Communication is critical to help employees understand the value of their benefits – from wellness and healthcare to retirement and vacation time. It is also a key factor in engaging employees to make the right benefits choices for themselves and their families during open enrollment. Here are ten effective communication tools:
Educate: When detailed information is provided to employees about the benefits offered in the workplace, employees are more likely to participate. Make certain education takes different forms – flyers, emails, benefits enrollment seminars, etc. Engaging employee in the benefits process will increase participation in your programs and make them more effective.
Be specific: When describing health benefits packages and wellness programs, use simple, easy to understand language. Using complicated jargon or colloquial speak can lead to confusion. Detail specifics about what the health or wellness plan offers and how it will benefit employees.
Actively listen: Healthcare plans, wellness programs and retirement programs are about getting employees excited, engaged, committed and in the end healthy and financially fit. Set aside the corporate agenda or any personal opinions held and truly listen to the needs of employees.
Advise: While many employees, especially millennials, obtain information on their own through use of the internet, blogs, friends or family members, many still want personal service. Employers can offer expertise and guidance to provide a personal touch.
Open channels for communication: Just because employees are enrolled in a program – whether it is a retirement program or a wellness program – this doesn’t mean they will continue to participate. Maintain communication between enrollment periods to strengthen the employee-employer relationship and boost commitment.
Detail benefits: Let employees know what is being offered and market that offering in attractive language. A recent study found that 80 percent of employees agreed that a well-communicated benefits package would make them less likely to leave their current position.
Understand your audience: When purchasing health and wellness products and packages for your employees, make sure you understand the make-up and culture of your workforces. Too many employers, well versed in insurance and benefit plan terminology, don’t purchase enough coverage, or purchase the wrong types of benefits.
Change your approach as needed: When communicating benefits to employees, be prepared to modify your message if you are not getting the engagement you expected. Adapt the message to a mobile, impatient audience that is accustomed to lightning fast answers and constant change.
Connect with your workforce: When demonstrating the benefits of participating in retirement or corporate wellness programs, make sure your marketing materials show examples of real people that match the demographic of your workforce. Employees need to be able to relate to the images they see. You will see higher engagement rates if you show that your programs benefit real people.