How (Not) To Talk To Your Employees About Their Financial Benefits

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You spent weeks searching for the perfect candidate, putting them through a rigorous interview process, creating a great orientation experience for them, and working hard to making sure that they feel at home at your company. So why do some employers spend more time on the break room decor than they do explaining their company’s benefits package?

Take it from us, a well-thought-out plan that explains your company’s health, dental and vision insurance, 401K, paid time off and payroll is a far better investment in long-term employee happiness and engagement than a Taco Tuesday.

How to create an awesome benefits play for your employees

Avoid these tried-and-terrible tactics:

Print out, hand out, and then never discuss again

Want to make sure that the 30-page company handbook (and benefits explanation) that you worked so hard to negotiate will never get read? Print it out on white paper (be sure to single-space it!) and leave it on your new employee’s desk. Assume he or she has read and understands everything inside of it, rinse and repeat.

A better idea: Include a short and sweet (bonus points for keeping it to two pages!) breakdown of benefits when you send your offer letter. Giving a potential employee all of the facts about the entirety of their employment package from the get-go will save you the uncomfortable “our health insurance costs how much?!” conversation after the candidate becomes an employee.

Additionally, assuming you have built out a solid new hire onboarding program–ours spans two days and includes presentations from all of our functional leaders and teams!–be sure to include highlights in your People Operations/HR presentation. Make sure your deck includes an overview of health, dental and vision costs, your payroll schedule, any important dates regarding enrollment, your PTO policy and contact information (if you are on a PEO, does your Account Manager have an email/phone number?), for who they should go to for what.

Always allow time for employees to ask questions before they begin work, and send them the slides after the presentation is over so that they can refer back if needed.

Hoard information

Just because you have a robust benefits presentation on an employee’s start date, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have easy access to it again. Consider putting the deck with all of your benefits information and your employee handbook in an easy-to-access location like an HR Slack channel, a Confluence page, or a company shared drive. Being transparent shows employees that you’re proud of your offerings and that you’re happy to discuss them.

Don’t forget to keep it updated and continuously benchmark your offerings against other companies in your ecosystem. No one wants to look at 2016 documents when they’re trying to figure out when to contribute to their IRA.

How to create an awesome benefits play for your employees

Be clueless

Do your company’s financial benefits make sense to you? If they don’t, they won’t make sense to your employees.

Take a deep dive into the numbers and details behind your company’s benefits offerings, particularly medical/dental/vision plans and 401K to make sure that it all adds up. You should know your company’s benefits backward and forwards–and if you don’t, have the contact information for the person who does at the ready.

Additionally, your benefits package could tip the scale when your employees–who are surely receiving emails from other recruiters-–compare your offerings to other companies’ packages, so analyze often.

Stop trying to empower your employees

You hired someone to come in and explain employee benefits back in 2015. Wait, was it that long ago?

Take time to keep employees in the loop regarding updates to their benefits. Even if it’s all status quo, it shows that you have an interest in their personal growth and that you care about how they’re investing in their futures.

Remember, you don’t need to be a certified financial advisor or health insurance broker to be able to explain benefits at a level that most employees can grasp. They’re counting on you to help them start their financial journey, especially if it’s their first job.

Get Stash

Help your employees plan for their future with Stash. Have your employees sign up today, and they’ll get a $5 bonus to start investing with the code findspark1: stashinvest.com/start-investing/findspark1

Disclosure: The views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of Stash. Stash is not providing any financial, economic, legal, accounting, or tax advice, or recommendations in this article.

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