Every year, open enrollment comes and goes, and it is a whirlwind to say the least. HR and Benefits teams have been working hard to identify, incorporate and offer the best options for their teams. Open enrollment is no easy feat to prepare for, but necessary none-the-less to provide the best options for your employees.
But what happens after the enrollment period is over? Many employers tend to breathe a sigh of relief and shift their focus to other pressing matters. However, this could be quite a big missed opportunity.
Continued benefits communication is key to ensuring that employees not only understand their benefits but also feel supported and empowered to make the most of them.
Why continued communication matters
Memory is subjective. Today, your employees may not care about pet insurance, vision or financial help. Next month though, they may get a puppy, discover they need glasses or experience some kind of emergency expense and need financial support.
Where continued communication matters is for these moments where the demand and need has now become important for your employees.
Specifically, these three reasons are important when it comes to continuing the communications efforts for your benefits.
- Employees learn and retain information differently: Studies have shown that employees have varying preferences and learning styles when it comes to absorbing and retaining information. While some might prefer written materials or emails, others may respond better to visual aids or interactive platforms. By providing information through multiple channels, employers can cater to different learning preferences and increase overall comprehension and engagement.
- Engaged employees make informed decisions:
Engaging employees in ongoing benefits communication can significantly impact their engagement levels and overall job satisfaction. A MetLife study reveals that engaged employees are 87% more likely to view their benefits as important and are more informed decisions makers regarding their health and finances. Communication that focuses on the value and relevance of these benefits, beyond just cost-savings, can foster a sense of appreciation, leading to increased loyalty and retention.
- Communication boosts productivity and reduces stress:
Lack of communication regarding benefits can cause stress and anxiety among employees. According to a survey by Willis Towers Watson, 83% of employees reported that understanding their benefits gives them peace of mind. When employees feel confident in their benefits, they can focus more on their work and worry less about the unexpected. This, in turn, leads to increased productivity and better overall well-being.
Effective benefits communication looks like this
And the best advice is to keep it simple and concise.
Frequency is key
Don’t limit benefits communication to open enrollment season. Instead, aim for regular touchpoints throughout the year. This could involve monthly newsletters, quarterly meetings or webinars, or even regular posts on your company’s intranet or social media platforms. Regular communication ensures that employees have the information they need when they need it.
Utilize a mix of communication channels
Vary your communication approach to cater to different learning preferences. Combine traditional methods like emails, brochures, and posters with modern options such as videos, webinars, and interactive online platforms. P.S. Here are four email templates you can use. Additionally, consider conducting surveys or focus groups to understand which channels resonate best with your employees.
Keep it simple and engaging
Avoid using complex industry jargon or lengthy policy documents. Instead, use easy-to-understand language and visuals to convey important information. Infographics, short videos, and FAQs can be great tools to simplify complex concepts and engage employees.
Personalize the communication
Recognize that each employee has unique needs and priorities. Tailor the benefits communication to address different life stages, demographics, and job roles. Highlight specific benefits or resources that are most relevant to each group. Personalization shows that you care about your employees’ individual circumstances and increases the perceived value of their benefits.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
Continued benefits communication plays a significant role in helping employees make informed decisions, reducing stress, and increasing overall job satisfaction. By acknowledging the diverse learning preferences and utilizing a variety of communication channels, employers can effectively convey essential information to their workforce.
Remember, ongoing benefits communication isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s a critical component of a successful benefits program that supports engaged, informed, and motivated employees.
To learn more about incorporating financial wellness into your benefits offerings, schedule a quick call here.