Spell Out Your Benefits to Improve Employee Loyalty

Posted on Monday, April 15, 2019

You may have the best employee benefits package in town, but it's not enough to just have the programs in place. You have to put forth an additional effort to educate your workers on the value of the benefits available to them. This isn't just academic: Investing effort into benefits education may pay significant dividends in terms of employee loyalty, turnover, recruitment and retention.

A study done by employee benefits research and consulting firm Harris Interactive indicated in companies where employees were thoroughly and frequently briefed on their benefits packages on a regular basis they were substantially more likely to have positive views of their employer. They were also far more likely to report that their employer also values them, in return. And most importantly from the employers' point of view, the study established a strong positive correlation between benefits education efforts and employee productivity.

The study identified some best practices from around the country. Among their recommendations:

Provide time for workers to study their own benefits. Workers who had a period of at least three weeks to review available benefits were much more likely to report they had been given adequate opportunity to review materials compared to workers who had less than three weeks. These workers were also more likely to say they were able to make rational and informed decisions.
Use multiple media. Researchers found the most effective education programs reached out to employees across multiple platforms, including Web and Intranet materials, printed materials such as posters and brochures, and in-person presentations. This makes sense because not all individuals learn the same way.
Communicate early and often. Surveys indicate constant communication back and forth between the employee's management and HR team is a key factor in workplace morale, retention and productivity.


Workers are hungry for information. The retirement and health care landscapes are changing rapidly, and many employees need help trying to catch up. Defined benefit pension plans, for example, are vanishing, but many workers don't fully understand the ramifications of 401(k) and 403(b) plans and other defined benefit plans.

The Affordable Care Act has left a lot of employees with questions about their options. Many employers have changed their plans to bring them into compliance with ACA regulations concerning minimum required coverages. However, there have been a number of changes in the timeline which workers find confusing.

Nevertheless, workers continue to highly value a quality benefits package. It's up to your company leadership and HR team to be aggressive about getting the message out to workers, though, and letting them know how much they are valued, and easing their concerns.

This is a never-ending process. Even the natural evolution of employee turnover by itself can necessitate a quarterly information and education push concerning employee benefits. Furthermore, adding a new benefit to a Section 125/Cafeteria plan, or making a material change to any plan, can be a great reason to get people together and reinforce the value of your overall compensation package.

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Disclaimer: The information contained in Dulin, Ward & DeWald’s blog is provided for general educational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or legal advice on any subject matter. Before taking any action based on this information, we strongly encourage you to consult competent legal, accounting or other professional advice about your specific situation. Questions on blog posts may be submitted to your DWD representative.

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