How Employers can Have Influence in Diet and Disease Prevention

5 ways to Improve Benefits Communication

A recent study through LegalShield discovered that 81% of employees in the United States would appreciate more information regarding their company-sponsored benefits throughout the year, not just before Open Enrollment. In addition to sponsored benefits, 47% of employees reported needing more robust information on voluntary benefits offerings in order to make informed enrollment decisions.

The results of this survey indicate that overall communication on employee benefits can be improved. The following are five ways employers can enhance their benefits communication:

  1. Craft customized messages with a multichannel approach. Just as employee benefits are not one-size-fits-all, neither is the communication on the offerings. Different cohorts within the organization are going to be more interested in certain benefits than others. It is important to market benefits to meet specific needs and pique interest. For example, working parents will be more interested in enrolling in a disability benefit if it’s marketed in a way that promotes protecting the family and boosting financial wellness. Additionally, not all employees learn the same way. While one group may prefer in-person meetings to explain benefits, others may prefer detailed flyers or brochures. It’s important to use multiple channels to ensure information is being received and understood.

 

  1. Remind employees of their available benefits year-round. Open enrollment is a great time to share new benefits options; however, it should not be the only time that conversations regarding benefits occur. Employers should pay attention to current events and connect them to related benefits offerings. For example, September is Suicide Prevention Month, and during this month when mental health is examined and brought to the forefront, employees should be encouraged to take advantage of the counselors readily available through their Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

 

  1. Emphasize the importance of acting on qualifying life events. Not all employees understand they can change their benefits elections during a qualifying life event such as a marriage, birth, divorce, and so on. As an employer, be mindful of your employees’ major life events and remind them that benefits can be altered within a certain window of time.

 

  1. Reintroduce benefits communications before Open Enrollment. All benefits, but especially new or updated benefits, must be properly communicated before Open Enrollment. Employers should give employees a reasonable amount of time to review their benefits before they must make their elections. This time period allows employees to digest the new information, compare it to their current plans and costs, and decide on a course of action moving forward.

 

  1. Be transparent about benefit costs. One of employees’ top deciding factors is cost. Employers should articulate which plans are company-sponsored and which are employee-paid. During this time, employers can also encourage employees to utilize any savings accounts offered or provide general cost-saving tips.

 

If you have any benefits questions, please reach out to the Creative Benefits, Inc. ESR team.