5 ways to engage disinterested employees about benefits

Keeping a countdown for employees is a helpful action for benefits leaders.

In their day-to-day lives, employees at all levels have a million responsibilities on their plate – both personal and professional. When it comes to their jobs and overall careers, workers want to know they are valued members of a team and are allotted the advantages that come with being employed, like benefits.

It can sometimes be difficult, however, for human resources and benefits leaders to get people to care about what is offered to them, especially when there's an enrollment deadline on the horizon. It is the responsibility of these teams to ensure people are aware of what's included in their coverage and get them excited about their provisions. Here are five ways to do just that:

1. Communicate year-round
It's common for businesses to amp up their interactions with employees around the time of an enrollment date. While it's important to do so, this period shouldn't be the only occasion when benefits leaders discuss worker options. Year-round communication surrounding coverage offerings is critical to participation, as it gives people ample time to have their questions answered and concerns addressed ahead of enrolling, according to The Balance. This ability and assurance will make people more engaged in their benefits offerings and more satisfied with their employer along the way.

2. Add an incentive
Want employees to take time out of their busy day to read in-depth details about health insurance options? Give them a reason to do so. The ability to earn points toward a cash prize, gift card or work-related extra can encourage people to learn more about the coverage available to them, according to Forbes contributor Natalie Burg. Not only is this additional knowledge beneficial to HR teams, it's also advantageous to the employees relying on company-provided insurance for themselves and their families.

"Benefits leaders should keep employees updated on enrollment deadlines."

3. Share the countdown
If companies have an enrollment date in the near future, employees need to be made aware. Benefits leaders can facilitate this knowledge by frequently sharing how many days workers have left to sign up for organizational offerings. In addition, these managers should notify people that HR's door is always open to discuss coverage option and availability. With this transparency and timely updates, companies can be sure employees are in the know about their benefits and don't miss out on enrollment.

4. Focus on the takeaways
While benefits managers may be concerned about how certain offerings help the organization as a whole, employees are less interested in those details. Instead, workers want to understand what's in it for them. As a result, leaders explaining coverage should cut out the fluff and extraneous information and concentrate on the benefits for employees, the Society for Human Resource Management recommended. As long as the materials being presented are of value to workers, benefits teams can avoid people's eyes glazing over.

5. Listen to employee input
Benefits teams work diligently to devise various plans and offerings to suit employee needs. Yet, these leaders won't have all the information they need to make such large decisions without the insight of workers themselves. HR managers should regularly check in with employees to see what they like and dislike about their current benefits offerings and what they'd like to see moving forward. This understanding can assist companies improve worker engagement, satisfaction and retention for the long haul.