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How to Improve Employee Benefits Communication and Enrollment

Ben Renner

Ben Renner

employee benefits communicationBenefits brokers often have to compete for the attention of employees seeking benefits. There are many ways employees get distracted and often put off signing up for benefits until open enrollment is nearly over. Investing in employee benefits communication initiatives can help bring your employees on board, but only if you use communication resources effectively. Adding benefits enrollment to a high stack of to-do items for your employees can result in frustration and low enrollment numbers. You’ve built a great benefits program but, if no one knows what their benefits are and how to sign up for them, no one will take advantage of them. Open enrollment used to be the only chance for employers and employees to set up benefits coverage, but with new employee benefits communication technology such as employee benefits videos, workers can get the information they need when they need it in real time. The trick is making these videos useful and easy to use so they drive employee engagement instead of turn workers off your benefits information system. Here are a few ways to think about your employee benefits communication system to use it effectively for all employees:

Goal-Oriented Employee Benefits Communication

If enrollment is low, shift the context of employee benefits to personal goals. Health insurance, for example, is often used by employees as a safety net. If they need to go to the doctor, they can without excessive medical bills. But, it can also be used to get regular health checkups, to monitor any kind of health condition individuals might have, and to gain access to resources that might otherwise improve their health, such as smoking-cessation support. Framing health insurance coverage as a way to help employees reach their health goals is a great way to get employees to be more invested in their benefits enrollment choices, because they’re connecting them with their overall health, financial or other goals.

Encourage In-Person Communications

employee benefits communicationGive your employees the option to meet with a benefits expert. They can ask questions directly and get answers you might not have. This will take you out of the equation as the messenger between your benefits broker and your employees. If employees know they can speak directly with an experienced, licensed and knowledgeable benefits counselor, they’ll feel much better about enrolling in your benefits programs in the first place, and they’ll sign up for the best benefits options for them.

Create a Glossary

Too often, employees don’t know the basic terms of their benefits, especially health insurance. It shouldn’t be a surprise that wide swaths of Americans don’t know what ‘deductible’ or ‘co-insurance’ means. Instead of assuming everyone knows these terms already or will read about what they mean on their own, create a glossary for your employees. Either online or in print, create a cheat sheet for common questions. Then, everyone has access to the baseline information they need to ask good questions of their benefits broker and get what they need.

Employee Benefits Videos

Video is a powerful tool in marketing and in raising awareness of employee benefits. Creating informative videos explaining some of the more confusing and commonly misconstrued terms employees find in their benefits packages provides answers to everyone who needs them in a readily accessible format. With all the terms defined, opportunities to reach their goals at the ready, and real access to benefits experts, your employees will get the best employee benefits experience possible.

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