Choosing the most important benefits to employees in 2020. Increase employee benefits participation and engagement with our three-step strategy.

Best Money Moves recently forecast the top 10 employee benefits for 2020 and we’ve developed a simple, three-step strategy to help you identify the benefits your employees want most and formulate a communications plan to increase participation and engagement.

How to Choose the Most Important Benefits to Employees in 2020

Step #1 Audit Your Current Employee Benefits 

Conduct an audit of your current employee benefits package. You’ll want to know which benefits are used most frequently and which benefits are underutilized. If there isn’t an annual report for benefits utilization, work with HR to create a process for it going forward. Historical data comes in handy whenever you’re making benefits decisions.

If a benefit is underutilized, it doesn’t necessarily mean that benefit should be scrapped. Nearly half of employees don’t understand all the benefits their organization offers. The next step helps you determine whether it’s a benefit that employees don’t value a benefit that needs to be restrategized.

Step #2 Survey Employees and HR

A short employee survey gives you insight into what benefits are the most important benefits to employees in 2020. Make sure to include questions about benefits that appear to be undervalued and benefits you’re thinking of introducing. Multiple-choice questions quickly determine which benefits are most sought after, and, if you include open-ended questions, they’ll tell you why those benefits matter most.

While you’re at it, survey your human resources team. What questions do they get about benefits? Are there any benefits employees have asked about that the organization doesn’t offer? What do they think about the current benefits engagement process? Is there any way they think benefits communication can be improved? How? Including HR in the planning process gives you a better understanding of how benefits are managed day-to-day and where improvements can be made.

How to Increase Employee Benefits Participation and Engagement

Step #3 Improve Benefits Communication

Employee benefits participation and engagement comes down to one thing: communication. Traditional meetings or emails that give employees large amounts of information are no longer an effective way to educate employees. Shorter, bite-sized benefits information sent over a longer period of time is a better way to improve employee understanding.

“Releasing “bite-sized” bits of information on different benefits every quarter could vastly improve employees’ understanding of benefits selection and enrollment,” said Misty Guinn, director of benefits and wellness at cloud-based benefits platform provider Benefitfocus.

This does mean more work for HR, but the good news is that most of it can be automated with minimal updates once templates are written. Test different methods of communication, like text messaging, phone calls and instant messenger in addition to emails or meetings. Track participation, open and click rates to see which method is the best way to reach your employees.

Employee benefits and perks are the battlegrounds where employers are fighting the war for talent in a tight job market where unemployment hovers at a nearly 50-year low (3.7%). Moreover, employee benefits account for more than 30 percent of total employee compensation. It’s worth developing a better benefits process and improved engagement strategies to make sure your organization offers the most important benefits to employees in 2020.

More on the Most Important Benefits to Employees in 2020:

Top 10 Employee Benefits for 2020

4 Big Employee Benefits Trends for Family Planning

Financial Wellbeing and Its Role in a Complete Employee Wellbeing Program

5 Must-Have Benefits for Millennial Employees

Top 10 Workplace Etiquette Rules for Communication

Hiring Trends to Watch in 2020

How to Support Mental Health at Work