Skip to main content

Common Benefit Pain Points for Smaller Employers – And How to Fix Them

Krupa Patel, Vice President of Solution Consulting December 14, 2022

Finding the best combination of benefits to fit your company’s budget and meet the needs of your workforce isn’t easy. Beyond developing the right strategy for your business, there’s the added challenge of educating employees about available benefits to help them choose the best plans for them. And once they’ve enrolled, you must encourage employees to use those benefits, if you want to improve utilization and better control healthcare spend.

Managing this process is no easy task for any employer–but it’s particularly challenging for smaller organizations. While every business is unique, there are some common pain points that smaller employers experience when it comes to employee benefits. 

In this blog, we’ll explore some of these widespread challenges–and share helpful tips and tools to help overcome these obstacles.

Limited HR Resources and Common Pain Points

Smaller employers may lack the HR staffing and other resources to devote to benefit communications. Further complicating matters is that today’s HR teams are frequently asked to do more with less. As a result, benefits engagement efforts are often limited in scope and impact.

The good news is that the right technology can be an extension of your HR team. Consider a turnkey engagement tool that does the heavy lifting for you, automating manual processes like benefit communications, and freeing up vital internal resources to focus on other priorities–which means you’ll no longer have to worry about juggling multiple tools or training new team members on complicated systems or software. Look for a budget-friendly solution that’s easy to set up, intuitive to use, and features “set it and forget it” capabilities. 

Benefits Confusion

It’s no secret that benefits can be difficult to understand and navigate. Your benefits ecosystem likely consists of multiple insurers and other vendors, making it hard for employees to access, understand, and use available benefits. And if benefits are confusing, employees are less likely to use them.

Giving employees a single point of access to benefits and resources can be a game-changer. A digital benefits hub can make benefits navigation easier, guiding employees to the benefits they need, providing valuable educational information, and helping to boost overall engagement.

Ineffective Communication

Even organizations who come up with the perfect mix of benefits for their employees still struggle to effectively communicate what they mean and their value. The manual process of creating and sending emails chews up valuable HR resources, and that’s just half the battle. The bigger challenge is getting your employees to open and act on those messages.

To create benefits communications that employees will respond to, personalizing your benefits outreach can help. While mass emails can save you time and effort, they are always impersonal and often ignored by employees. Personalized communications, or messages that target a specific segment of your employee population, significantly improves benefits engagement and utilization. A communications platform can help you microsegment your workforce and send automated, personalized messages that will resonate with your employees.

Limited Tech Resources is Just Another Pain Point

No matter their size, employers typically have a wealth of data, but they often lack the tech know-how and resources to automate personalization or mine that data for actionable insights. Consider a solution that uses data to create robust profiles of every employee, enabling targeted, ready-to-go messaging campaigns that inspire employee action.

The right solution can also deliver vital information on population-level health, such as utilization trends, gaps in care, or health inequities–insights that can shape your benefit engagement strategies.

Poor Engagement Reporting

Whatever your benefit engagement efforts are, you need to know if they’re paying off. Yet many smaller employers lack meaningful reporting on program performance. Without it, you’ll miss out on critical insights you need to optimize your benefits package, improve communications, or enhance existing benefit strategies.

The right platform can pay dividends. Look for a solution that offers real-time dashboards and closed-loop reporting to track engagement efforts, including metrics such as sent messages, impressions, clicks, and more. With this data, you can track progress toward desired business outcomes like benefits utilization, employee engagement, or cost containment, and easily measure ROI for every engagement strategy you implement.

Bottom line, as a small employer, you want to provide a rich benefits package that helps you attract and retain talent–but you also care deeply about maximizing the health and wellness of your workforce. With the right engagement tool, you can boost benefits utilization and, as a result, improve your employees’ financial, physical, and emotional well-being. Creating a personalized, positive benefits experience for your employees, while also taking pressure off your HR team, is a win-win for you and your workers.