AQ Group Solutions is proud to present The AQuity 360 Blog Series as part of The AQuity 360 Program™, helping you to avoid The Reactive Decision Trap™. Read this series to see how your organization can build a human capital strategy that proactively aligns with your business strategy and goals.
Part 7: Is your Organization’s Benefits Offering Communicated Effectively?
Organizations invest significantly in the total compensation packages of their employees. They spend time and money determining the right mix of base compensation, bonuses and incentives, benefits and perks. Employees are generally familiar with their base and bonus compensation but they may not have a full view into how much the company supports them through their benefits plan. Giving employees the complete picture of both the benefits and their total cost can markedly increase the plan’s value perception.
Organizations have a great opportunity to highlight their benefits programs through effective and regular communication to employees. Employees should know what benefits are available to them through their employer. Many organizations share the cost of benefits premiums with their employees, however, employees may not know the dollar value paid by their employer. This can be a missed opportunity for the employer to demonstrate some of the additional components of compensation provided to employees.
There are a number of ways an organization can ensure that benefits are effectively communicated and understood by employees:
- The benefits plan should be communicated to new employees through easy to understand materials and worksheets.
- If a large percentage of the workforce speaks a first language other than English, an employer may want to consider translating their materials.
- The employer might consider adding a webpage to their organization’s intranet that provides additional materials, benefits calculators and webinars highlighting how to enrol or make changes.
- Monthly or quarterly benefits newsletters/emails can highlight additional optional benefits or voluntary benefits and can educate employees on benefits they might be less familiar with like EAP, Best Doctors or Critical Illness.
- Engage your benefits consultant to assist you in providing employee value statements that illustrate total compensation each year broken down into different components (base salary, bonus, benefits, and other perks) and gives employees a view into their total compensation.
- Quarterly/semi-annual/annual meetings or town halls can be held to present benefits information and allow employees an opportunity to ask questions and comment on the plan.
Give employees the benefit of the doubt when making changes to the benefits plan and be transparent. If the organization is struggling to deal with increasing costs or a poor plan design, communicate with employees. Obtain buy-in through education and information. Communicate the challenges, possible alternatives and why a particular alternative has been chosen.
A Benefits Committee can be helpful in communicating the benefits plan through ambassadorship. A Benefits Committee is composed of employees from different levels, provinces and divisions of an organization and typically plays an active role in working through plan changes. The committee members are a part of the decision making process and understand the reasons for the final decision. These committee members can be an organization’s best asset in disseminating information and helping others understand the decision.
Benefits are an important component of the total compensation package and organizations should take the opportunity to highlight the investment they are making in their workforce through effective and regular communication. When employees understand the benefits plan offering and the value of the plan, they become more engaged and have a higher degree of satisfaction with the plan and the organization.
At AQ Group Solutions we believe that every successful organization requires a human capital strategy that proactively aligns with their business strategy and goals. We created The AQuity 360 Program™ to help you avoid The Reactive Decision Trap™, save time and make more money, attract and retain more great people, and achieve your business goals.
Your business decisions require strategic planning and precision alignment to your overall objectives. Why should your benefits be any different? Call us to find out how you can strategically align your benefits to your corporate and financial objectives.