New Colonial Life white paper says they might not be if they’re not communicating them effectively

COLUMBIA, S.C. (April 16, 2013) – Employers aren’t getting the maximum value from their employee benefits if they’re not effectively communicating them to their workers. That’s the message of a new white paper released today by Colonial Life.

“Employee Benefits: Are You Getting Your Money’s Worth?” cites the latest data from Colonial Life’s proprietary research, national research organizations and government resources to examine the importance of benefits communication in helping employers maximize the investment they make in employee benefits.

“Benefits today account for more than 30 percent of employee compensation,” says Steve Bygott, assistant vice president of marketing analysis and programs at Colonial Life. “But if employers are not effectively communicating their benefits, they’re not getting the full value of their investment. That kind of oversight can be very costly.”

How effective are employers at communicating benefits?

The majority of employers think they do an effective job communicating benefits, but Colonial Life research1 conducted among employees with employer-sponsored benefits tells a different story.

“Only 23 percent of employees think their employers communicate their benefits very effectively,” says Bygott.  “Even more troubling is our finding that 9 percent of workers say the benefits communication they receive is not at all effective.”

Employees say understanding their benefits is very important.

The majority of American workers with employer-provided benefits — 73 percent of them — say understanding their benefits is very important, according to the latest Colonial Life research.1 However, not all employees have access to basic communication tools and best practices. Survey respondents reported employers could make several changes to improve benefits communication, including the following:

  • Provide benefits information they can access at home or at work (38 percent)
  • Provide benefits information that’s easier to understand (37 percent)
  • Provide an opportunity to talk with a benefits expert on company time (34 percent)
  • Provide benefits information more frequently (31 percent)
  • Provide benefits information more personalized to their needs (30 percent)

Effective benefits communication strategies don’t have to add expenses or administrative burdens for employers, according to the white paper. There are many relatively easy and practical steps employers can take to strengthen the value of their benefits plans, including partnering with a benefits provider that can offer comprehensive benefits communication and education services.

“For employees to ultimately get the most value from their benefits investment, they need to provide face-to-face, personal communication with their employees,” says Bygott. 

Download a copy of the white paper at ColonialLife.com.

About Colonial Life

Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company is a market leader in providing financial protection benefits through the workplace, including disability, life, accident, dental, cancer, critical illness and hospital confinement indemnity insurance. The company’s benefit services and education, innovative enrollment technology and personal service support more than 80,000 businesses and organizations, representing more than 3 million of America’s workers and their families. For more information visit www.coloniallife.com or connect with the company at www.facebook.com/coloniallifebenefits, www.twitter.com/coloniallife and www.linkedin.com/company/colonial-life.