Harness the Power of Color: Create Employee Communications that Get Noticed


Employees have many important decisions to make during onboarding and Open Enrollment. Benefit guides are a fantastic tool for providing information to help employees make their healthcare decisions, but packing the guides with too much content without a visual break can cause the message to be missed.

Help employees stop scanning and start zeroing in on pertinent information through the proper use of color. Let’s look at how a well thought out color palette can help accomplish this goal.

The Psychology of Color

Color has been known to have a psychological impact on people’s behavior. In fact, color can be the deciding factor when purchasing a product. Between 62% and 90% of people make a judgment about a product based on color alone. Each color produces an emotional response that we can use to enhance benefits communication.

Red creates a sense of urgency, which can influence action. Use red to draw attention to key facts and encourage employees to react. Be mindful of background color conflict. For example, a red exit sign in a building fire is harder to see than a green exit sign. On a white page a red callout box or infographic element will get noticed.

Orange is associated with creativity, energy, and excitement, but is also used to denote caution. Orange traffic cones or highway signs grab attention and communicate a warning to be safe. Adding orange to an open enrollment postcard will catch the eye and encourage action.

Yellow is the most difficult color for our eyes to process. It is often used in advertising to create a sense of anxiety that can draw in impulsive buyers. Yellow, especially in combination with black, as with a school bus, is the easiest to see from far away, which could be useful for breakroom posters.

Green is associated with health, tranquility, and nature. Green is the easiest color for the eyes to process. Used in stores to relax customers and for promoting environmental issues, green can be included on wellness pages or throughout a guide to encourage a reader to linger and therefore better digest information.

Blue is the most common color used by brands to promote trust in their products. Blue is also used by trusted service professionals, such as police officers and surgeons. Use blue throughout a communications campaign to inspire confidence in the company’s compensation package.

Black is associated with authority, luxury, rebellion, and strength. Black is often used as an accent color or for text but can also be used more extensively in modern or urban designs. Black can be a striking background color but can become overwhelming if used too frequently. Take care when using white text on a black background as it can be difficult to read; consider using a light gray font instead of white in such cases.

White inspires a feeling of space and is often associated with purity, peace and, cleanliness. A recent study indicated the use of white space on a page can increase comprehension up to 20%. It helps our eyes rest and more easily consume information.

Color can have an impact on our behavior. Even a fleeting shift in focus or reaction can be useful if employees become more engaged in the benefit election process. Contact Communication Partners to see how we can bring your employee communications to life.

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