6 Employee Engagement Activities to Promote Company Benefits | Cooleaf (2024)

Employee benefits are a huge company asset that can attract top talent, add positive brand messaging, and build prestige. It’s important to help your people make the most of these perks and show employees how to utilize their options.

For the pri­vate indus­try, benefits per employ­ee average $12.06 per hour — about 30% of the total cost of hir­ing an employee.

However, over 80% of employees don’t know where to find benefits available to them. So if human resource teams invest time and money to create benefit packages that can attract new hires and support their staff, shouldn’t business leaders encourage employees to use them?

Beyond open enrollment time with healthcare marketplaces and events, organizations are hosting employee engagement activities all-year round with great success.

It’s time to approach benefits packages and employee engagement more holistically. Here are 8 activity ideas to promote company perks with your team!

Engaging employees using your benefits programs is a win-win

To compete in today’s marketplace, organizations need to invest in their employee experience. This means looking at everything from the work environment, healthcare or 401(k), and even fun perks like gym memberships or high-end discounts.

More importantly, increased burnout from the Pandemic made many people reevaluate their expectations from their jobs.

For workers today, climbing the career ladder comes second to healthy work-life balance. And feeling that sense of community, especially as teams continue to expand globally or work remotely, is a huge priority.

Educating or onboarding employees to take full advantage of their benefits plans with year-long team building activities is a natural step.

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Employee benefits can get confusing

Benefit options aren’t simple. They change over time and depend on the employee’s needs and goals. For example, an employee with several dependents might look at family healthcare benefits, while another employee might prioritize education investment with a 529 plan.

Employee benefits have a long history of regulations and updates over the years. This can change from your industry to where you are in the world. For our purposes, we’ll speak over history within the U.S.

Benefits packages weren’t always part of employee expectations. In the U.S. benefits plans started during the 1940s because of wartime salary freezes. Additional regulations developed over time, like deeper healthcare and disability coverage in the 1960s following the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The 401(k) is a great example of how regulations overtime made the process a little more complicated for the regular consumer. The 401(k) became a law in 1978, then the IRS regulated contributions in the 1980s. Tax-deferred contributions had additional legislation in the early 2000s, and we’ll most likely even see changes as time goes on.

This is all to say, it’s complicated. And it’s a good opportunity to engage employees.

Don’t just offer amazing perks. Take the time to educate your people on how to take advantage of it. Show them you really are invested in putting people first.

6 strategies to increase awareness and engagement in your benefit offerings

Employee benefits packages are a huge differentiator for organizations. However, offering your people a huge perk for well-being is just the first step.

Using your offerings as a jumping off point, employee engagement activities can get team members connecting with each other, learning about their options, and feeling supported as they navigate the nuances of healthcare options, life insurance policies, and stipends.

The idea is to re-recruit your employees every day, week, and month by re-engaging them with their benefits. Set up trainings, give incentives for step challenges, encourage teams to engage with the benefits.

The more you market these to your people the more they will see it as a part of your company’s Total Rewards.

Here are some strategies Cooleaf partners use to engage their team below!

1. Preventative care incentives

Show employee wellbeing is an organizational top priority. Incentivize employees to complete preventative care visits, like bloodwork to Know Your Numbers or a flu shot before winter. You can also encourage healthy habits with whole foods recipe sharing or rewards for meeting daily fitness goals in step challenges.

Cooleaf partner Wacom hosted this year-long challenge with a list of key actions they can take. If you accomplished one, you market it on the online challenge and received Cooleaf points.

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2. Highlight different employee benefits throughout the year


Many teams host online and in-person healthcare marketplaces before open enrollment. Others might kick off a gym perk with a class together. Make a moment for your offerings.

Reminders are key, especially for extensive benefits plans. Some organizations host themed webinars or groups around themes, such as one directed towards caregivers or one for employees looking to extend education.

Companies now include voluntary benefits like Childcare expense support, Life Insurance, Student Loan Repayment, etc. too.

Start activities like a Bark & Benefits photo challenge to promote Pet Insurance, where pet owners showcase their animal friends. Start a week-long financial wellness BootCamp with an expert financial aid firm. These activities raise awareness of important and additional benefits in different ways and shows support for employees’ personal goals or lifestyles.

3. Employee surveys

Learn what matters to your people so you can find perks that make the most sense. For instance, public transit discounts or stipends might help employees commute or support more eco-conscious individuals. The existing health plan might not support certain employee needs.

Benefits are way to ensure your HR team works to provide resources that resonate, saving time and energy, but also showing your people you value their input.

4. Highlight employee stories

Along with employee feedback, be sure to ask for testimonials. Highlight stories from your people, whether that’s workplace flexibility supporting working parents or employee rewards helping someone take on a new hobby.

Ask employees to write a story up, take a photo, or even record a video. These stories are great for team morale and for marketing employee benefits. It gives existing employees ideas on how to use offerings and might attract new hires too.

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5. Quizzes & Trivia contests

We love to gamify learning. Many teams host quizzes or trivia contests to help people take what they learned from benefits enrollment or onboarding and really put it into action.

You can pop these up every quarter to remind employees about certain plans or you can host these during timely holidays or observances.

6. Benefit Bonanza

Combine different activities into a Benefit Bonanza, like Wacom and INT Insurance. For this activity, encourage employees to dive into benefits packages and share the perk they’re most excited about and why. Then ask employees to share a tip for coworkers on utilizing a certain benefit.

This treats benefits enrollment as a team-building opportunity, increases employee knowledge, and spreads positivity and awareness.

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Creative Benefit Ideas

Cooleaf works with teams to incentivize and engage employees through our platform, and we’ve seen workplaces with some unique benefits programs that resonate with their teams’ needs.

Here are a few other creative benefits that might work for your organization:

  • Quarterly Day of Rest
  • Monthly house cleaning
  • Office stipend for remote workers
  • Travel Experiences (work & vacation)
  • Donate to charity for each employee (ex. Reducing CO2 emissions)
  • Employee ownership plans (ex. ESOP)

Promoting benefits boosts engagement

Helping your people understand all the ins and outs of your health insurance plan shows you put them first. It offers support for mental and physical wellbeing, especially for a dispersed workforce. And it increases the perceived value of benefits among your employees.

Plan these out strategically throughout the year and make sure they match your goals for employee experience.

And if you have questions, reach out. Cooleaf is here to help!

6 Employee Engagement Activities to Promote Company Benefits | Cooleaf (2024)

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