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Why Aren't Employees Engaging With Your Perk Plans?

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Last Update: February 19, 2024

In the current competitive job market, businesses battle not just to attract leading talents but also to keep them. The key to this is voluntary workplace benefits that address various needs such as health care, retirement savings, professional growth, and work-life balance.

However, a common problem arises. Despite expanding these benefits to cater to a diverse workforce, engagement and usage rates remain low.

For example, the Employee Benefits Research Institute found that only 12% of employees access voluntary workplace benefits, with 37% reporting that their employers offered no information or education on said benefits.1

So, what causes such a gap? And how can HR departments resolve it? This article explores reasons for this underutilization of work perks and strategies HR professionals can enact to boost employee involvement with benefit plans.

Why Are Benefits Being Underutilized?

Forbes and the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that benefits, on average, totaled roughly 30% of employees’ total compensation.2 With so many missing out on workplace benefits, these employees are missing out on a notable portion of their compensation package. So, what is causing the disconnect?

To start, decoding complex benefit packages can be a formidable challenge. Understanding retirement plans such as 401k contributions and Roth IRA options, along with health insurance alternatives and paid leave policies, demands thoughtful decision-making from employees.

Often, these choices are hindered by bureaucratic intricacies and wordy jargon that frequently exacerbate confusion for many professionals.

In addition, poor communication concerning the array and worth of provided utilities contributes significantly to their underusage. A Reward Gateway study outlines poor communication as the explanation almost half (49%) of workers don't fully leverage or value their work incentives.

Finally, every organization consists of staff members at different life stages with diverse needs, which calls for specially tailored schemes to seem genuinely relevant. Grasping this diversity is vital in proposing valuable plans that receive maximum usage.

Enhancing Benefit Plan Engagement

The good news? HR departments can employ proactive strategies designed specifically to maximize employee engagement and make the most of their investment in their benefit packages.

Simplification and Education

The initial step in improving employee benefits engagement is translating complex terms into simple, accessible language. HR teams must make all communication with employees easy to understand and jargon-free.

Interactive tools with visual aids like diagrams or infographics can simplify intricate information while appealing to a broader range of employees.

In addition, routine educational sessions should be arranged where employees can clear up any confusion about the various plans offered. To enhance these sessions further, real-life examples could illustrate how different benefits would practically help meet specific needs.

Comprehensive Communication Strategy  

A robust communication strategy is fundamental when it comes to ensuring employees are aware of what benefits are offered. This includes regular updates – beyond onboarding – via newsletters, team meetings, individual emails, or even social media platforms regarding any changes related to provided plans.

Transparency must exist alongside open channels of dialogue between management and staff where questions are encouraged rather than avoided.

Personalizing Employee Benefit Options

The key to success in today's market lies in personalization. Offering a variety of plan options and flexibility allows employees to select benefits that suit their individual needs best.

Whether it’s wellness programs, flexi-time, or discounted child care centers – companies with diverse workforces should accommodate specific individual circumstances as much as possible.

Through this approach, organizations could witness a higher usage rate, leading to increased satisfaction levels among staff members.

Furthermore, data analytics can be used to gain insights into which benefits are more attractive to different demographic groups within your organization. This enhances personalization and fosters better engagement with benefit schemes.

Regular Monitoring and Feedback 

In revamping a benefits engagement strategy, implementation is not the final step. It's crucial for human resource departments to regularly assess employee opinions about the range of benefit plans available. They should also actively seek feedback on how these plans can be enhanced.

Analyzing how well or poorly employees have received these plans enables adjustments and modifications that ensure their continued relevance in changing times rather than becoming outdated and irrelevant.

Empower Your Team With Enrich 

Incorporating financial wellness into your suite of employee benefits is an intelligent decision in today's economic climate. Financial stressors can significantly impact productivity levels, job satisfaction rates, and talent retention efforts.

Many employees often grapple with creating budgets or understanding financial investments such as 401(k) plans – but this is where Enrich steps in to help.

The Enrich Financial Wellness platform provides tailored personal finance education that enhances your workforce’s financial status and overall mental health. From saving for homes to managing debts or planning retirements – Enrich covers it all comprehensively.

Through engaging learning experiences coupled with easy-to-use tools, Enrich aims to boost your employees' financial well-being. 

Reach out to Enrich today – contact Enrich for a demo and discover how you can utilize the Financial Wellness platform to enhance employee engagement in your organization.


1 - https://www.ebri.org/content/full/the-state-of-employee-benefits-findings-from-the-2018-health-and-workplace-benefits-survey

2 - https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbeshumanresourcescouncil/2022/12/01/how-employers-can-act-on-unused-employee-benefits/?sh=2113594f7e73

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