The Fall benefits season is rapidly approaching, and it seems like a time that causes high stress for employees and HR benefits professionals. With the pandemic, the work environment as we all knew it, was turned upside down, with many organizations making up the rules for hybrid or remote work as they went. Many organizations were even shifting to virtual hiring experiences to reach a wider audience of prospects.
HR professionals were suddenly bombarded with questions about benefits and how Covid might impact their benefits should they become sick. Not only were physical health questions in the forefront of everyone’s mind but HR also found themselves fielding questions around mental health benefits available as Covid restrictions and changes within work environments heightened mental health concerns within the workplace.
The question employers must begin to answer is: How will we rise to meet the ever-changing workplace environment and make the needs of our staff a priority?
The days of in-person “fairs” are becoming less and less popular and with the pandemic, more companies are offering remote working opportunities. The time is right for a re-think of your company’s benefits fair program.
The goals for many organizations are to not only attract, retain and engage top talent but also sustain the perks offered as well as appealing wages and salaries. Using an employee benefits fair is a common tactic to highlight benefits programs, sustainability programs, and corporate culture to achieve those goals across all generations.
One study reported that three-fourths of employees place extreme importance on employee benefits in relation to job satisfaction!
Happy employees make for a happy workplace! Helping employees to be fully aware of the great benefits and activities being offered to them has typically been hard work and requires significant resources for the HR team as well as all the benefits partners that are supporting the program. Taking the program online or even hybrid with some online and some in-person activities can ease the pain and relieve the stress for everyone.
Some options to consider for your benefits fair that can create an informative experience are:
- Having Q&A sessions that your staff can attend with a representative from a benefits partner.
- Hosting a guest speaker from a mental health agency that can discuss the importance of using mental health benefits like your company EAP as well as tips for preventing burnout.
- Utilize networking rooms for staff to privately connect with representatives via video chats.
- Create benefit partner booths for staff to learn about each company that offers benefits available and resources available to download.
Large organizations tend to have an overwhelming number of benefits, programs, and packages that are offered, and even smaller organizations find that employees often have difficulty understanding the programs and evaluating what will be best for them. The benefits of a virtual benefits fair are numerous but right at the top of the list is helping employees navigate these programs on their own and customize their journey based on their unique needs.
Benefits to creating a virtual benefits fair include but most certainly are not limited to (some are unique to Engagez):
- Eco Friendly: Recent data shows that virtual environments reduce carbon emissions and lower your overall carbon footprint.
- Year-round access and 24-hour access: Many times employees need time to process the information they receive about benefits and may have questions later on, or want to revisit the information later.
- Content catalog or Resource Library: We all have been to an in-person benefit session, where we compiled so much great information in a cute little folder and told ourselves that we would make sure to go back and review that information later or reference it as needed. Then we get back to our office or workspace and completely forget about where we put that important folder. A virtual space can create a space for HR professionals to easily upload and store important benefit documents that staff may need at the moment or want to reference at a later date. A resource library will easily be accessible to them to download and review when they are ready.
- Inclusivity: As more companies are offering remote working options and we continue to see so many diverse individuals within the workspace, companies are met with creating a welcoming and inclusive space for all people. A virtual space can be an efficient way to provide multilingual resources, ADA compliance, and even create an opportunity to highlight cultural awareness projects or communities available within the workplace. Being virtual also allows you to meet the needs of staff across time zones and locations!
- Live or Simulated Sessions: Hosting guest speakers has never been easier! Using a virtual platform allows you to bring your benefit representatives from wherever they are to speak to your employees. Often during benefit season with benefits partners across the nation, it can be challenging to schedule someone for an in-person presentation, hosting your fair virtually allows for presentations to be live-streamed, pre-recorded and available on-demand after the event so that your staff can go back and review the presentation later if they have a question arise.
- Secure: Keeping employee confidential information is a top priority for HR professionals and companies. With the Engagez platform, you can utilize features that enhance security and ensure that information is secure. Privacy, Gated access controls, and secure registration options afford you the ability to protect your employee information and ensure that only the people who need access to your company’s benefits program have access.
- Better Analytics: The role of an HR professional is ever-evolving, but your priority is making sure that your employees receive ALL the information that they need. With a virtual platform, you will have the ability to easily track who has accessed, viewed, downloaded, and interacted with the information they need. You can also gain valuable feedback directly from your employees through surveys, polls, and other forms of evaluation. Follow up directly from the platform via email and connect with those staff that might still need assistance.
As the future of work is now upon us, using a virtual venue to engage with your employees and host your human resources initiatives like benefit fairs, will help move your company in the right direction and not break the bank! We will be publishing a Benefits Fair Playbook so if you would like to learn more, please drop your information below so that you can be one of the first to receive it.