The Recipe for Successful Benefits Communication: 5 Essential Ingredients

Secret Recipe

Your company’s menu of benefits is a large portion of an employee’s total compensation. Unfortunately, it’s also a common source of misunderstanding. Employees often don’t know enough about how the plans work to get the most value out of their benefits.

The good news is, communicating benefits in a way that engages and educates employees is possible, especially when you include five essential components. With 66% of Americans wanting to better understand the benefits they enroll in, your communication efforts are bound to pay off in helping employees make wiser decisions about their physical, emotional, and financial health.

1. Mouth-watering design

Did you know the average attention span is 8 seconds? That’s shorter than the attention span of a goldfish! In our current world of oversaturation of news and social media messaging, communications have to be engaging to catch the attention of the intended audience. Visually stunning design that pops will be the difference between an employee who reads the materials and one who stashes it in a drawer. Browse some of our favorite designs.

Tip: Use visual elements, such as infographics, pictures, and tables to draw attention to important information.

2. Let’s eat! Give clear calls to action

Getting your employees to act is often the purpose of communicating in the first place. Whether the goal is to enroll in benefits by a certain date, understand how to change benefits during the year, participate in the wellness program, or contribute to the 401(k), it is essential to have clear calls to action.

Tip: Incorporate eye-catching design to accentuate the required actions with call out boxes, colors, and graphics.

3. Nourish their desire for information

While words like “deductible,” “coinsurance,” and “vested” are common terms to benefits brokers, managers, and HR staff, the majority of employees may not be fluent in benefits lingo. A glossary of terms can take care of that. Creating a list of these terms with easy-to-understand definitions helps employees understand their benefits better, which leads to them making smarter decisions.

Tip: When creating a benefits microsite or navigation enhanced brochure, these terms may be linked to their definitions wherever they appear in the communications.

4. Go straight to the source

Employees need to know who to contact with questions about their benefits. Having all the information in one place makes it easy to find the resources they need quickly. It also empowers them to reach out to the carriers individually with questions rather than running to HR with every issue.

Tip: Digital tools, such as our Gateway mobile app, benefits microsite, and navigation enhanced guide, deliver carriers’ contact information to mobile devices for on-the-go access.

5. FAQs they’ll gobble up

Having a compilation of your most frequently asked benefits questions helps employees conveniently locate the information they need. These usually include questions such as:

  • Do I have to meet my entire deductible before the plan pays?
  • What can I use my FSA funds for?
  • How can I receive the 401(k) match?
  • How do I find an in-network doctor?

You may either use standard FAQs or gather the most popular questions from your benefits call center, HR staff, or benefits manager.

Tip: Keep the FAQs to under two pages and provide clear and concise answers. Include directions about where to find more information.

The Takeaway

With five simple ingredients, you’ll deliver effective communications every time. Not only will you engage and educate your employees, but you will also enjoy increased participation, satisfaction, and loyalty. It’s a winning strategy where everyone benefits.

Looking to take your communications to the next level? We can help.

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