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  • Linda R. Taliaferro

Are You Leaving Millions on the Table at Your Company? Check Now

Think about your first 30 days at your company. How did you choose your benefits package?

If you’re like me, you went to the onboarding session, read the benefits booklet, and checked a few boxes. Boom! That’s enough, right?

Sure, if you’re good with leaving millions on the table. No? Then keep reading for DEI and HR expert Ms. Cassandra Rose’s lesson on how to get EVERYTHING available to you.

What Is Benefits Literacy?

“I would say that you have to think of literacy as a lifelong journey. I know for me, that I'm still learning new words — and English is my native tongue.” – Ms. Cassandra Rose

Let’s start with the definition of “literacy.” It’s competence or knowledge in a specific area, in this case, YOUR benefits: your 401k, your healthcare plan, and…

…do you know the rest of your benefits package?

Most Black and Brown women navigating corporate America don’t. We seldom talk about benefits packages in our communities, either because we’re first generation Americans (like Rose), don’t have access to benefits yet, or take them for granted.

But if knowledge is power — then where does illiteracy about our benefits leave us?

Why Benefits Literacy Is Important

Do you agree there are gaps between what men and women earn? And what White and Black employees are paid?

Do you believe closing them is on you? Your hard work. Your professional savvy. Your “chutzpah.”

Then you’ve got your work cut out for you.

Because benefits literacy holds the key to unlocking some of the resources that can help you close those gaps — without working harder for a promotion or pay bump. They are ALREADY yours. And they are instrumental to building generational wealth.

“There are millions of dollars being left on the table just because people don't know. Think of it as a winning lottery ticket that you just have in your bag; if you never cash it in, it doesn't matter how much it was anyway,” Rose explained during our recent Being Brown at Work LinkedIn Live interview.

And just as you must negotiate your salary to get paid what you're worth, so too must you set boundaries around the benefits you will (and WILL NOT) accept.

How Do You Become Benefits Literate?

The same way you learn anything else: do your homework, highlight whatever you don’t understand, and ask for help. Just as you would seek help from a financial advisor to manage your money, lean on your HR manager for support during your ongoing journey to benefits literacy.

If you don’t find answers in your HR department, contact the vendors offering your benefits. For example, call the phone number on the back of your health insurance card.

Ultimately, says Rose, benefits “literacy is having enough knowledge to know where to go” for the answers you need. Use your voice. Exercise your agency. Seize your power.

Build Your Generational Wealth

If you’ve been following my interviews with Rose since February, then you know all about health equity and benefits literacy by now. Are you ready for the final piece — how to build generational wealth?

Good! Because Rose will be back to Being Brown at Work on LinkedIn Live on June 7th to tell you how. Tune in to hear how to create abundance not only in your life but also those of your children and grandchildren.

If you have questions in the meantime, DM me on LinkedIn or book your 1-on-1 for a deeper dive into getting your seat at the table (& all the benefits that come with it!).

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