Its that time of year again, boxed lunches, boxes of donuts, and boxes of name-brand coffee in the break room can only mean one thing; its time to check those boxes on your employee benefits election form. Every year it feels the same, time for you to shop 401(k) plan options, shop through health insurance packages, and to peruse all the other employee benefits that you glossed over during employee orientation a year ago. However, this year something feels different. That’s right, you are prepared this time. You’ve done your homework, and you are looking forward to making the right benefits election and you are set to succeed.
While your coworkers are still sweating over these crucial decisions, you’re in-and-out of the enrollment process, sandwich in-hand, and head held high knowing that you came fully prepared. Your colleagues are impressed and look to you for guidance. And then one of them says:
“How did you choose your benefits so quickly? I usually have to spend a few hours reviewing how mutual funds in my 401(k) and deductibles on my health insurance work, and even then I don’t understand it. How did you get so good at understanding this stuff?”
That’s when you let your coworker know:
“I signed up for My Financial Coach recently and I finally understand what all this stuff is and how it works for me.”
Knowledge is one of the most powerful tools that a consumer has when it comes to buying products, and that same knowledge is ever-important to the employee come benefit election time.
Many companies have difficulties attracting talented individuals and then retaining those individuals. HR teams hope that whatever programs they bring on board will help keep everyone happy. Unfortunately, there just isn’t a set benefits program that will make everyone happy. Coordinating and choosing between a large selection can also be difficult when employees are juggling between work and home life.
The fact is that even if a company offers the top tier of benefits, employees often continue to overlook and not take advantage of those tremendous benefits. Often an employee might ask for a raise while neglecting the instant raise of a company’s 401(k) contribution match or taking advantage of group insurance pricing of many products such as health, life, and disability insurance.
For those employees that do take advantage of their benefits however, there is often another blind spot. The advice that they may be receiving is specific to one subject or product, rather than comprehensive in nature. So while there are many benefit providers who offer 401(k) plans and insurance benefits to the company employees, but those accompanying lunch and learn sessions often only provide general financial information about these benefits. However, to truly understand what benefits employees need, having a conversation about financial products does not address the goals for those products. Nor does this kind of guidance put all of the benefits together to see how well they coordinate.
Benefit providers are also not using a 401(k) plan or a health insurance plan to put all of an employee’s personal financial information in one easy to access location. These providers are not modeling out for every individual goal an employee has. Finally, these benefit providers are not providing a comprehensive financial analysis that goes beyond product education in the areas in which those specialists servicing the company.
At My Financial Coach, we understand the struggle that many families face in making employee benefit decisions. This struggle starts with the frontline employee but reaches all the way into the C-Suite. People just don’t have the hours to dedicate to understand what employee benefits fit into their financial picture. Whether it is deciding to defer out ten dollars all the way to deciding whether to defer out a million dollars, individuals want to have someone to talk to in helping them decide.
Keeping this in mind, HR and leadership have options in deciding how to motivate employees around their benefits outside of putting out the good coffee and breakroom food during open enrollment.
At My Financial Coach, we believe that most HR and leadership teams could greatly benefit from My Financial Coach’s Financial Wellness and Planning services to make their benefits work for everyone and not just feel a “nice to have” garnish just because employees do not yet understand their value.
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To help companies understand what is available in the marketplace, My Financial Coach has provided a great tool that shows the various resources available in the marketplace:
Consider upgrading your employee benefits experience today!