While most companies rate maintaining communication with employers as one of their highest priorities, the 2012 Inside Benefits Communication survey from Benz Communications has shown that most of them are talking much more about communicating rather than actually communicating. Highlights of the survey include:
• 78 percent of employers said that keeping employees engaged was a top priority and challenge but just about 29 percent are taking steps to communicate with employees all year round.
• Over 55 percent of employers reported that the effectiveness of their benefits communications with employees has improved over the past three years while about 45 percent said their current communications strategy is insufficient. An additional 28 percent of respondents claimed to be unsure.
• Top goals reported by employers included having a successful annual enrollment (60 percent), increasing the use of preventative care by employees (48 percent), increasing the level of 401(k) savings of employees. Just 25 percent reported meeting these goals in 2011 while about 19 percent were unsure.
• Nearly 55 percent of employers said they do not document their benefits strategy and 41 percent said they do not know whether the efforts at communicating are aiding them in meeting their goals.
• 24 percent of employers are attempting to connect their benefits strategy with that of the larger business strategy.
• Over 68 percent of employers reported a sub-$25,000 budget for benefits communication while about 10 percent reported budgets between $25,000 and $75,000. Most of these budgets are not spent strategically.