicated with them at all about the open enrollment process
- 47% looked to resources other than HR/benefits professionals for advice about their benefits
These statistics show a glaring disconnect between how well companies think they are communicating and how informed/prepared the employee actually feels.
HR Outsourcing firms have developed and use a mix of communication strategies to help employees understand what's available to them and how each plan works. Some of these strategies include, but are not limited to:
- Online benefits portals/websites
- Customized benefit overviews
- FAQs and other educational materials
- Enrollment opportunities throughout the year (voluntary benefits)
- Benefit Specialist enrollment sessions/group meetings
- One-on-one meetings
- Personalized messages and materials reflecting individual needs and/or life stages (i.e. birth, marriage, etc.)
- Post-enrollment confirmation of benefit elections
HR Outsourcing firms have the ability to engage and empower employees; the better understanding they have of their benefits options, the more knowledgeable they are during open enrollment, and so less likely to make mistakes that could cost them or their employer money. We effectively and efficiently keep your employees informed and up-to-date by presenting elements of their benefits program throughout the year. By doing so, employees are better able to retain the information, making open enrollment a smoother, easier process.