Insightful Employee Benefits Tips for Educating Young Employees about Your Benefits

Originally published in Take It Personel-ly September 8, 2023

For many businesses, employee benefits play a vital role in attracting and retaining top talent. Despite their importance in creating a supportive work environment, these benefits are occasionally misunderstood or overlooked, especially by younger employees. By improving understanding and awareness, you can ensure that all employees fully recognize and take advantage of their benefits.

However, navigating through topics like 401ks, health insurance, and retirement planning can be daunting for early career professionals. That’s why employers must educate their young workforce about the significance and practicality of the benefits they provide.

By following certain tips and implementing best practices, businesses can ensure that their young employees comprehend and fully leverage the advantages while guaranteeing a return on investment for the organization.

Use clear language

Clarity is vital when communicating your company’s benefits to young employees. Since many may be encountering these concepts for the first time, it is crucial to avoid industry jargon or complex terms that may cause confusion. Instead, choose simple and concise language that is easily comprehensible.

Simplify intricate ideas by breaking them into manageable, bite-sized pieces that are easier to comprehend. Utilize relatable analogies or real-world examples to transform abstract concepts into tangible ones.

For example, instead of stating a deductible amount, explain how it works and what it means for employees’ healthcare expenses. The goal is to ensure employees fully understand the benefits without overwhelming them.

Lean on employee benefits technology

The younger generation, often digital natives, are incredibly comfortable with new HR technologies. They’ve grown up with it and often prefer it to traditional methods of communication. You can leverage this familiarity with technology by incorporating the benefits of technology into your education strategy.

Numerous apps and software available can help simplify benefits information and make it more accessible. These tools can provide personalized benefits information, answer common questions, and even guide employees through enrollment. Some platforms also offer interactive features like quizzes and games to make learning about benefits more engaging.

Meeting your young employees where they are – on their digital devices – can make the learning process more engaging, interactive, and, ultimately, more effective.

Create an employee benefits resource center

Implementing a resource center, whether online or physically, is a valuable strategy to empower employees with knowledge about their benefits. This comprehensive hub could encompass a range of resources, including informative brochures, frequently asked questions (FAQs), engaging video tutorials, insightful webinars, and even personalized one-on-one sessions with a benefits specialist.

An online resource center offers significant advantages, allowing employees to access information at their own pace and convenience. They can revisit the content as frequently as necessary until they understand it completely. On the other hand, a physical resource center can offer personalized assistance, making it particularly valuable for more intricate subjects.

The goal is to offer a range of resources that cater to diverse learning styles. This way, you can guarantee that all your employees, regardless of their preferred learning method, have the essential tools to comprehend their benefits.

Conduct learning sessions

Organizing regular learning sessions is an excellent way to educate your employees about their benefits. These sessions could take various forms – from on-site workshops and seminars to digital webinars. The goal is to provide a platform where the various aspects of your benefits package can be explained in detail.

Consider inviting experts from each field to these learning sessions. Having insurance brokers, financial advisors, and healthcare professionals explain the specifics of each benefit can help your employees better understand them. They can provide in-depth insights, answer questions, and dispel any misconceptions.

However, it’s important to remember that employee benefits education should not be a one-time event. Laws change, plans are updated, and employees’ circumstances and needs evolve over time. Therefore, regular refresher sessions are crucial to ensure that your employees stay up-to-date with any changes and can make informed decisions about their benefits at any time.

Implement a feedback loop

Communication should never be one-way, especially regarding something as crucial as employee benefits. Implementing a feedback loop is an effective way to understand what your employees think about the current benefits, what aspects they find confusing, and what additional benefits they might value.

There are several ways to gather this feedback. You could conduct regular surveys, set up suggestion boxes, or hold open forums where employees can voice their opinions. This helps you identify gaps in your current communication strategy and makes your employees feel heard and valued. After all, the ultimate goal is to provide benefits that your employees truly appreciate and utilize, and their feedback is invaluable in achieving that.

Make it fun and engaging

Learning about employee benefits doesn’t have to be monotonous or daunting. It can and should be fun and engaging. Consider incorporating quizzes, games, or competitions into your learning sessions. These interactive elements can keep your employees interested and motivated.

Infographics, videos, and interactive tools can also be used to simplify and present complex information in a more digestible way. For instance, a short animated video explaining how a 401(k) plan works could be more engaging and easier to understand than a lengthy text document.

You might also consider creating a rewards program where employees earn points for participating in these sessions. These points could be redeemed for small perks or benefits. This not only encourages participation but also reinforces learning. Employees are more likely to remember information when learning is enjoyable and rewarding.

Ensure your employees get the most out of your employee benefits

When employees thoroughly understand and genuinely appreciate their benefits, they are more motivated to use them. As a result, job satisfaction increases, benefits are optimally utilized, and the workforce becomes happier and healthier and more loyal. 

By dedicating time and resources to educate your employees about their benefits, you are making a strategic investment in the future success of your organization.

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