Make Your HR Team Happy: Tap Their Experience

Here’s something you probably didn’t know: Tuesday, April 6 is National Employee Benefits Day, a day set aside each year since 2004 to recognize the many people who make sure employees have the benefits they need, and know how to make the most of them.

Now, you could celebrate by sending your HR team a note of thanks. But, you probably could make those HR folks happiest by fulfilling their greatest wishes: Don’t wait until there’s a deadline or crisis to tap into their expertise, and don’t forget to take advantage of the benefits you do have.

With that in mind, the following are a few ways to help your HR team celebrate National Employee Benefits Day.

  • Think about your benefits. Too often, employees ignore their benefits until Open Enrollment or there’s a problem. As a result, they end up making decisions under pressure. Take time this month to review your benefits and ask your HR team questions. They’ll appreciate the opportunity to answer without deadlines or problems forcing the timeline.
  • Use your benefits. You might be surprised how many employee benefits go unused. Preventive healthcare coverage. Flexible spending programs. Retirement savings plans. Employee Assistance Programs. And more. Often, HR pros spend a lot of time researching benefits and fighting to get them supported by higher-ups … and then those benefits sit unused. Make an HR staffer smile. Use your benefits.
  • Don’t complain, explain. If you have a benefits problem, don’t complain to co-workers; explain the problem to your HR team. They’re not just there to administer benefits. A big part of their job is making sure your benefits are working for you, and to advocate for you if there is a problem. But, they can’t do that if you don’t let them know when you have an issue.
  • Respond when they ask. Companies occasionally ask employees about their benefits through surveys or meetings, and then too many employees shrug off the opportunity to offer input. Help your HR team help you by responding when they ask how your benefits are working for you, and tell them if there’s something you’d like to see done differently. They’ll appreciate the feedback when they’re planning program changes.

Most important, perhaps, just show your HR team some love. It’s not an exaggeration to say that most of what companies do couldn’t be done without the HR pros. So, make them happy; help them do their jobs. And, sure, send a nice note too. It’s sure nice to be appreciated.

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