Benefit program rollouts and maintenance take months of work and effective communication with employees about their benefits offerings can produce meaningful results. Unfortunately, many businesses fail to plan their communication strategies beyond rollout.
Whether you’re a small or large business, you can likely benefit from optimizing and revamping your benefits communication strategies.
Employee Needs Change
No matter your employees’ demographics, it’s likely that their benefits needs and personal situations will change while they’re working at your organization. Whether they’re getting married, purchasing a home, or transitioning into retirement, every employee journey is unique.
By building an effective communication strategy, you can help employees understand what benefits offerings are available to them and how to make the most of them. Your communication strategy can include quarterly or monthly engagement campaigns to keep employees using their benefits, or provide targeted feedback to address needs individually as employees make changes to their benefits plans.
Communication Methods need to be Adaptive
Not all communication methods are created equal. If you’ve built employee personas for your organization to better understand who works at your business, you likely discovered patterns of how and when employees prefer to be engaged and most likely saw that some communication strategies work better than others.
Your communication strategy should adapt to fit the employees they’re targeting. Adoption and engagement rates will increase as your communications strategy adapts to fit the preferences of different employee groups — some employees want printed flyers or PowerPoint presentations, while others may only want emails.
Benefits and Offerings Will Change
Your benefits offerings aren’t static. Every year, your benefits plans will likely change because of internal and external forces such as budget considerations or changes to regulations. As these changes occur, your employees need to know about them so they can understand how their benefits will change.
Your communication strategy is the artery between your benefits portals and the benefits themselves. Use your communication tools to help employees navigate changes to their benefits year-round so they don’t experience surprise changes in coverage.
Adoption Rates Are Important
One of the biggest driving factors of benefits adoption rates is how effective communication was around the rollout. If you’re able to communicate year-round what your benefits plans are, how they work, and what changes are in the pipeline, you will keep adoption rates high. Often times, employees fail to adopt or engage with new benefits simply because they don’t fully understand them.
Lower Turnover Rates
If employees are engaging with their benefits, their job satisfaction goes up. You also get the added benefit of decreased financial stress at your organization, which can lead to lower absenteeism and overall lower turnover. Your communication strategy can continue to communicate the benefits of enrolling in an organization’s benefits and guide employees to healthier choices — lowering turnover costs overall.
ROI of your Plan
Nearly across the board, for every dollar a business invests in benefits programs, their return on investment is even higher. With some businesses averaging returns of $7 for every $1 invested into employee wellness benefits, it’s imperative to get it right.
Unfortunately, high ROIs don’t happen by themselves. Communicating with your employees about how benefits plans work, utilizing benefits effectively, and continually following up with employees throughout the year in a complete communication strategy will help you fully realize the financial returns possible with benefits program rollouts.
Even if you’re not in the midst of open enrollment, your communication strategy should continue to engage employees year-round to emphasize not only the benefits of engaging with their benefits programs, but also with tips on how to get the most out of the benefits offered. By engaging employees with an effective communication plan, the returns are endless.
Effective communication strategies lead to higher adoption rates of benefits, reduce turnover rates, and often produce higher ROIs for businesses.
How are you thinking about your communication plans to better engage your employees?