Few Employees Benefits Experts Despite Importance of Worker Buy-In

September 26, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A new survey of human resources officials and benefits managers finds, while there is widespread agreement that it is important employees think their workplace benefits package is a good deal, comparatively few workers actually hold that view.

The Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company poll of 650 HR/benefits executives found 90% knew employee buy-in was important. However, a Colonial news release said, 21% thought workers at their companies had a good understanding of their benefits package while nearly 5% of respondents thought their employees knew nothing at all about their benefits.

“Employers who have implemented a benefits communication plan have been telling us for years how important that has been for the bottom line,” said Tom Gilligan, senior vice president for Colonial Life, in the news release. “Employees who have been properly educated about their benefits tend to stay on the job longer than those who don’t understand their benefits.”

Colonial Life asked employers how they communicate about benefits:

  • 90% of employers said having one-to-one meetings would significantly improve employees’ understanding of their benefits but only 58% of employers offer them.
  • 80% use employee group meetings to explain their benefits.
  • 44% have employees enroll for benefits using the Internet
  • 40% of employers require employees to self-enroll for their benefits.