Use multiple tactics and communicate year-round to improve benefits engagement
Remember when employers could pass out a few brochures and hold a town hall meeting to explain the new benefit offerings during open enrollment? Those days are long gone.
Today’s HR and benefits managers rely on year-round communications to educate employees on benefit offerings and what’s changing.
Create a benefits strategy that emphasizes year-round employee communication
With the goal of making communication a year-round process, the best tactics are part of a strategic plan that ends with open enrollment. Some benefits managers will saturate messaging once a month leading up to fall open enrollment. The reason for planned, consistent communications is simple: benefits have become complicated! Sixty-two percent of U.S. workers report they only have a fundamental understanding of their health care options and benefits.1
To optimize effectiveness, create a communications strategy around these three pillars:
- Create annual goals to help stay on track throughout the year. Consider adopting the SMART framework when creating goals, which stands for: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-bound.2
- Use messaging that can be easily adopted across multiple channels such as websites, text messages and more.
- Use the technologies employees most prefer – it will improve comprehension and adoption.
In addition to frequent communication, some companies operate an online self-service hub, which provides users with comprehensive information for every benefit. Employees need around-the-clock access to this often-critical data. But when the hub can’t provide everything, ensure employees have a dedicated benefits contact they can reach out to for specific questions and problem-solving.1
To better engage employees young and old, use all of these tried-and-true communication tactics:3
- Text messages: Sending short text messages to employees with updates, reminders and to-do items are opened 98 percent of the time by recipients — a rate that far exceeds email messages.
- Benefits website: A branded benefits site is a one-stop shop for all employees to check for benefit updates and options. It is best when the enrollment platform employees are familiar with can support these messages.
At Securian Financial, we believe a successful plan starts with employee communication and engagement. From text messages to tailored websites, we offer a broad spectrum of tactics to reach every employee.