3 Communication Secrets for Successful Benefits Enrollment
Improve benefits communication before and after group enrollment.
A recent study from LIMRA titled, Employees Open Up About Open Enrollment, reveals a puzzling result related to benefits enrollment and communications:
- 75 percent of employees admitted to spending less than two hours reviewing benefit information during open enrollment.
- However, more than half of respondents prefer detailed descriptions of benefit plans to high-level overviews.
- Moreover, employees usually maintain their selections, and rarely review voluntary benefit information unless a plan change has occurred.
These conflicting admissions mean that, to improve enrollment results, we have to improve employee education and benefits communication. Here are some tips to help you increase benefits awareness and drive greater plan participation for your clients.
Communicate the entire package.
Voluntary health benefits are usually selected to complement the medical plan, and can easily be integrated into benefits communication. Your communication goal is to educate employees about the plans while illustrating how their benefits work together. For example, if the benefits program includes any gap-filler plans, such as accident or hospital indemnity plans, you can incorporate plan explanations into communications about the medical plan. This also means tailoring your communication materials for each group and benefits package.
Remember your audience.
When planning your communications, it’s important to remember who your audience is and how best to reach them. This includes careful consideration of age, gender and other demographics for each of your groups. Communication targeted towards HR professionals and benefits administrators may contain industry terms or phrases. However, when communicating with employees, it’s best to assume they have little to no insurance knowledge. Moreover, younger Millennials flooding the workforce most likely do not have a general grasp of group benefits. Therefore, simplify your message and explanation.
It’s also important to remember most people are visual learners. Try to incorporate infographics and graphics to illustrate how their benefits work. These materials should simplify the explanation, use straight forward messaging, and provide examples whenever feasible.
Be consistent with your messaging.
Your message should be clear and concise, but just as important, constant and repetitive. You can and should use the same message, rephrased and distributed through multiple channels. Help your clients communicate the value of group benefits year round. Stick to key messages outlined for that particular client and their employees, and the message will get through.
In our experience, when you carefully plan and execute your benefits communications strategy, you are likely to find greater success come during enrollment.
What’s your benefits enrollment secret?