I recently read an interesting article from Aflac insurance. According to their research, people are less likely to take someone's advice about dinner choices at a restaurant at which neither has eaten, than they are to take uninformed advice about what to order from the company's benefits menu.
Just 40 percent of employees participating in the Aflac study feel extremely/very informed about the benefits offered at their companies. In part, this may be due to the fact that employer communications about benefits are sporadic and infrequent. For example, most employees report: their employers communicate about benefits less than three times a year. Only 24 percent do so three or more times a year. Perhaps most telling is that 44 percent of employees say they receive too little communication about benefits from their employers. In the absence of real information, employees often turn to less-than-reliable sources for insight and guidance. The majority surveyed, 61 percent, say they receive information and/or advice about employee benefits via word of mouth; 45 percent consult colleagues and 36 percent rely on friends or family.
A strong business case can be made for improvements to companies’ benefits communications efforts. The Aflac study found that 41 percent of workers agree they would be less likely to leave their jobs if they were well-informed about their benefits. The turnover cost alone is an incentive for employers to make changes in how and how often their organizations share benefits information. A crucial step forward for companies is acknowledging the possibility that their communications need improvement. Often, executives have false perceptions. For example, 85 percent of employers believe their HR departments are effective at benefits communication. However, more than one-quarter (27 percent) of workers say their HR teams communicate not very/ not at all effectively, and another 39 percent say the efforts are somewhat effective.
Benefits packages can influence employee loyalty (86 percent), productivity (81percent), job satisfaction (89 percent) and retention (77 percent). With all of those things at stake, implementing a more effective communications and education plan is simply smart business.
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