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How To Put Your Employees at the Center of Your Benefits

As HR professionals, it’s easy to get bogged down in the world of employee benefits. Which are right for my company? And my budget? What gaps do I need to fill in my offering? Often, these questions allow us to lose focus on the most important thing—our employees.

employee benefits

Join PerkSpot’s CEO, founder, and Executive Chairman, Chris Hill, as he dives into what an employee-centric benefit offering looks like. Then, explore the important connection between your employees and the benefits they most utilize, and why. From there, understand how you can use that understanding to seek out and implement better employee benefits and benefits strategies that tap into what your employees really want.

Interested in creating an employee benefits strategy and developing an offering that truly serves your employees? Take the first step by checking out Chris’s most recent webinar here.

Tailoring Your Employee Benefits Communications Strategy for Non-Traditional Employees

A recent report discovered that the turnover rate is the same in organizations that don’t offer employee benefits and those that do, but don’t effectively communicate them. There’s a good chance you have an employee benefits communication strategy in place. But what if it’s not the right one for your employees? Check out this simple guide to tailoring your communication method to your non-traditional employees. It can ensure your employees make the most of their employee benefits!

benefits communication

For remote employees

In 2018, it was reported that 3.9 million Americans worked from home to fulfill at least half of their working hours. Anyone who has worked remotely knows the advantages: more flexibility, productivity, and engagement. But, from an HR professional’s perspective, it raises some difficulties. How can you properly communicate with an employee that you rarely see? It might be hard, but it’s definitely not impossible.

Want to effectively communicate your employee benefits to your remote workers? Turn to the digital possibilities. Remote workers are typically glued to their phones and/or work computers during their working hours. Therefore, digital communication works well here. However, that doesn’t mean you can send a quick ping and hope that the job is done! We recommend a user-friendly website or portal that houses all of your employee benefits offerings. Use email communication to consistently remind remote workers that this exists and is a great resource for any questions or concerns regarding benefits.

For part-time employees

Unlike remote workers, most part-timers aren’t in front of their computers all day. It’s also likely that their benefits suite differs significantly from that of a corporate employee. Whether the benefits you’re offering are run-of-the-mill or part of a more unique voluntary benefits suite, they can be instrumental in helping to retain your employees. In an industry like retail, where the part-time employee turnover rate sits at over 60 percent, employee loyalty is a must.

Want to effectively communicate employee benefits to part-time employees? Reach them at their place of work with physical pieces of communication. Make them specific and interesting, and offer an easy call to action so your employees understand the next steps they should take to learn more about benefits programs. You know your employees best, so consider what you could create that would inspire employees to engage – flyers, posters, and electronic displays are all great ideas you could execute. Give some thought to where to place them so your employees see them.

For gig employees

In recent years, we’ve seen a dramatic spike in the number of gig workers that make up the workforce. In fact, online surveys believe employees who reported engaging with gig work the month before make up between 25 and 30 percent of today’s workforce. However, nearly 9 out of every 10 gig workers has another form of income, meaning the benefits you offer are more than likely supplemental benefits. Keep in mind, these supplemental benefits can be a great tool to attract more employees, so it’s important you communicate them to both prospective and existing employees.

Want to effectively communicate employee benefits to gig employees? Take advantage of the method of communication you currently use to send messages and other important data. For many gig employees, this will be an app or website easily accessed on smartphones or mobile devices. Because they are already comfortable using this platform, it makes the most sense to seamlessly introduce benefits communications to it. Be sure to give ample indication to employees that their benefits can be accessed on an app. Assist them by providing a guide that explains just how to browse through the offerings.

According to SHRM, only 19 percent of employers believe that their employees have a high level of understanding regarding their employee benefits. In addition, 80 percent of organizations reported that their employees don’t even open or read their benefits communications. One possible reason? The communication strategy was developed without employees in mind! When it comes to your non-traditional employees, make sure you strongly consider how they best digest and engage with employer communications and develop your strategy around that.

Don’t forget, PerkSpot is here to help! We realize the importance of tailoring a communication strategy explicitly for the employees. That’s why we have a team of account managers dedicated to creating communications that work for your workforce. Click here to learn about what we can do for you.

Why Aren’t My Employees Using Their Benefits?

Odds are, if you’re an HR professional, you’ve asked yourself this question once or twice (or maybe several times) before. Unfortunately, you’re not alone. According to a 2017 report by Chestnut Global Partners, an international provider of Employee Assistance Programs, less than 7% of employees use their benefit programs to their fullest extent. Yet, a recent Glassdoor survey found that 80% of employees said they would prefer additional benefits over increased compensation. Obviously, benefits have an incredibly strong impact on employees – they just don’t know how to use them properly.

voluntary benefits

As an HR professional, you’ve likely spent hours crafting what you believe to be the perfect employee benefits suite. So, why don’t your employees use them all? We think we know the answer. Check out the 3 most common reasons why employees don’t use their benefits. More importantly, learn how you can solve the problem!

