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Why Your Employees Don’t Utilize the Benefits You’re Paying For

Matthew Martin
Marketing Manager

Learn how to help your employees feel more valued and leverage the benefits you provide.

When it comes to employee benefits, your company probably isn’t getting what it’s paying for. While two of every five companies have a portion of their budget devoted to communicating employee benefits, only 7% of American employees make use of these perks.

Why are your employees ignoring their benefits? And why should it matter to your company?

Do employees use their benefits?

While employee utilization of benefits is low, offering these perks is an important attractor for new talent and for employee retention. From paid parental leave to free meals, massage, and increased paid time off, employers are going above and beyond the traditional health insurance and 401(k) plans to include new and creative ways to attract and keep employees.

Although 97% of employees say benefits are important, utilization statistics show that many of these benefits are ignored. Benefits often equal more than 30% of an employee’s compensation, and they certainly have a huge impact on a company’s bottom-line profitability.

Why should employees use their benefits?

For employers, keeping employees healthy and happy is key to retention. But health benefits are often misunderstood or used inefficiently; 80% of organizations report that most employees do not even open or read their benefits materials.

Why should employees utilize the benefits they’re earning — and you’re paying for?

  • Health care coverage alone costs employers about $15,000 per employee.
  • The costs of benefits are rising at two times the rate of wage increases.
  • Happier and healthier employees are more productive.
  • Many other benefits for employees outside of health care are costly and require upkeep that your staff may not be aware of.

Ironically, a lack of communication about benefits can lead to employee turnover, dissatisfaction, and cost inefficiencies. It can also negatively impact your ability to attract top talent. Given that employee benefits take up such a large cost center, how can businesses afford to be inefficient with their employee benefits utilization?

Increasing employees’ benefits usage

Human resources (HR) can play a big role in improving employee benefits usage. But HR teams also need the right tools to help them communicate consistently and clearly. Benefits are complicated; more than one-third of employees say they don’t understand their benefits. So, how can HR improve how they communicate on this complex topic?

  • Build a communication plan. Communicate about benefits regularly, not just during orientation and open enrollment.
  • Track usage data. Understanding the cost versus benefit ratio will help HR teams better craft benefits packages that really matter to employees and their families.
  • Make it simple. Try to simplify the benefits process by decreasing the number of steps an employee needs to take to use them. Cut down on paperwork whenever possible.
  • Use visuals. HR should partner with the communications team to create rich and interesting benefits information details via video or infographics to encourage employee interest.
  • Ask employees what they want. Try polling employees for suggestions on benefits they would really use. This might help you understand why the current benefits aren’t being used.
  • Create a knowledge hub. Educating employees on how to use preventative benefits and why they matter is just one way to improve utilization. Using Q&A videos or how-to webinars will help demystify benefits, create familiarity, and improve usage.

Having the right communications software is crucial to increasing employee usage of your HR benefits. Unika.ai allows you to manage internal communications and gather usage data. Its easy-to-use content management system and predesigned templates reduce the effort required to communicate employee benefits consistently and clearly.

Key Features

Unika was built to help organizations easily create, discover, and use knowledge to enhance employee productivity and increase business outcomes.

Experience Finder

Experience Finder

Leverage your organization's collective experience for better decision making; easily search for internal experts by skill sets, industry expertise, and more.

AI-Enhanced Search

AI-Enhanced Search

Unika’s Intelligent-Knowledge-Assistant searches through your Unika environment and other connected systems to help answer FAQs, find people, find assets, or support complex research scenarios.

Profiles

Profiles

Create easy-to-read profiles that include biography, skills / expertise, employment history, certifications, affiliations and other key information about your employees.

Stacks

Stacks

Organize and populate knowledge into a consolidated page that can be shared internally or externally with clients.

Knowledge Campaigns

Knowledge Campaigns

Deploy knowledge campaigns to inform employees about active pursuits, new clients, or firm news.

Integrations

Integrations

Connect your document management systems, CRM, and other popular applications with ease and confidence.