Align your benefits communication strategy with your business goals and objectives with these tips.
Benefits communication can easily fall into a rut: For some companies, such communications consist of standard reminders at open enrollment or a health insurance tax form in April.
But once you start getting strategic about your benefits communication, you can use employee benefits to drive business outcomes like better retention or recruiting people who are a good fit for the organization.
Here are three tips to help you better align your benefits strategy with that of the entire business.
Cast a Wide Net
One size does not fit all when it comes to benefits communication. You need to use every form of media possible to communicate with employees and get the word out on what applies to them. Online portals, monthly or weekly emails, fliers, webinars and in-person meetings such as one-on-ones or lunch-and-learns will ensure that your communications coverage is complete. Keep in mind that options that work for some employees might not for others: People who work at desks may use an online webinar more than those who work in the warehouse, so be sure you are using the right channels.
Once you’re sure you’re covering every medium, look for ways to customize the information you provide. Don’t make assumptions about what they already know; it’s always better to over-inform when it comes to employee benefits. Look carefully at your employee demographics and find ways to let them know about benefits they might not realize apply to them. For example, younger families may be familiar with their health insurance but need more information about life insurance, while older employees may appreciate more education on elder-care benefits for their aging parents.
Start Early — Really Early
Benefits communication can apply to more than employees. When you include information about your benefits on your recruiting site and talk about them with job candidates, you can use them as a recruiting tool to get the top talent you need. Post information about your awesome benefits on your recruiting page, take the lead on benefit communications during the interview process, and ensure that hiring managers know how to (and how not to) talk about benefits during interviews.
Once you hire people, keep the effort going. As you onboard new employees, reinforce all communications several times — in the welcome letter, on their first day and throughout their probationary period. When they’re eligible for benefits coverage, walk them through the forms and details in a face-to-face meeting. Give them chances to ask questions and ensure they get the most out of their benefits.
Offer Value Year-Round
Employees value the health insurance they get from employers, but benefits are more than discounts on health care or prescriptions. Many benefits providers offer vast resources that help employees lead healthier lives, such as recipes that are suitable for people with diabetes or heart issues, exercise routines for people of all ages and abilities, and reminders for different health tests.
These value-added offerings can reinforce the idea that benefits are there for employees in good times, not just when they’re injured or ill. Work with your broker to provide the resources your employees are looking for to lead a healthier life.
At Starmount Life and AlwaysCare Benefits, we provide our own employees with pre-enrollment communications about their benefits and related services, benefit summaries and other communications at enrollment, and additional resources online after enrollment. Looking for more help with your benefit communications? Contact your agent or carrier first to see what they can provide!
Courtney Edwards, PHR is a human resources specialist at Starmount Life Insurance/AlwaysCare Benefits. She has more than six years of experience in human capital management, specializing in recruiting, onboarding, employee communication, employee benefits, diversity, corporate culture, payroll/compensation, employee engagement and retention. Courtney earned a bachelor’s degree in human resources and leadership development from Louisiana State University, and holds professional certifications from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the HR Certification Institute (HRCI).