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October 13, 2011

Communicating Employee Benefits

Filed under: Benefits,Communication,General HR Buzz2:57 pm

Your company likely invests a great deal of time and effort in evaluating, implementing, and delivering employee benefits programs.  Your HR staff and benefits professionals must research the alternatives, determine what is best for the organization, and then communicate the value to the employees in a way that keeps everyone informed and satisfies the letter of the law.

Granted, summary plan descriptions are a good start, but reading one leaves me with the same feeling I have after reading the list of precautions that comes with a prescription antibiotic – do I really need this?

Employers need to evaluate whether they are truly communicating benefit information in a meaningful way – or, just checking the box.  Eric Parmenter, Vice President of Consulting for HighRoad, suggests the following, “Read some of the federal guidelines on health reform and you will see what not to do. SPDs are the primary source of information for plan participants. SPDs are not just conveying the information—it’s conveying information so the audience not only understands the topic, but also understands the impact on them.”

Eric also suggests that employees must take greater responsibility for knowing the details of their benefit plans.

Read  Eric’s five steps for better employee benefit communications here.



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