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Not Communicating About Benefits Can Cause ‘Exponential’ Risks | Kathryn Mayer

​Without question, a benefits package is a vital part of the employer arsenal.

But there’s a recurring problem: Benefits communication often falls short at organizations, with many employers only talking about, or promoting, offerings during open enrollment. And even then, many employers send out just an email or two without much information or education. Recent research from benefits administration firm Optavise even found that HR leaders are communicating with and educating employees on benefits less than they have in years past.

That often leaves employees in the dark about how to get the most optimal use out of their offerings.

But that may be starting to change, said Casey Hauch, managing director at consulting firm WTW.

“We’re seeing a greater emphasis on communicating benefits and making sure people understand what they have and how to use them,” she said.

That’s likely due to a couple of reasons: One, because employees continue to say they don’t understand their benefits, and two, because employers are realizing the importance of their total rewards package for attraction and retention efforts.

“Benefits are table stakes—you have to have them—but now we’re seeing in the research that they actually are a differentiator in terms of why people join and stay in an organization,” Hauch said. “So, employers are really looking to promote that as part of the value proposition to get the most bang for their buck to get that awareness and appreciation.”


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