Employee benefits communications are, by and large, a pain point for most benefits brokers, HR leaders and C-suite executives because they see the effects of a workforce that’s disengaged and unhappy with its benefits options firsthand. Employee engagement and benefits enrollment are still large issues that HR managers and others need help with. Many of the answers to these questions can be found in the marketing department.
There’s no hack to magically improve your employee benefits communications, no single program that will perform miracles and make enrollment rates 100%. There are, of course, products that make benefits communications easier, leading to improved employee engagement and, ultimately, better enrollment rates. But to properly implement digital employee-communications systems and to ensure you’re getting the maximum return on your technology investment, you’ll need to borrow a few tools and concepts from marketing experts.
Simplify Employee Benefits Communications
Understanding the jargon of the health insurance industry is like learning a new language. Information packets are full of an alphabet soup of acronyms like HDHP, HSA, FSA and more. It’s no secret that few employees understand these and other common healthcare terms. Worse yet, most employees don’t realize they can save themselves money and hassle if they only understood those terms and how to utilize unfamiliar options like an HSA, which can include significant tax benefits.
Use Real-Life Examples
Sometimes, employees need concrete evidence and examples of possible health events that could change their lives if they’re not prepared. Many HR-benefits platforms offer some content focused on certain “moments that matter,” such as childbirth, getting married or divorced, getting injured outside of work, etc. By wrapping healthcare concepts like deductibles and coinsurance in the context of familiar and significant life events or emergencies, employees will rush to sign up and obtain coverage.
It’s also possible to build in information and sign-up portals for employees with specific health needs or questions. For example, parental-leave forms, maternity-care providers or childcare service information in a section for future parents.
How Marketing Concepts Can Help
Simplifying the language, streamlining the open enrollment process and reframing the healthcare situation all stem from marketing concepts. Modern digital marketing is based on the assumption that people are constantly overwhelmed with information and advertisements. The best way to stand out and build a unique brand is to cut through the noise with simplified content, easy registration or purchasing systems and by appealing to personal issues and problems.
Employees are constantly pulled every which way imaginable by the demands of their jobs and outside advertisers trying to win their attention. They don’t want to attend an enrollment seminar where they have to absorb all the information needed in a short period of time, then go home to make a health-insurance decision with their spouse and then enroll by the deadline.
While an enrollment seminar is usually a limited event within the enrollment period, a benefits and healthcare campaign is ongoing. It offers employers more freedom to adjust and target their messaging. Instead of cramming all employee benefits communications into one day, build it out gradually through a series of digital communication initiatives. These build on each other to create a complete and digestible healthcare sign-up initiative (just as the progression of content in traditional marketing campaigns provide information on products and services, showcasing their positive aspects and how they can help customers).
Take a cue from your marketing department and invest in smart employee benefits communications systems to streamline your open enrollment process.