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Bang for Your Buck: Getting the Most Out of Employee Benefits

Employee benefits have always been a vital part of an employer’s offerings, but never more so than in the wake of the pandemic and the Great Resignation. Millions of workers have left their jobs, and while the reasons vary, central among them is the sense that employers don’t care about their team members as individuals. A robust benefits package is more essential than ever to attracting and retaining talent.

There’s more to benefits from the employer side than simply spending more, however. While your benefits suite may indeed benefit from some upgrades, how it’s presented – and how often – can make a big difference in employee perception.

Benefits packages can be complex and confusing. Failure to communicate details to team members may leave them unaware of available benefits. For this reason, many employers turn to technology, establishing an online portal as a hub for benefits information and other resources.

A portal has many advantages over the old drill of having workers sit through an annual orientation and sending them out the door with a stack of documents. Information can be updated regularly, employees can do their research from anywhere at any time, and employers can pinpoint underused benefits and do a better job of making employees aware.

A repository of information that just sits there unused, however, doesn’t help anyone. Management needs to communicate what’s available online, why it’s important and how to get to it. This is not a one-time effort but an ongoing process. Employees who were uninterested in the details a few months ago might have seen changes in their lives – a wedding, a baby, an illness – that makes their benefits a much higher priority. Communicate often and in detail, but always in ways that are easy to understand. Highlight the value of company offerings.

A good portal does more than convert all those paper documents to electronic ones. Employees should receive notifications of important deadlines, have access to plan selector tools that guide them to the right choices in health coverage, and have a direct line of communication with HR for answers they can’t find online.

The good news is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to create an online portal. Many benefits providers such a platform as a part of an employer’s package. These portals are not only information repositories but can also be a mechanism for two-way communication, such as claims reporting. A better understanding of this data, as well as which benefits are being used (or underused) can help an employer not only to refine its offerings but to uncover problem areas and help keep costs down.

Done properly, online resources will help an employer to maximize its spending on benefits and make it more attractive to new candidates and existing employees alike.

Questions about employee benefits? Contact Consolidated Insurance.

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