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Half of US Employers Find It Challenging to Educate Workers on Benefits

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Last Update: March 20, 2023

In a recent survey, half of US employers reported that they are challenged by educating their employees on available benefits.1 

This is a troubling statistic, as it means that employees are not taking full advantage of the benefits offered to them and that a lot of employer efforts are wasted.

The survey showed that employers are struggling to get their employees to understand the value of the benefits they are offering. With the cost of healthcare and other benefits rising, it’s vitally important for employers to get this information out to their employees.

Employees need to understand the value of the benefits they are offered, and how to use them to their advantage. Unfortunately, many employers are falling behind in delivering the proper education.

Why Is This Important?

Benefits are a crucial component of an employee's total compensation package, and there are several reasons why employees not being educated on them is a very important issue.

  1. Attracting and Retaining Talent: By offering and educating employees about their comprehensive and attractive benefits package, employers can make their company more attractive to job seekers and help to retain their current employees. 
  2. More Informed Decision Making: Providing education on benefits can help employees make better decisions about their own health and financial well-being. With an increased understanding of benefit options, there is an increase in employee wellness, as employees can make more informed decisions, and are better able to navigate uncertain times.
  3. Increased Employee Health: It allows employees to access preventative care and medical treatment when they need it, which can help to prevent and manage chronic conditions, improve physical, emotional, and financial wellness, reduce absenteeism, and improve overall health outcomes. 

Why Employers Are Struggling

This has been an ongoing issue for many years. However, the snowball has now started to catch speed and is running out of control. Employers need to recognize the main reasons2 why they are struggling with getting the word out to their employees. 

Lack of Resources

One of the main reasons employers struggle to educate their employees is that many don’t have the resources to provide comprehensive education on the subject. 

They may not have the time or the budget to develop materials or training sessions on education. The sheer amount of information that needs to be communicated to employees is vast, and this puts a strain on employer resources.

With so many different benefits options available, and the constantly changing landscape of benefits, it can be difficult for employers to find the time or money to clearly and effectively communicate all of the options to their workers.

Lack of Effective Communication

Another challenge is that many employers are not sure how to effectively communicate the value of their benefits packages to their employees. They may not understand how to properly explain the benefits packages or why they are so important to employees. 

Without clear communication and education, employees may not fully understand what options are available to them, or where to look for more information.

Poor email communication is the number one culprit in this area.

Effective Email Communication is Key

Email communication is likely the most important channel for delivering information to employees about their benefits. Email is a convenient and cost-effective way to reach employees, especially with the increases in remote work and flexible work schedules.

A key factor to look at with email communication is open rates. This is the percentage of recipients who open an email, and this information is very valuable for measuring the effectiveness of email communications. 

A good open rate for email can vary depending on the industry and the specific target audience, but generally, open rates in education above 25% are considered good.3

Open rates matter because they indicate the level of engagement of employees with the benefits communications.

Low open rates may indicate that employees are not interested in the information being sent to them, they are under the impression that the information is not relevant to them, or they are not receiving the emails due to issues such as spam filters.

There are several ways to improve your email open rates and increase employee engagement with benefits communications:

  1. Targeted subject lines: Using personalized and relevant subject lines that grab the attention of the recipient can increase the likelihood that they will open the email.
  2. Personalization: Addressing employees by name, including relevant information, and sending emails that are tailored to their specific needs can also increase open rates.
  3. Timing: Sending emails at the right time, such as during work hours or when employees are most likely to check their email, can also increase open rates.
  4. Frequency: It is important to balance sending enough emails to keep employees informed without overwhelming them with too many emails. This will make them more likely to open and engage with the emails received.
  5. Calls-to-action: Adding clear and compelling calls-to-action in the emails will help encourage employees to engage with the information and take action.

Invest In Educating Your Employees

As we have all learned by now, one of the best investments you can make is in the health, wellness, and productivity of your current employees.

Make educating your employees about their benefits a top priority, ensure that you use proper communication when educating them, and utilize effective tools to help educate your employees



1 - https://insurancenewsnet.com/innarticle/half-of-us-employers-challenged-by-educating-workers-on-benefits

2 - https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbeshumanresourcescouncil/2019/11/04/the-benefits-literacy-crisis-what-employers-can-do-to-educate-employees/?sh=27f073e267c3 

3 - https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/average-email-open-rate-benchmark 

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