1. They don’t understand them.

Let’s face it, employee benefits can be difficult to comprehend. Perhaps it’s your employee’s first job, and they’re navigating the complex waters of employee benefits for the first time. Maybe your employee feels just downright confused, but doesn’t know where to go to clear things up. Whatever it is, it hurts employees who don’t understand how to utilize their employee benefits package best. So, how can you solve this problem?

Improve the way you educate your employees about their benefits. If this solution sounds simple, that’s because it is! We recommend creating a short, anonymous survey and encouraging your employees to be completely honest when they fill it out. Emphasize the fact that their responses will be used to create a better plan for explaining their benefits. Then, do just that. Figure out where the gaps are in knowledge about your current benefits offerings, and then work to fill those gaps with better and more useful information about the different options available and how they would apply to each employee.

2. They don’t know they exist.

When it comes to employee benefits, chances are your employees know about your run-of-the-mill offerings like medical insurance. However, a new trend is creating a suite of voluntary benefits to attract new employees and keep current ones. Unfortunately, many companies haven’t perfected their communication strategy for these benefits. This causes a problem for companies, as voluntary benefits are one of the best ways to recruit, hire and retain employees. But obviously, employees need to know about their voluntary benefits for them to be meaningful. So, how can you solve this problem?

Expand the way you communicate your benefits. Take a look at how you currently communicate the employee benefits you offer. And don’t just limit yourself to one or two communication strategies. Not only should you be utilizing popular methods like physical flyers, emails, and your company’s intranet, but try some outside of the box ideas as well! Hold a quarterly workshop to walk employees through your benefit suite, and offer a small incentive like lunch or a fun raffle for attendance to the workshop. Give ample warning open enrollment is beginning and work on creating answers to questions you frequently get. It will take some experimentation in the beginning, but when you finally find the right amount of communication that works for your employees, their active utilization of benefits will be well worth it!

3. They think they’re only for high-cost items.

Another common misconception about employee benefits is they are only useful for expensive or high-cost items, like health, dental or vision insurance. Even voluntary benefits like a perks and discounts program are commonly thought of to only have deals for costly items, but it’s actually quite the opposite! Most voluntary benefits have offerings that range from more expensive items to deals on your day-to-day products that any employee can afford – and more importantly, will want! So, how can you solve this problem?

Provide your employees with concrete evidence that their benefits work. When you present solid proof like savings numbers or anecdotes from fellow coworkers about how they’ve saved, it makes it much easier for employees to understand that their benefits, including voluntary, are extremely useful and valuable for them. For example, with PerkSpot, you will regularly receive helpful data about how much your employees are saving through their Employee Discount Program, plus which categories and discounts they’re loving!

We know employee benefit programs have an incredibly positive effect on employees. They offer assistance and security for employees, which, in turn, promotes feelings of happiness. As most managers and HR professionals alike know, a happy employee is a productive, engaged, and attentive employee. If you’re struggling to see full participation in your employee benefits package, it’s likely that your employees don’t understand it, don’t know what it fully entails, or they have misconceptions about it. Solve that problem with one of these easy solutions! If you’re interested in learning about new ways to communicate and educate your employees about their Employee Discount Program, click here!

Why Perks and Discounts Should Be Part of Your Voluntary Benefits Plan

Times are a’changing, and so are the way companies structure their benefits plans. As the workforce grows and new generations enter it, employers have realized it’s time to change the way they think about their benefits. Enter, voluntary benefits. Voluntary benefits plans are becoming increasingly popular in companies large and small, and they often vary by company. One thing that we think every company should include in their voluntary benefits plan? A perks and discounts program – and here’s why.

voluntary benefits plan

But first – what are voluntary benefits?

Voluntary benefits are, at the surface, exactly what they sound like. It’s a plan outside of the run-of-the-mill benefit suite, which typically includes medical and dental. Recently, employers have begun searching for ways they can engage and retain employees and many found the solution in voluntary benefits. These days, voluntary benefits plans have evolved as employers started listening to their employees and taking note of their needs to go beyond the classic plans most companies offer. Mental health and wellness plans, financial planning, and learning and development opportunities are prime examples of ways employers have adapted their voluntary benefits plans in recent years.

So, why should a perks and discounts program be a vital part of your voluntary benefits plan?

Perhaps you’ve already developed a voluntary benefits strategy for your employees that compliments your existing benefits offering. But there’s one thing you might be missing that will bring your plan to the next level. Here are three reasons why you should consider adding a perks and discounts program to your voluntary benefits plan.

