Are you communicating your benefits to employees beyond open enrollment season? And, are your communications engaging and effective?
Many HR Administrators and business owners find it a challenge to keep employees engaged with their employee benefits programs throughout the year.
Developing effective benefits communications in 2023 requires staying informed on employee benefits challenges and leading industry trends.
In this blog, we share our top tips to ensure your communications are effective and engaging beyond open enrollment.
Utilize Multiple Channels
Know your workforce and how they prefer to communicate. Is it better to post a flyer in
the break room or send out a SMS text to employees? Are most employees working
physically at a desk where they can access emails all day, or is your workforce mostly
offline, without a desk, or partially or fully remote?
Consider which channels will be most effective to reach your employees, such as email, text, flyers, intranet and social media. This will help you ensure that all employees have access to the information.
Focus on Clarity
Keep your communications informative, simple and clear. It is a common mistake to include too much information and detail. Employees should be able to quickly skim and digest information in your communications. If you are faced with a complex topic, tackle this topic by breaking it down into smaller, more digestible pieces.
Avoid technical healthcare jargon and be sure to write communications the way you would speak.
Personalize Your Message
A tailored and targeted message can significantly increase engagement. Where possible, you can tailor your communications to individual employees. Segment your employee population based on things like location, key demographics, tenure, job function, and age, and use that information to ensure you are reaching them in the most efficient way.
Create communications that speak to different phases of life. For example, your employees close to age 65 may be interested in understanding their options for Medicare, while younger individuals may want details on family benefits and life insurance.
Build Diverse Content
Consider the different segments of your employee population based on variables like location, demographics, tenure, job function and age, and use that information to ensure you are creating content that resonates with all of your employees.
Having a diverse library of communications will ensure you’re able to educate and help all of your employees at different life stages, as well as make sure you’re ready to answer any questions that come your way.
Visuals can help make your messaging more engaging and easier to understand. Consider incorporating graphics, charts, and even videos into your communications. Another suggestion is to create a distinct brand for your benefits communications that helps build a consistent and predictable experience for employees. Stay within your company’s style and brand guidelines when creating a look and feel for your benefits communications. Over time, employees will recognize and associate this branding with key benefits communications.
Monitor Effectiveness & Seek Feedback
As the tools and technology available to employees continue to adapt, so should your benefits communications. You will want to make sure you are constantly measuring the effectiveness of your communications and the channels you are sending them through. If you are spending hours crafting emails, but you find that your workforce responds better to text messages, then you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
Actively seek and monitor feedback from employees to understand what's working and what's not with benefits and communication. This will help you ensure that your communications are resonating with employees and provide insight into what types of benefits programs really matter to your employees.
Create a Communications Calendar
It is crucial that your company is communicating benefits year-round to employees. Open Enrollment can be a stressful time for employees, and they may be quick to forget all the options that were available to them. Incorporating timely reminders throughout the year is a more manageable and less stressful way for employees to understand all that is available to them.
To streamline communications, we recommend creating a calendar that lays out all the communications for the year. This will keep you and your team on track and increase engagement with employees.
Ascela makes benefits communications easy. By using our calendar as an outline and following these tips, you can ensure that your benefits communications will be effective in 2023 and beyond.
Contact our team to learn how we can help you build and communicate a leading employee benefits program that attracts and retains top industry talent.