Author: Kristen Wood
Annually, nonprofit Human Resources teams invest a large amount of their time and resources into building and executing an attractive employee benefits' strategy. Typically, nonprofit organizations use rich benefits to offset lower wages. These leaders see the importance of employee benefits to recruit and retain talent and to care for employees and their families.
That said, benefits are only valuable when they're communicated. If you fail to effectively communicate the total rewards you're offering, as well as how to use these benefits, you'll fall short of the great potential they can offer.
Benefits communication needs to span beyond open enrollment and onboarding. Benefits, specifically health insurance, can be very confusing (even for HR professionals). Here are three tips to continually educate and empower your employees in this area:
- Create an ongoing conversation: Send out weekly or monthly fast-facts via email or newsletter. These can be as simple as "What is a deductible?" or "How do you find an in-network provider?" This communication is also a great opportunity to spotlight your newer or less-used benefits.
- Use decision support tools: This resource educates employees about their choices and makes personalized recommendations based on information entered like employee demographics, health history, ongoing prescriptions, etc. It's unbiased and confidential and will leave your employees feeling confident about the decisions they make.
- Train the trainer: Are your managers well versed in your employee benefit plan? Often times, they are the employee's first stop for questions about what is available to them and how to use the plan. Consider a seminar or webinar designed to train the leaders in your organization on the plan and how to answer any questions an employee may have.
These tips are only the beginning. Any step you take in better communicating the benefits offered at your organization is a step in the right direction. Once you have the basics down, consider a benefits website or surveying your employees to recognize their level of understanding. Remember, a little can go a long way, and your employees will recognize and appreciate the effort.
If your benefits strategy isn't what you'd like it to be, Gallagher's Nonprofit Insurance and Consulting practice can help. Benefits and HR consulting is just one of the many services the team provides to nonprofits.