Don’t Let Benefits Scare You

Do you know what time it is? Benefits Season! AHHHH! It’s easy to feel overwhelmed during this time of year with the bombardment of brochures, endless stacks of PowerPoint slides, and the pages upon pages of options. It's even harder to make heads or tails where to start or which ones will really be valuable to you. So where should you start? Well, if you didn’t know it, you have a superhero benefits brainiac in your HR or People representative. Our rep is a true rockstar, and always willing to break it down and give us the skinny on what benefits can really make an impact based on your individual to family needs.

Did you know employee benefits have been proven to increase productivity, improve job satisfaction, and reduce job turnover? That’s right. Your company is offering you the benefits they think you need to hopefully improve your quality of life, health, and overall happiness. All of this means it’s in the company’s best interest to find out what support and resources you need.

So if you don’t see benefits in your plan that could really make that added difference for you or your fellow colleagues, here are some easy tips to help you start that conversation with your HR rockstar:

Review your plan to see what benefits and resources your company is already providing you. First things first, check over your existing benefit plan. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover a perk you didn’t even know about!

Have the stats to back you up. If you identify a need and a benefits solution, back it up with data that demonstrates value. For example, you’re asking HR or Benefits for a technology stipend, make sure to point out that you will be much more productive with the second monitor. Show HR that it’s worth it to the company to invest in the benefit, especially if it means increased efficiency and productivity.

Lead from where you are. Show the company you're not afraid to spearhead a new initiative. Create a task force to work with the current benefits team to reevaluate the current offerings and propose real benefit solutions. You will be able to show off your leadership skills while helping create a plan that works for you.

Pick the right time. Know when your fiscal year planning starts. An article from U.S. News advises that the best time for benefit negotiations is six months before annual reviews. This gives managers ample time to work new initiatives into budget requests for the upcoming year. Understand that managers need time to institute new policies, which brings us to our next point:

Flexibility and open-mindedness are key. Change probably isn’t going to happen overnight. Being flexible to what benefits the company can offer opens the door for more possibilities, even if the new perk isn’t exactly what you were hoping.

It’s time to take charge of the benefits your company offers. You got this!

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