Employee benefits are a fundamental part of every organization. They have a profound impact on job satisfaction and employee morale. However, for most companies, benefits communication takes place only when onboarding new employees or during annual open-enrollment periods. Furthermore, the typical benefits communication session tends to be uninteresting and tedious, focusing on the masses rather than individual employees’ needs.
In order to combat this, the focus needs to be brought to implementing effective communication strategies. Especially with modern technology, there are numerous ways to help keep employees informed and engaged with both core benefits and voluntary options. In this blog, we will cover the importance of benefits communication and provide insightful guidance on how to develop an effective communication strategy.
The Importance Of Prioritizing Communication
There is no point in offering employee benefits if they aren’t communicated thoroughly with your team. If employees aren’t properly informed about their benefits, they could potentially miss out on important savings. Additionally, with employee benefits being one of the largest expenses for most businesses, failing to communicate its utility will be a waste of money for your company, as well. Communicating employee benefits goes further than providing them 24/7 access to employer-sponsored benefits plans. Without the proper training in the use of these tools, employees will never be able to fully understand the value of their benefits. When employees are taught how to best utilize their benefits, plan participation increases and per-person program costs can decrease.
5 Tips For Effective Benefits Communication
Now that we discussed the importance of communicating employee benefits, it’s time to cover how to devise a solid benefits communication plan. The following are 5 ways to support effective benefits communication:
- Use everyday language: One of the most frequent ways communication is obstructed is by using complicated insurance jargon. Chances are that your employees aren’t up-to-date with all the employee benefits vocabulary, so try sticking to common words that everyone is familiar with. If you do need to cover insurance terms, such as Flexible Spending Account (FSA), make sure that you define it clearly for everyone to understand.
- Customize communication: Employee benefits programs work best when they are employee-friendly. Every individual will prefer a certain method of communication. Conducting a survey to see which employees like which communication materials is a great way to appeal to all your employees. Also, communication materials, whether physical or digital, need to be attractive and easy to read. Ensure that the most important information is highlighted and can be easily located.
- Create a strong employee value proposition: A strong employee value proposition will set you apart from your competitors. It’s the promise you make to your employees to deliver something of value to them and it can help increase employee loyalty/retention. Put yourself in the shoes of your employees. Many of them don’t understand the big picture value of their benefits programs. Validate your message through focus groups, user testing, and communicating how this will be of assistance to them.
- Provide year-round education: Don’t stop your efforts after open enrollment or onboarding. One of the biggest reasons employees don’t understand their benefits is because it’s covered for a short period of time once a year. This is equivalent to cramming all your studying for a final exam the night before the exam. Take the initiative by hosting quarterly or even monthly sessions where employees can ask questions about their benefits packages.
- Take advantage of new technology: Although nothing can replace face-to-face meetings with a specialist, there is plenty of enrollment technology that can provide the flexibility and automation that employees need. Having this software at your employee’s disposal will allow them to familiarize themselves with the ins and outs of their employee benefits and take advantage of every benefit provided to them.
Balancing Technology With People
As previously stated, technology can allow employees to access benefits information at any time or place. With intuitive employee communication software, you can provide them with information and answers specifically tailored to their situation. However, companies can have the most advanced technology available to them, yet getting employees to engage with it can be a problem. That’s why it’s essential to balance technology with the touch of a real person. Consider holding an HR meeting for employees to download the software and learn the ropes alongside specialists. This will ensure that the money and time you invest into your company and employees doesn’t go to waste.
One of the circumstances in which benefits communication is of the utmost importance is during the onboarding process. This time period is one of the first impressions of your company on new employees. Ensuring that you provide effective benefits communication will align new employees with your company’s culture. If they feel as if they are taken care of from the very beginning, this will promote company loyalty and increase employee satisfaction.
How Alltrust Can Help You Succeed
Benefits communication is a team effort, and ensuring you have a trusted team of professionals to provide you with assistance is important. You need a partner with a specific skill set to develop and execute effective communication strategies. This is the quickest way to positive results as you will have an expert on your team, with dedicated resources to help you succeed.
Luckily for you, our team at Alltrust Insurance are experts when it comes to employee benefits. We are dedicated to helping companies make better decisions and promote effective benefits communication within their organization. For more information on how Alltrust Insurance can help you through the employee benefits process, please contact us via our website today.