Employees can’t take advantage of the programs that are offered if they don’t know that they exist. However, getting this information out to them isn’t as simple as just sending out an email or newsletter. Many employees won’t even read these email newsletters, especially if they typically don’t contain information that is pertinent to their personal situation.
The solution is to use many different methods to communicate with employees about the available benefits. This way it’s more likely that they’ll get information that is applicable to their personal situation. Speak about general benefits at new hire orientation, employee meetings, in newsletters, and performance reviews. You could also make specific checklists and informational packets for individuals that are new hires, pregnant, newly married, or those with upcoming retirements. Each of these situations are unique, so it’s important to provide differentiated information that will help each type of employee to understand what is available to them.
If employees don’t know and trust their HR reps, then they won’t come to them when they have questions or concerns. This could lead them to turn to fellow employees who could inadvertently spread misinformation. It’s important to make sure that the human resources department in your business always treats employees with respect and consideration for their individual needs. If an employee feels that their rep brushed them off, rushed through their questions, or ignored them, it can affect their view of the business as a whole.
Building rapport with employees is a key component to creating engagement because if employees trust that their reps are looking out for the employee's best interest, then they’ll be much more likely to participate in the programs that they create. If you aren’t sure if something is working or how it can be improved, just ask the individuals using, or not using, those programs. Chances are, they’ll be happy to provide feedback.
Teach Employees the Value of their Benefits
This is particularly important for younger employees who may think that they aren’t old enough to worry about life insurance and retirement. Educating employees on the importance of investing in these benefits early can have a huge impact on their futures. There is an endless supply of research which shows that the earlier an individual invests in life insurance and retirement, the better off they’re likely to be.
It’s also important for them to understand the investment that the company is making in their overall benefits package. A total compensation statement can be included as part of a yearly overview of benefits and programs offered by the employer, in terms of a dollar amount per employee that funds those extra programs. This yearly overview can also serve as a reminder of services offered, because frequently employees can simply forget about the extras like gym memberships or fund matching if they invest in retirement.
The important thing is not to get discouraged if participation is low, but to instead try new ways of getting employees engaged. If things don’t work the first time, simply try something else. Summerlin-Roberts offers a wide variety of services to help you create programs and get the word out to employee. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you, help your employees.