Better Benefits Communication through Open Enrollment and Beyond

The benefits conversation starts even before the hire is made – and lasts until after an employee leaves the company. Being strategic in communicating benefits at each stage of the employee lifecycle will reap a variety of rewards. Your employees will be more engaged in the company and in their benefit decisions, leading to higher job satisfaction and better health.

With a few simple updates to your communication strategy, you can keep the benefits conversation going from recruitment through retirement.


Do you know what job seekers are looking for? In a recent survey, more than half said they would accept a lower salary in exchange for better workplace benefits. More than half! And beyond that, younger employees are looking for culture and purpose. Your benefits communications should not only convey the unique benefits (like pet insurance, debt repayment, mental health resources) that set you apart from your competition, but also emphasize your company’s mission.

How to Maximize Benefits Communication During Recruitment

  • Showcase the unique benefits your company offers.
    Medical, dental and vision benefits are important, but don’t forget to mention the benefits your company offers that may set it apart from others. Highlight mental health benefits, financial benefits, time off, learning opportunities, and workplace flexibility.
  • Highlight company culture, mission, and values.
    Candidates want to know what sets your company apart. Emphasizing your culture and mission will help them get a feel for your company and attract the right fit for your company. Take your job ads to the next level.


Welcome your new employees in style. According to research by Glassdoor, a strong onboarding experience can drive employee retention rates as high as 82%. Not only are properly-onboarded employees staying at their jobs longer, they’re also 70% more productive at work. Sarah Wetzel, the Director of HR at engage:BDR, said, “I truly believe that onboarding is an art. Each new employee brings with them a potential to achieve and succeed. To lose the energy of a new hire through poor onboarding is an opportunity lost.” With a streamlined enrollment process and easy access to benefits information, new hires will have the information and resources they need to make decisions on their own – giving the HR team a little time back. Your new employees made the important decision to join your company – a good onboarding process can keep them there.

How to Maximize Benefits Communication During Onboarding

  • Offer a user-friendly enrollment platform.
    Enrolling in benefits shouldn’t be a chore. An enrollment platform that’s quick and intuitive can set the tone for the rest of the onboarding experience.
  • Create a communications hub dedicated to benefits.
    Many popular options include a benefits microsite, digital benefits materials, dedicated call center, and platforms like Yammer to communicate on an ongoing basis with employees.

Open Enrollment

Each year, during Open Enrollment, you have your employees undivided attention for a short period of time. Use this valuable opportunity to introduce new benefits and remind employees of all the plans and programs available to them. A comprehensive communications strategy can make all the difference in helping employees become actively engaged in their benefits.

How to Maximize Benefits Communication During Open Enrollment

  • Design and execute a multi-faceted communications campaign.
    Use a variety of communication pieces, such as postcards, emails, benefit guides, and enrollment videos, to appeal to all employees.
  • Create clear calls to action.
    Whether the goal is to have employees actively enroll or to engage more strategically in their benefits, make sure the desired action steps are clearly communicated. Check out this example.

Life Events

Don’t let Open Enrollment be the only time each year your employees hear about their benefits program. When employees get married or divorced, add a child to their family, or a dependent loses eligibility, they may need to make changes to their plans. Keep the benefits discussion going by sharing with employees when and how their benefits can be updated to meet their changing needs.

How to Maximize Benefits Communication During Life Events

  • Create a checklist of actions employees need to take during a life event.
    Having deadlines and clear action steps will help them stay on track and ensure better results.
  • Remind employees of the company benefits that will support them during each stage of life.
    During a life event, employees can reach out to their employee assistance program for referrals and 24/7 support, adjust flexible spending account contributions, and learn more about how their change in status affects their benefits coverage.


You may have a benefits strategy for new hires, but what about when employees leave? More than 70% of companies admit they don’t have a strategy in place for offboarding. It’s time for this to change. Send your outgoing employees off on the right note by communicating when benefits end and the actions they need to take to continue coverage.

How to Maximize Benefits Communication During Offboarding

  • Give clear, detailed instructions with contact information and deadlines.
    Employees have a lot of decisions to make when leaving a job, providing clear instructions helps them confidently take their next steps.
  • Ask for feedback.
    Exit interviews are the ideal time to ask for feedback on your company’s benefits program and the workplace environment. Discovering how they perceived the company and their benefits may provide useful insight into the needs of your employees.


Your business goals and objectives are on the other side of great communication. Determining what the employee journey looks like for you and your organization is the first step.

Ready to get started? Reach out to our team.

Related articles: You’re Hiring: Recruit In Style, Spread It Out – How to Communicate Benefits Throughout the Year, 5 Benefits of Onboarding Employees with Video

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