When it comes to saving for retirement, your employees aren't doing it smartly. 

That's according to CBS MoneyWatch's Steve Vernon in a recent post about a report from investment consultancy firm Financial Engines. The report analyzed the savings records of some 4 million employees who participated in 401(k) retirement plans across 553 companies nationwide. Nearly a quarter of those surveyed did not pitch in the maximum amount that their employer could match (usually, around 3 percent of their salary), so they lost out on roughly $1,336 in annual funds. 

What's more, and perhaps unsurprisingly, your millennial workers are leaving the most on the table. While Financial Engines found that young employees (and those with less sizeable incomes) were less likely to contribute significantly to their 401(k)s, it also explained that a 25-year old could be adding more than $142,000 in savings by the time they hit 65 if they did start putting in the maximum.

The kicker, however, is that most of your employees don't even have a good reason for not contributing: According to the 2015 Retirement Confidence Survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, nearly seven in 10 workers said that they could afford to ramp up their contributions--they're just not doing it. 

So what's the solution for business owners? 

Communicate early and often.

To help your employees capitalize on their 401(k)s, make sure that you explain just how much your company is willing to match them. 

Even in the event that an employee can't afford it, they can work up to the maximum incrementally over time--and that makes for a happier, more secure workforce.

Published on: May 21, 2015