HR Managers Say Employees Do Not Understand Benefits; Improving Employee Communication Is Top Priority

Human resource (HR) managers are frustrated with their employees’ understanding of their benefits packages, according to a recent Quick Poll from human resource consultant Corporate Synergies Group. The poll found that 84 percent of HR managers said plan participants do not understand how their “lifestyle or utilization decisions” impact the cost of benefits. In addition, just 8 percent said that they felt their employees had a good grasp on how their decisions impact the cost of benefits.

The findings point to a need for employee-focused programs that lead to smarter usage of benefits, Corporate Synergies noted. HR managers are placing a high priority on this; asked to prioritize benefits activities, respondents said that educating employees about their benefits is their top goal. Interestingly, controlling costs, either for the organization or for plan participants, ranked lowest on their scale. However, most chief financial officers believe that controlling costs is the most important objection, Corporate Synergies noted.

“There is a disconnect between what chief financial officers think is important and what HR managers think is important,” said John Turner, chief executive officer of Corporate Synergies. “It’s an issue that begs a conversation between the two to ensure that their priorities are properly aligned. As it so often is, this is about communication.”

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