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Insightful Employee Benefits Tips for Educating Young Employees about Your Benefits

As the competition for top talent intensifies, businesses are focusing on innovative ways to attract and retain desirable candidates. Employee benefits are a key aspect of recruitment and retention, but they can’t differentiate an employer brand if their true value is overlooked.

Younger employees in the millennial and Gen Z generations have different expectations for their benefits than Gen X and baby boomer counterparts. In addition, benefits aren’t part of education, so many young candidates just entering the workforce may lack the real-world experience to identify competitive benefits packages and make informed decisions.

Still, navigating tops like health insurance premiums, retirement planning, stock options, and 401ks can be daunting for young professionals. As an employer, the responsibility falls on you to improve understanding and awareness to ensure that your young employees take full advantage of their benefits.

Benefits education can be daunting for you as well, but these tips and best practices can help you showcase the value and practicality of your benefits packages and help your employees make strong decisions for their short- and long-term health, wealth, and happiness.

Speak in Clear Language

Benefits can be complex. Clarity is the most crucial aspect of communicating your company’s benefits to your young workforce. Some of these employees may be navigating benefits for the first time and may get lost in the jargon or esoteric language. Instead, simple and concise language that’s easy to comprehend can illuminate these concepts.

You can reduce some of the complexity of benefits by breaking the concepts down into simple, digestible bits that are easier to explain. Real-world examples can go a long way to help your employees understand more abstract concepts and language-heavy ideas into more tangible ideas that apply to their lives.

For example, instead of speaking in terms of deductibles, copays, and premiums, explain what these terms mean and how that translates to out-of-pocket expenses for your employee. This way, you can help them understand their benefits and make decisions that support their health and financial well-being without stress.

Schedule Learning Sessions

Having routine learning sessions is a great way to educate your employees about their benefits. You can work with on-site workshops and seminars or rely on digital sessions with webinars and virtual Q&A sessions. These sessions should focus on the different aspects of benefits packages and the technology.

If possible, invite benefits experts to learning sessions, such as insurance brokers, financial advisors, and healthcare professionals to help your employees better understand them. These experts give employees in-depth insights and can answer questions as needed for personalized education.

Rely on Benefits Technology

The younger generations are more comfortable with technology than their older counterparts. Much of their world is digital, from communicating with friends to attending college, and they expect similar tools and platforms in the workplace.

HR technology should be part of your education strategy in itself, but it can also help you as a learning tool. Apps and software can simplify benefits information and make it more accessible to your employees, even on their own.

For example, benefits technology may have side-by-side plan comparison, glossaries to break down complex benefits jargon, and deep analytical tools to calculate out of pocket expenses, personalized benefits information, question and answer forums, step-by-step enrollment guidance, and interactive elements like quizzes and games. This allows employees to address questions as they come up, making learning about benefits a more engaging experience.

Taking benefits education to your employees where they want to be, which is on their digital devices, can make the learning process more interactive and effective for better retention.

Set Up a Resource Center

Setting up a resource center is a strong strategy to empower employees with knowledge about their benefits. This can be either online or in a physical location, but you should have a comprehensive hub that offers a range of resources like an FAQ section, video tutorials, informative brochures, and insightful webinars. To take it a step further, offer personalized one-on-one sessions with a benefits specialist.

Having an online resource center offers several distinct advantages. Your employees can access the information they need when it’s most convenient for them, and they can revisit concepts as often as they need until it’s comfortable and familiar. A physical resource center can be beneficial for personalized assistance and complicated situations.

However you choose to set up your resource center, make sure to offer a diverse range of resources that help people with diverse learning styles. While your younger employees may need more benefits education, the goal should be to support all employees with essential tools and resources.

Create a Feedback Loop

Benefits communication is not a one-way street. Creating a feedback loop helps you understand what your employees think about the current benefits and how you can improve your benefits education strategy. You can learn what aspects of the package they find confusing, what types of resources they’d like to see, and what innovative benefits you may want to consider.

There are numerous ways you can gather feedback, such as surveys or suggestion boxes. Open forums are a good way to get more in-depth feedback from your employees as a group. It’s best to utilize multiple types of feedback to identify gaps in your current strategy and help your employees feel heard and ensure that they feel their input is valued.

Keep It Engaging

Learning about employee benefits can be monotonous, but it doesn’t have to be. You can make benefits education fun and engaging with interactive elements that gamify the experience, such as quizzes, games, and competitions to encourage friendly rivalries and keep employees interested.

In addition, gamification helps to enhance learning and retention to ensure that your employees become comfortable with the material. All benefits concepts are broken into smaller and more digestible bites for better attention as well. For example, an animated short to explain a 401(k) plan is easier to understand than a contract with dry legalese.

A rewards program where employees earn points for participation can also create incentives for employees. Points can be redeemed for small rewards, such as snack vouchers or a prime parking space.

Empower Your Employees with Benefits Education

When employees understand and appreciate their benefits packages, they can make the most of them and realize the investment you have in your workforce. They are more satisfied with their jobs and become happier and more loyal.

Author Bio: Frank Mengert

Frank Mengert continues to find success by spotting opportunities where others see nothing. As the founder and CEO of ebm, a leading provider of employee benefits solutions. Frank has built the business by bridging the gap between insurance and technology-driven solutions for brokers, consultants, carriers, and employers nationwide.

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