The article below was published on February 29, 2016 by the International Foundation of Employee Benefits, written by Brenda Hofmann.

In a new International Foundation Benefits Communication survey, only 19% of employers reported their employees have a high level understanding of their benefits. When asked why this is, employers overwhelmingly said their employees do not read the information they provide or they don’t understand it. If your organization has made benefits communication a priority, consider the advantages that one-on-one communication can provide.


Here are three reasons to consider one-on-one benefits communication:

  1. Break the Benefits Lingo 
No doubt you’re fluent in Employee Benefits-ese (a complex language with perhaps the most impressive array of acronyms I’ve ever seen), but your employees aren’t. Taking the time to sit down with them one-on-one allows you to answer their questions in plain English—not the legalese of your employee handbook.
  2. Improve Job Satisfaction
Employee benefits can play a huge rule in employee satisfaction. A MetLife survey found that employees who are very satisfied with their benefits are almost four times more likely to be very satisfied with their jobs! Educate your workers about the employee benefits available to them, and they’ll feel more confident in their selections and understand the valuable role they play in their total compensation package.
  3. Increase Health Literacy
When it comes to your health care plan and making wise health care decisions, your employees are sure to have questions. ACA has only added to the confusion, with half of employers reporting an increase in ACA questions. Remind your employees of the benefits you offer to help them live a healthier lifestyle, and take the time to answer their specific questions about your plan options.

If you’re considering one-on-one benefits communication at your organization, identify the specific benefits you’d like to increase awareness of and ensure your staff is prepared to answer questions.

Health care benefits can be especially confusing—More Americans are uncomfortable navigating their health care benefits than buying a home. Convenient training options like the new Certificate in Health Plan Navigation can provide comprehensive training for your benefits team and the information they need to support plan participants in making the best health care choices.

You work hard to offer your employees a comprehensive benefit package—Don’t let your benefits remain misunderstood!