Winning the Battle for Top Talent: How to Better Communicate Total Compensation

As the economy improves, recruiting and retaining top talent will become more of a competitive sport for employers. Winning the battle will not only require a total compensation package that includes comprehensive benefits, but also the ability to communicate the value of those benefits.

Employee benefits, on average, account for approximately 30 percent of the overall cost of compensation, with healthcare as the primary contributor to that percentage. Other contributors include paid leave, ancillary benefits and required benefits such as worker’s compensation. However, it’s likely your employees only see what goes in and out of their paycheck and not the dollar amount you contribute each month. And while the breadth of your benefits package could impress prospective candidates, you could be missing your opportunity to differentiate yourself from your competitors in the job market.

According to the Inside Benefits Communication Survey Report by the National Business Coalition on Health and Benz Communication, 93 percent of companies communicating year-round achieved their top benefit goals. These companies were also more likely to incorporate best practices like targeting communication. Communicating benefits on a personal level can improve how your employees and prospective candidates perceive and maximize the value you’re providing, helping you boost recruitment and retention efforts in an increasingly competitive job market. Here are a few ways you can showcase how much you value your workforce and your commitment to employee satisfaction.

1. Keep employees connected to their benefits

You could have the best benefits package in the world, but your employees will not realize its full value unless they understand how their benefits work. According to the 2015 Unum Benefits Buyers Study, 38% of Gen X and 54% of Gen Y employees “strongly agree that they need more help understanding how their benefits work and how these options meet their needs.”

Give your employees a centralized online portal where they can access all of their benefits information any time they need it. Incorporate educational videos, interactive financial calculators and additional resources to help them understand the benefits available to them. You can also post reminders about exclusive perks such as gym memberships, wellness programs and corporate discounts. Design the portal to reflect your unique corporate culture and brand so your employees associate the value they gain from their benefits with your company. And when you’re trying to land that top tier candidate, give them an inside look at the portal to reinforce your commitment to creating an employee-centric work environment.

2. Increase transparency into your contributions

There have been several studies that show the positive impacts of providing total compensation statements, but for many companies, it’s a once-a-year distribution. Adding a total compensation statement online that is integrated with your HR, benefits enrollment and payroll system can automatically give your employees full visibility into what you’re contributing to their financial wellbeing beyond their paycheck. You can put a dollar amount on almost everything, from PTO and healthcare to wellness incentives, expense reimbursements and other employer-sponsored benefits including life insurance, retirement and disability.

3. Think outside the box

Traditional voluntary benefits such as life, critical illness and accident insurance are great for protecting your employees financially from catastrophic events. And without these plans, it would be hard to stay competitive in today’s job market. There is much more out there you can bring to the table at little, or no cost to you… pet insurance, legal assistance and healthcare transparency tools to name a few. Take a look at your workforce demographics and benchmark data to see where there is opportunity to enhance your benefits package. Your efforts won’t go unrecognized, especially when you use the communication strategies mentioned above!

See how you can apply these tips to your communication strategy and boost employee satisfaction year-round.