Get access to the exclusive HR Resources you need to succeed in 2018!
SHRM board member David Windley discusses how unconscious bias can derail workplace diversity efforts.
Is your employee handbook keeping up with the changing world of work? With SHRM's Employee Handbook Builder get peace of mind that your handbook is up-to-date.
Build competencies, establish credibility and advance your career—while earning PDCs—at SHRM Seminars in 12 cities across the U.S. this spring.
#SHRM18 will expand your perspective – on your organization, on your career, and on the way you approach HR. Join us in Chicago June 17-20, 2018
Helping employees recognize the value of their company-sponsored benefits is always smart and beneficial; doing so during tough economic times is imperative.
“Nothing better illustrates the value of company-offered health care plans than COBRA — especially now with all the media attention surrounding the 65 percent COBRA subsidy passed by Congress to help newly unemployed Americans afford the level of benefits they had while employed,” says Jennifer Benz, founder and chief strategist of Benz Communications. “Unfortunately, many companies neglect to tell their employees the true cost of their health care benefits. As a result, employees rarely realize what a great deal they’re getting on their benefits—until they’re paying for it themselves.”
Benz maintains that it doesn’t have to be that way. “There are many simple ways companies can help employees appreciate and understand the value of their benefits — while they are still working. And, as employees value benefits more than company culture or advancement opportunities (according to a 2009 MetLife study), why not give them a full understanding of just how valuable those benefits are, especially given the current economic environment when stress is high and budgets are tight,” she adds.
Benz recommends five ways to increase employee understanding of their company-sponsored benefits:
Get employees to use the plansNothing demonstrates real value better than use. Encourage employee engagement with simple reminders about how and why they should be using their benefits. Promote preventive care, remind employees about the fitness incentive or wellness programs, explain all the ways your employee assistance program (EAP) can help well beyond counseling, and market on-site resources or discount programs aggressively.
Explain what it means to be self-insuredEmployers who self-insure often forget to explain this, which leaves employees to assume that “the insurance company” is picking up the tab. Explain what it means to be self-insured and how that translates into what the company is providing.
Show the employer and employee contributionsAt new-hire enrollment, during open enrollment and whenever employees submit life-event changes, show the employer and the employee contributions. Many companies let employees know the percentage of payments they pay—such as, “We pay 85 percent of premiums”—but never reveal the actual number, which speaks volumes.
Promote your total rewards statementIf you have a print or online total rewards or total compensation statement, make sure your employees are seeing it. (If you don’t have one, create one.) These statements “add up” the employer’s investment in benefits and can be a great help to managers during the salary conversations that will surely be happening during 2009.
Ask for feedbackDo you know what your employees want or need? Let them tell you what would make the benefits program more valuable or easier to use. Some of their suggestions could prove useful—and you’ll earn their respect for valuing their opinions and ideas.
Stephen Milleris an online editor/manager for SHRM.
You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark.
Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark.
You have successfully removed bookmark.
Please log in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks.
Your session has expired. Please log in again before saving bookmarks.
Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks.
An error has occurred
Recommended for you
HR Education in a City Near You
SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 3,200 companies