Benefits education directly impacts employee satisfaction

Educating your organization's employees about available benefits may positively influence their satisfaction at work.

Educating your organization's employees about available benefits may positively influence their satisfaction at work.

According to a recent survey sponsored by disability insurance provider Unum, the frequency with which organizations educate employees on their benefits may have a direct impact on how satisfied they are at work.

An article published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reported the survey's findings that  "79 percent of workers who reviewed benefits in the past year and rated their education as excellent or very good also rated their employer as excellent or very good," while just 30 percent of employees who were not satisfied with their benefits education assessed their employer favorably.

So, what does benefits education entail?

"Sending brochures detailing all the medical plan options employees can choose from isn't enough. [Employees] need help planning how to use the benefits—and it must be done on-on-one," states SHRM writer Drew Robb.

Robb's advice is particularly relevant if your organization employs people in a wide age range. Employees who are just entering the work force will have different benefit needs than those who are preparing for retirement.

If your human resources department is overburdened or does not feel equipped to thoroughly counsel employees on their benefits, it may be beneficial to call on experts outside the organization, such as financial advisors. Many insurance providers also offer online access to detailed information regarding available plans. HR software can also be implemented to provide a customized portal for your employees to access such information.

Not only is comprehensive benefits education linked to job satisfaction—it also coincides with a higher rate of enrollment in benefit plans, according to Liz Davidson, founder of Financial Finesse. This may be due to the fact that options are often numerous and can potentially be confusing to navigate.

In addition to improving employee satisfaction, benefits education can cut costs by encouraging employees to utilize their preventive care benefits and engage in wellness activities.