Effective communication is the key to making things run smoothly. Just ask any manager or CEO. If the right message isn’t getting through, things won’t happen the way you want them to.

Employers struggle with employee communication for many reasons. It takes time, effort and collaboration to create a clear and unified message— and that’s just the beginning of the process. Then you have to figure out how to get the word out so everyone sees it, hears it, and understands it. This is true across the board, including when it comes to employee benefits.

Companies spend a tremendous amount of money on health benefits, yet often spend very little time communicating about them. Unfortunately, this lack of information transfer can actually increase the cost and decrease the value of your plan. It can also affect your bottom line.

Not convinced? Check out these quick facts:

  • According to McKinsey, there is potential for up to a 20% reduction in benefits program cost when it’s communicated properly.
  • MetLife shares that 71% of Employees who are highly satisfied with their benefits report a strong sense of loyalty.
  • A study by Watson Wyatt found that companies with effective communication practices were 50% more likely to have employee turnover below industry averages.
  • Towers Watson reports that companies with highly effective communication are 1.7 times as likely to outperform their peers.

Ultimately, you want to provide employee benefits in a way that is both cost effective and a great incentive to recruit and retain top talent. If employees don’t know how to use their benefits, they can’t use them wisely. Additionally, if they don’t understand the full scope of offerings, they can’t fully appreciate the value. Both of these things run counter to what you are trying to accomplish.

We get it. No one has scads of extra time floating around. Often, it feels like a struggle just to check off the basics. But slowing down and taking the time to build better communication practices will actually help you move faster. Why? Because when you don’t communicate clearly, you end up with:

  • Managers repeatedly needing to explain plan details and enrollment processes
  • Employees seeking management time to ask questions and clarify procedures
  • Co-workers frequently discussing their frustrations and confusion
  • Loss of trust due to lack of transparency and clarity
  • Lower levels of employee engagement

If this isn’t where you want to be, don’t worry! There are ways to start improving employee communication right away. Here’s one quick idea:

Hold regular team meetings to share company goals and updates, benefits information, client success stories, employee kudos, etc.

  • Make sure your meetings are short, specific, and a good use of time
  • Keep them moving with a variety of interesting and educational information
  • Send the agenda out in advance so people can come prepared to participate
  • End each meeting by confirming what everyone should take away and what follow up is needed

Take a few positive steps today to improve employee communication and see how far you can go!

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This is the third post in a series of blogs designed to help you look beyond the cost of insurance to control employee expenses. For more information on this topic, read 500 Words series – An Overview and 500 Words on Employee Engagement or download our eBook below.

5 Pillars of Employee-Related Expenses eBook