Increases Productivity

According to a recent study, almost three-quarters of employees worry about their personal finances. Unfortunately, this worrying happens at work, where it can cost an employer up to $2,000 due to loss of productivity. That’s only one of several reasons why employers should include a perks and discounts program in their voluntary benefits plan.

Allows for Individualization

We know that millennials recently became the largest generation in the workforce, and Generation Z is hot on their tails as they begin to fill internships and entry-level positions. Yet many positions are still filled by Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers. This means we’ll soon have a workforce made up of four generations, all at different stages in their lives and with different financial needs. Some of your employees may be saving for short-term purchases, like groceries or a big trip. Others are thinking much longer-term: houses, family planning, and retirement are on the brain. A perks and discounts program that caters to each individual employee by offering ample amounts of discounts means no employee is left behind. Instead, they get their pick of which discounts will benefit them the most.

Attracts and Retains Talent

Unemployment has been on a steady decline, and companies feel it. They want to seek out new and unique ways to both attract and retain their talent. According to a recent Glassdoor survey, 60% of potential candidates said they strongly consider perks and benefits when considering a job offer. The same survey found 80% of employees said they would opt for additional benefits over a higher paycheck. But the traditional benefits suite won’t cut it, as it’s difficult for these types of benefits to set you apart from other companies hoping to hire or poach your talent. A voluntary benefits plan that offers extra savings opportunities for employees is ideal. It’s a unique addition to your job offer and it shows an invested interest in your employees’ financial wellbeing.

Sometimes, it seems like every element of the HR space is changing. From recruitment and hiring to the benefits you offer, it’s tough to stay current with the evolution of human resources. Let PerkSpot make it easy for you! Reach out today to find out how you can get a perks and discounts program added to your voluntary benefits plan.

What Gen Z Wants

Out with the old and in with the new! Generation Z is entering the workforce, and it is time for organizations to be prepared for their many needs compared to millennials. The next group of young adults is a tech-savvy and inquisitive group of talent, born in a time when political and socioeconomic polarities impacted society (think: economic crash, Sandy Hook, etc.).

generation z in the workforce

If you’re looking to redefine your employee appreciation language for the next generation of workers, consider this.

Who Are Gen Z

Generation Z are born after 1995 and have major respect for personal engagement at work and technology to balance work productivity. These employees will travel the world in order to pursue the career of their dreams. Most are highly intelligent and curious, asking questions on the job to develop ideas for operational improvement initiatives. Unlike millennials, they have realistic expectations for their employers and are vocal in presenting their ideas, despite their lack of work experience.

What Gen Z Wants

As you review a student resume, it is important to search for the skills of your ideal employee that can add value to the team. Try searching for action words such as “invented”, “developed”, “organized”, and “achieved” when creating a shortlist of candidates. Generation Z’s experience will primarily be in committee work on campus, volunteering, internships, and classroom projects, which offer transferable skills that can be used in the workplace. Their lack of experience is an advantage because their perspective of the outside world and discussions with their parents can result in unconventional ideas that can potentially help a company grow.

Salary Expectations

Generation Z grew up when the economy started to recover in North America. If the economic downfall didn’t impact their parents, someone in their circle of friends has a story. This age group, unlike millennials, does not expect to be guaranteed a high salary after graduation. Most realize that the starting salary can start at less than $36,000. According to Fast Company, “Among young college graduates, average wages are $19.18 per hour—only 1.4% higher than in 2000.” Nonetheless, there is an expectation that with experience and time also comes an increase in income before retirement.

Open Discussions with Management

Technology is second nature to Generation Z, but a face-to-face connection with their manager is still vital for career development. It is important to foster open communication. When employee’s feel heard, this adds value to their work experience. These professionals aim to work at organizations that will guide their career with regular performance evaluations.

Workplace Cultures

Flexible workplaces are here to stay for Gen Z with an emphasis on an area for employees to relieve stress and focus on work-life balance. The CEO should project this type of culture down to management.  This helps the group flourish in a company that genuinely practices these initiatives.

Here is a list of flexible work options to consider:

  • A gym in the building
  • Room for employees to destress (i.e., game room, TV room, sleep room)
  • Options to work from home (i.e., once a month)

In addition, well-being programs and personalized healthcare benefits for employees are additional examples worth implementing at your company.

Acknowledged and Taken Seriously

There are many common misconceptions about Generation Z. They do not respect authority, are glued to their phones, lack social skills, and do not want to work hard.  The truth is, Gen Z has an entrepreneurial spirit. However, this also comes with its own advantages. Gen Z isn’t afraid to work longer hours and benefits from how their work positively impacts a company. This group values the opinions of their superiors and working alongside seasoned professionals in their department. They have the confidence to socialize with executives in meetings and share their ideas about customer experience improvements.

As you begin hiring Generation Z at your business, consider what these employees want, the strengths of this generation, and the desired benefits in your decision-making process.