How to encourage employees to utilise their benefits

Companies offer benefits to ensure a happy, motivated, and well-rested workforce. Still, more than half (52%) of American workers do not use all of their vacation days.

Leadership and HR professionals must help employees learn to utilise their benefits.

Emphasize three factors when promoting your company’s benefits to your employees:

  1. Educate employees

  2. Model desired benefits behavior

  3. Provide employees’ benefits ownership

Attract and retain talent in a competitive job market by providing workers a work culture that emphasises the importance of taking advantage of benefits offerings.

Fully Educate Employees

Employees who understand their benefits are more likely to utilise them.

According to ADP, however, four in 10 employees don’t fully understand their company’s benefits package. Almost two-thirds of mid-size companies were found to have no internal communication budget for their benefits plan.

A lack of awareness and education is preventing workers from maximising their benefits.

Employees must understand the full range of their benefits. You can improve employee participation by explaining how benefits can be applied in your employee’s daily lives.

For example, anticipate the needs of employees who are starting a family by communicating the benefits your company offers for doctor’s visits and childcare. Employees starting or raising a family will now be fully informed about their options..

Another means of educating employees about benefits is to invite a benefits representative to answer questions, provide additional materials, and detail the value of a given program. This way, employees have the opportunity to learn from and connect with an expert

By educating employees about the range of their benefits options, you can help them feel comfortable accessing the opportunities.

Lead by Example

Employees will examine the behaviour of their company’s leadership team when deciding whether or not to use benefits.

According to Marketwatch, eight in 10 employees say they would take more time off if they felt supported and encouraged by their boss.

Yet many workers feel pressure from their boss to skip PTO, stay connected, and not fall behind in their work. Experts say that Americans forgo vacation time because they fear losing their job and being perceived as undedicated to their career.

Though the current economy favours job seekers, most U.S. companies have an “employment-at-will” policy, meaning a worker can be fired at any time unless their contract says otherwise.

To combat feelings of job insecurity, your company’s leadership must set a positive example and vocalise support of benefit maximisation.

Use HR resources, monthly emails, and direct communication to make clear that an “always-on ”mentality isn’t your company’s ambition. Instead, illustrate that you want employees to be happy participants in a meaningful work culture that respects their needs.

Take Ownership and Respond to Employees

Employers must help employees feel a sense of ownership and control over their benefits.

Tailored benefits help to attract and retain top talent, so solicit feedback from employees about the benefits they value most. When workers feel like benefits exist for them, they are more likely to participate in these programs.

You can also offer incentives to drive participation and make benefits more relevant. For example, reward employees for engaging with voluntary health benefits by offering gym memberships, free lunch events, or gift cards.

By giving employees ownership over their benefits, workers feel encouraged to enroll and will participate further as they are rewarded for it.

Encouraging Employees to Use Their Benefits

Companies should promote and exemplify the value of their benefits packages.

If workers feel encouraged to maximise their benefits, businesses will find it easier to attract and retain a motivated and productive workforce.