Knowing what the employee expects from a benefits fair is key to its success. A benefits advisor must take this into consideration when planning the fair.
The annual employee benefits fair is one of the main events in the HR calendar.It is the one time of the year when employees have an opportunity to talk to vendors and discuss the benefits they have. When attending an employee benefits fair, employees are not only looking to discuss their benefits but are also interested in what else they can get. Things such as free food, giveaways, raffles, and flu shots are all key things that help to encourage employees to leave their desk to attend the event that has taken the benefits coordinator so much time to plan. Employees are also looking for a benefits fair that is well planned and is scheduled at a suitable time that does not clash with their own work schedule and in a venue that is easily accessible to them.
Things that Employees Expect to See at a Benefit Fair
Employee Benefit Vendors
Employees will attend the benefits fair with a list of questions and queries about the employee benefits that are already on offer and also ones that may be new to the organizations package. By attending the benefits fair employees want to see a variety of vendors so that they can discuss some specifics about their employee benefits. The benefits fair is an important time when employees can put their questions directly to a vendor representative. This can help resolve issues with benefits they currently receive and also help them make decisions about which employee benefits they would like to enroll in. This also allows them to decide which ones would not be beneficial to them and provide valuable feedback to the vendors representative, who in turn pass it up the line to their own management team.
Free Food or Meal Vouchers
When employees take time out of their busy day to attend an event organized by the HR department it is important for them to have a good reason to do so. One of the main things that employees expect to see when they attend a benefits fair is a free lunch either in the form of a light buffet or sandwiches, wrap, salads or a meal voucher that can be used at an onsite cafeteria. Employees want to be spoiled and they often want anything they can get for free. In addition to the free lunch, employees want to be able to go back to their desk with a few snacks for them to enjoy later on. All employees will enjoy picking up some candy and snack bars and even fruit maybe, as they visit the various vendor tables.
Free stuff is another thing that employees are looking for when they attend an employee benefits fair. Employees will be more motivated to attend a benefits fair if they know they will be getting something out of it. Employees love anything that is free, from pens to key rings and anything in between. Bottles of soda are always a big hit, as are gym sports bottles with a vendor’s logo emblazoned upon it.
Some vendors will bring an item to be raffled during the employee benefits fair, this is definitely something the employees love to see. They do not need to pay anything to enter and the prizes on offer are normally of high value so employees really do expect to see at least one raffle. Some benefits advisors plan a company raffle so that vendors can contribute a prize towards the raffle and the employees have more of a chance of winning something and other vendors prefer to hold their own private raffle to encourage employees to visit their tables and take the opportunity to talk to the employees. Some employers have rules against raffles and their benefits fair turnout suffers greatly.
Flu Shots and Health Screenings
Most annual employee benefits fairs are conveniently planned during the same time of the year as the recommended time of the year to receive the flu shot. This is beneficial for both the employees and the benefits advisor as it draws the crowds to the event. Employees love to arrive at a benefits fair and see that they can stop by and get their free flu shot without leaving the office or having to schedule an appointment. Offering other simple health screens such as blood pressure screening for diabetic checks are also something that the employees like to see at employee benefits fairs. Flu virus shots can only be given by a doctor, nurse or nurse practitioner. The flu spray, which was used for just one season, could be self-administered, but was not as effective.
Massages and Other Wellness Treatments
Some benefits advisors invite massage therapists and other treatment providers to the benefits fairs. Employees really love to see this service and there is often a long line of participants. Without even leaving the building employees can chat to therapists that provide information about aromatherapy, acupuncture and any other holistic therapy. Most of these vendors also bring along samples which employees really enjoy taking.