Do Employees Understand the Value of Your Benefit Offerings?
By David Ortloff
Dillingham Benefits, A UBA Partner Firm
Value is a funny thing. What one person might value, another couldn't care less about. Either way, you never want to assume value is there -- especially when it comes to how your employees perceive the employee benefit program being offered. After all, your employee benefits costs are likely some of the largest costs on your business ledger, so why spend so much money on something that isn't valued by the people you receive them?
Many companies out there work hard to find and implement the best employee benefits program that fits the perceived needs of the employees. They utilize the top carriers in the marketplace and acquire quality coverage at the lowest price possible. They do a great job implementing coverage, getting applications and paperwork in to the carriers on time. So far, so good, right? More often than not, companies stop there and give themselves a pat on the back. They don't take that crucial extra step to ensure their employees actually understand and appreciate the true value in what is being offered.
Are you getting every penny's worth of value out of your current employee benefits offering?
A number of issues can erode the value of a benefit offering in an employee's mind. Here are just three all-too-common examples:
1. Poor Communication
a. The positive aspects of a benefits offering aren't communicated effectively
b. Employees lack an understanding of their coverage options and how the coverage actually works
2. Poor Employee Advocacy
a. Employees don't feel like anyone is watching out for their best interests with claims issues, etc.
3. Poor Perception of Benefits Offering
a. Organizations don't have a legitimate comparison of their benefits offering with other employers in a region, employer size or industry.
In studies, employees have been found to have a higher regard for "below average" benefits offerings that have been communicated well, compared with "above average" offerings that aren't communicated well. With that in mind, imagine how much value could be built in your employees' minds if the benefits offering is properly communicated? Perception is reality.
Often, creating more value with your employees doesn't mean spending more. On many occasions, less expensive types of coverage, or even voluntary (employee-paid) coverage can be valued more by employees than the current benefits offering. Many employers simply never stop to ask their employees what types of coverage they value.
Don't be an employer that provides a quality benefits offering that is perceived as "ho-hum" by your employees. There's not much value there.
If your organization feels like you aren't extracting all the value possible out of the time, work and expense you are putting into your employee benefits program, reach out to your local UBA Partner Firm. They'll give you access to an array of "best in class" resources and tools , including communication tools, benefit benchmark studies, and employee survey tools, that will help you illustrate and extract the real value out of what is being offered in your program.