How to effectively communicate benefits to your employees
By Calvin Gower, Trüpp.
Not everyone is fluent in the language of benefits. Many employees may have a hard time understanding the open enrollment process and the options available to them. Taking this into account, employers have an excellent opportunity to showcase their value and the total rewards they offer by establishing an informative open enrollment process, providing ongoing resources and support, and understanding the demographics and behavior of their team.
Open Enrollment Process
The first mistake employers often make with the open enrollment process is lack of preparation. If possible, start your timeline a few months ahead to gather the information you need to make informed decisions for your employees. During this process, take prior feedback into account. What did your team find confusing in the past? What have they liked or disliked about your current or previous offerings?
When it’s time to communicate to your employees, the goal is to keep it simple. Avoid dry PowerPoint presentations with information that has been copied straight from the benefits packet. Employees will have the option to sift through that information themselves, but highlighting the key features in a clean, visual format will get the message across to your employees more effectively. Consider using graphics and charts or other forms of media such as webcasts, video, or a web-based portal.
Resources and Support
Before, during, and after the open enrollment process, provide ongoing support for your team. This includes any resources that will help them understand their benefits and take full advantage of what you are offering. For an overview, create an easy-to-understand document such as a total rewards statement. Here at Trüpp, we’ve created our own custom highlight document that we use internally and for our clients.
Utilize technology that is convenient for your employees. Create a web-based portal that serves as a hub for important information, links, and relevant contacts. Your employees should also be familiarized with the mobile applications and web portals for each benefits provider. Remember, all this information becomes useless if it’s not easily accessible. Make this information available to your employees by clearly communicating channels where they can ask for help and provide feedback on an ongoing basis.
Demographics and Behavior
Understanding your team’s demographics and behavior should ultimately be what guides the way you communicate. There is a significant difference between what will be most effective for tech-savvy employees than those more comfortable with conventional materials. The way that your team consumes information, communicates, or navigates certain technology all play a role in this process. Utilize benefits surveys, feedback portals, and check-ins with your team to truly understand what works and what doesn’t work for them. When it’s all said and done, if you can understand your workforce, you can create a benefits language that is easier for them to understand.
Should you find that all this effort for improving your open enrollment and benefits administration seems overwhelming, consider engaging with Trüpp to streamline the process. Our experienced professionals take the stress out of the entire process, from benefits selection to open enrollment, so you can focus on growing your business.