by WEX Benefits
Did you know that about half of employees don’t understand their benefits, and 80% of employees never even open communications about benefits? Often, employees feel confused about their benefits plans options, especially if their employer is using “complicated HR jargon” in their benefits messaging. How can your benefits messaging cater to your employees through benefits education? Let’s explore tips on how employers can effectively communicate benefits messaging to employees in a way that’s relatable and easy to understand.
Trying to understand benefit plans and the accompanying “HR jargon” can be complicated and a source of frustration for employees. As Bri Boerner, senior operational writer, global talent development at WEX explained in the latest Benefits Buzz podcast episode, “It may seem like a barrier if they just see a term they don't understand. They don't have background on it and then it's scary and daunting.”
Employers should make a concerted effort to simplify the language used in communications to ensure employees can easily understand their options and make informed decisions. Rather than using acronyms and technical terms, employers could use simple language and meaningful stories to help employees visualize and understand their benefits. “I think it’s really important to tie it back to things that are meaningful to [employees]….their finances, their well-being, their family’s well-being,” said Hayden Goethe, senior content marketing strategist at WEX on our podcast episode. “It’s about what a health savings account or a flexible spending account can do for them."
One main reason why employees don’t understand their benefits is a lack of communication from their employers. If benefits information is only provided during open enrollment, employees may forget about their benefits package or not fully understand their options. Employers should consider year-round benefits communication to ensure that employees are up-to-date and informed about their benefits.
There are a variety of strategies employers and HR leaders can use to make the benefits enrollment process more enticing for employees, including:
- Provide personalized benefits counseling
- Use online tools to help employees understand their options
- Offer premium discounts or rewards for completing certain wellness activities or attending benefits education sessions
“At WEX, we have a virtual open enrollment or multiple fairs depending on the plan,” said Boerner. “Employees can visit when it's most convenient for them.”
Increased convenience to benefits education can have a significant impact on an employee’s ability to understand their benefits. Provide easily accessible resources like online portals, mobile apps, and digital tools to help employees access information about their benefits at any time and in any location.
These resources can help eliminate barriers that may prevent employees from engaging with their benefits, such as time constraints or difficulty navigating complex benefits information. Overall, increased convenience in benefits education leads to better-informed and satisfied employees, which often translates to improved productivity, employee retention, and overall company success.
The information in this blog post is for educational purposes only. It is not legal or tax advice. For legal or tax advice, you should consult your own legal counsel, tax and investment advisers.
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