August 15, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - More than half of employers surveyed (55.6%) report that the effectiveness of their benefits communication efforts has improved during the last three years.
However, nearly half (45.4%) are not satisfied with their current communications strategy, and an additional 28% are ambivalent, according to the 2012 Inside Benefits Communication survey from Benz Communications. Seventy-eight percent of employers cite getting employees engaged year-round among their biggest challenges, yet less than one-third (28.9%) are communicating with employees year-round.
Employers' top goals include executing a successful annual enrollment (60%), increasing workers' use of preventive care (48%) and increasing employees' 401(k) savings. Fewer than one-quarter (24%) report meeting these goals last year; 18.8% are not sure.
Only 24.2% are connecting their benefits strategy to their company's bigger business strategy; less than half (46.9%) try. More than half (54.6%) do not document their benefits communication strategy, and 41% state they are not sure if their benefits communication efforts are helping them meet their goals.
More than two-thirds (68.3%) report budgets of less than $25,000 for benefits communication; 10.1% report budgets between $25,000 and $75,000. The majority of these budgets are not being spent strategically. For example, two-thirds (66%) report print and postage costs (one-time non-renewable expenses) as consuming most of their budget. The full survey report can be downloaded from here.