4 Things You Are Not Doing to Communicate Your Benefits

As an HR decision maker or business leader, you’re probably already putting plenty of effort into finding the ideal menu of benefits to offer your employees.

But no matter how awesome your benefits are, they’re not doing what they were designed to do unless your team knows about them. Too often companies pour precious time and resources into providing the best benefits available only to see low engagement.

When it comes to neglected benefits, several factors may contribute. But one will almost always be prominent: ineffective communication. With that in mind, let’s look at a list of several of the techniques even great companies sometimes forget about as they’re communicating their benefits.

Using Many Megaphones

The newer or smaller your business, the more likely you are to have hit upon a list of one or two communication practices that work well for your organization That works wonderfully for a young company, but with growth comes a need to use many megaphones to communicate benefits. The good news is this doesn’t have to be complicated. The more formats you utilize, the greater the transparency and awareness. Consider branching out and adding at least one or two more channels to your existing promotion methods.

For example, everyone knows the value of enrollment packets and an intranet. To really increase engagement, however, try branching out with flyers, postcards, posters or table tents in common areas to promote a specific benefit. Keep your benefits top of mind for employees by adding them to quarterly or monthly staff meetings. Try electronic mediums such as a quarterly email series or screensavers on the time clocks. If you have televisions in breakrooms that can run a 2–5 minute video teaser on a loop, those also work well at getting the message out at open enrollment.

If a benefit is worth having, it’s worth promoting regularly. Don’t have a wellness fair once a year or post an announcement on the intranet and assume employees “know” what you’re offering.

Making Waves

We’re not talking about rocking the boat during board meetings. We mean waves—using periodic campaigns to promote your benefits at strategic times throughout the year! Once a year is probably not enough, while monthly promotions can sometimes be overwhelming.

Try a few well-timed quarterly pushes that line up with natural interest in the benefit. A few examples:

  • New Year’s Campaign – Everyone is thinking about making a fresh start in January, so it’s an obvious time to remind them about any benefits you offer that could help them reach their goals.

  • Tax Campaign – As employees get their 1040s in order, tax season is one great time to push your financial wellness benefit.

  • General Open Enrollment – Spacing the general enrollment period away from other campaigns will help to motivate employees and keep engagement high all year.

Reaching Each Generation

Regardless of age, we’re all sometimes prone to assuming things about our employees that might apply only to our own generation. So before you share your next big benefits update on Instagram and call it a day, consider the generational differences on your team.

While younger workers tend to love keeping posted on everything through digital formats, Baby Boomers in your company will likely appreciate face-to-face or print updates about benefits. And almost everyone appreciates face-to-face announcements with the opportunity to ask questions. Be ready to tailor your communication to the various generations for maximum awareness.

Spelling Out the Cost

When you’re hiring and onboarding new employees, there’s always at least a brief discussion of the benefits you’re offering. And that often includes an explanation of how much your company contributes to benefits like health insurance.

But how often do you go back and update employees on the actual cost of the benefits available to them? It’s a great idea to give your employees regular reports not only of what you’re offering them but also how much you’re paying to do so. This can have a big impact on their awareness and willingness to take advantage of the possibilities.

With these strategies in place to communicate your company’s benefits offerings, awareness and engagement will grow—along with your ROI.

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