For individuals tasked with fostering a positive work environment, it is vital to maximize every resource. America is suffering from layoffs, salary reductions and a host of other factors working against our would-be motivators. Having said that, these corporate rays of sunlight are still hoping to shine down a little joy at their companies, and we’re all better for it.
One effective way to boost morale amidst a downtrodden group is education. More specifically, benefits education.
Even if your company is scaling back benefits, and even if your co-pays are rising exponentially, you can still garner great amounts of appreciation from the benefits—yes, even with your employees.
Benefits are an engine that your company purchases to drive recruitment and retention—a very expensive engine. Doesn’t it make sense to get the most productivity from that purchase?
Several studies have linked education of the benefits to appreciation, all arriving at the same conclusion. Measured with survey questions such as: If a competitor offered you a job, how likely would you be to take it? How happy are you at your current job? Employee appreciation was tied to both the manner of education and the actual benefits themselves. In other words, companies that spent less money on benefits, but more focus on good education reported happier employees than competitors.
Keeping in mind that benefits are put in place to recruit and retain, the level of employee appreciation you glean from them should be the central focus.
Employees read the papers and understand when companies are struggling, making cuts to keep afloat. What employees are less understanding toward is being left in the dark—decisions made in manners that they feel detached from, administered in ways they feel forced into.
Talk to your broker about education. You’re subject to the same 24 hour day we all are. You have enough on your plate, and that’s what they get paid for! Once a year, at open enrollment, is not enough. You should receive monthly outreach pieces, prompt industry updates (Health Care Reform, COBRA subsidy etc.), frequent face-to-face gatherings, easy to understand benefit brochures, exciting enrollment events, and helpful new hire kits among a myriad of other practices designed to help you maximize ROI surrounding this expensive retention tool. Could your company’s education improve? Be sure you are getting the most from your benefits.