Does your employer offer innovative job benefits and work perks that employees are not using? If so, it could be that employees don’t understand or know about the benefits available. According to research by ADP, 40 percent of employees do not understand their benefits. If you want employees to appreciate and use their benefits, you need to do a bit of advertising work. Here are six tips for advertising workplace benefits to employees:

Make a plan

No matter if you’re a Fortune 500 company with employees all over the map or a relatively small organization with a single office, planning should always be your first step. Here are a few questions to consider during the planning phase:

• How many employees use our benefits now? It’s important to understand how many employees currently use your benefits and why they do or do not use them. Conducting an employee survey is a great first step for generating this type of insight.

• Who can help? Do you have an advertising or communications team? They’ll probably have some great ideas to help advertise your plan. Who else can be an advocate for your plan? Diversify your advocates cross-departmentally or geographically for the widest reach possible.

• What are my goals? Set a few short-term and long-term goals then write down the ways you hope to reach your goals. For example, if your goal is “increase 401(k) participation by 20%,” what can you do to get there? Maybe you will have a series of educational sessions or one-on-one financial planning opportunities. Tactics help keep you on track and also create a sense of accountability for your team. After this plan is complete, measure your performance!

Speak from experience

The best way to sell something is to use it yourself. Being able to talk about your personal experiences gives you more credibility when promoting it to employees. For example, if your company offers iontuition or other student loan management tools, open an account for yourself. Even if you or your children do not have student loans, creating an account will allow you to anticipate many questions employees may have about it.

Work with early adopters

There will be a few people who pick up benefits as soon as they’re available. These are your ambassadors. Word of mouth, even in today’s connected world, is still the best way to promote anything.

Alert the media

Most companies have an intranet with a blog to inform employees on company news. Use it for more than just employee anniversaries and announcing days off. Use the platform to answer common questions about your benefits. Don’t forget, intranet can also be an interactive medium. If there questions you didn’t cover in an email or blog post, employees can ask in the comments. Be sure to include the link to the blog in the company email newsletter.

Throw a party

Celebrate when a new benefit comes online or as enrollment approaches. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, you can do something as simple as free ice cream during the lunch period. It breaks people out of their routine and helps them be more open to listening. Besides, who doesn’t like free ice cream?

Play with the tried and true

Posters and pamphlets in the break room are still great ways to promote employee benefits. At iontuition, we offer our clients a marketing kit they use to increase user adoption. Other benefits providers should have similar marketing material. Use that as a starting point then get creative with your own! See if your company’s graphic artist has a bit of extra time to make the posters more specific to your organization. Testimonials and photos of early adopters can also work well.

If your goal is to educate and engage employees, think like an advertiser. We hope these tips have been helpful. Do you have any tips to add? We’d love to hear them on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn!