Are you communicating clearly?

Employees don’t get it…but you may not be telling them.

It may not come as a surprise to you that the average firm pays more than 30% of payroll to provide benefits to employees. This includes things like vacations, health insurance, retirement plans, and Social Security. This is a lot of money. Yet, there is research that shows the employees think that what they pay for benefits is the entire cost of the benefits.

So, employers are spending a great deal of money to provide benefits for their employees yet many employees are not aware of this. In other words, you work very hard to come up with a meaningful benefit package and comply with all kinds of regulations and are getting very little credit for it. This is not a good model.

There are three important things when it comes to employee benefits – Communication, Communication, Communication. Most people are aware of the need to provide annual statements to employees showing what the benefits are and what they cost but it seems that these statements are not having the intended effects. Many firms do little more than hand out a simple description of benefits and a booklet. At KBS we want to help you not only design and implement strong benefit programs, we want to help you communicate with your employees.

There are many ways to do this and they do not need to cost a lot of money. Let’s take some time and think about human nature. Have you ever been to an event where they have given away t-shirts? It seems that people will do just about anything for a free t-shirt. Your employees are probably similar. Here are a few different, low cost, ways to think about communicating the benefits you are providing to you employees

  • If you have a parking lot set aside one prime parking space for the person who answers the weekly/monthly question you put out about your benefit package. This person will get acknowledgement and more than one person will find out the deductible on the health insurance plan (or whatever the question is).
  • Give a t-shirt to the first 5 people who tell you how much money the firm paid for health insurance for each employee last year. Employees will actually have to read the annual benefit statements.
  • Provide a free lunch for the first department that gets 100 percent compliance with open enrollment. Somehow we humans really like competition.

These are just a few simple ideas that you can use to help get more value for the already considerable dollars you are spending. At KBS our goal is to provide you with more than just the benefit plans. We want to be your partner and help you maximize the dollars you are putting into employee benefits. We have many ideas like this, give us a call  or email us if you want to see how you can take full advantage of our services.

K B Squared
Winfred Kirksey