Employers Fail to Engage Workers Year Round

Fifty-six percent of employers say that their main focus with benefits is to improve employees’ understanding of the value of the benefit offerings. Yet many companies still don’t have personalized benefit communications at a time when employees commonly expect it. These are the findings of a survey of more than 330 employers conducted by the non-profit National Business Coalition on Health and Benz Communications. The following are key findings:

  • Professionals spent the most time over the last year working to improve employees’ understanding and perceived value of benefits (56%). Time dedicated to lowering health plan costs was second (47%), followed by maintaining compliance (47%).
  • More than 80% reached all or some of their benefit goals last year. Communication played a major part in this success as 73% say benefits communication helped them meet their goals last year.
  • Keeping employees and families engaged in their benefits year-round was noted as the largest communications challenge (75%). However, 64% only communicate with employees once a year at annual enrollment, and 46% only measure success by reduced calls to the HR/benefits department.
  • Forty-one percent rely on feedback from employee surveys and focus groups to gauge success. Employers also use metrics, such as reduced benefit costs (40%), improved wellness biometrics (26%), reduced employee health risks (25%), and increased retirement plan participation/account balances (24%)
  • 90% put benefit information online. However, only 50% offer information outside the firewall so that it is accessible to spouses/partners and other family members. Only 40% have their Internet sites optimized for viewing on mobile devices.
  • Just 15% use social media in benefit communications. Fifty percent of these forward-thinking employers use Facebook to communicate; 37% use blogs, and 31% use Twitter. Fifty-seven percent of them have been using social media for one to three years, indicating these channels have just begun to scratch the surface of benefit communications.
  • Sixty percent of 2014 respondents say their annual budget for benefit communication is less than $25,000. Three-quarters say that amount has remained flat over the last year. Plus, one-half spend the majority of that budget on one-time costs in printing or mailing.

Last Updated 10/20/2021

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