In these times of remote working, increased flexibility and competing priorities, organizations must reinvent the way they reach their workforce with benefits communication.

 

Open enrollment is the one time of year when every organization has an audience ready to hear about benefits. To capture this opportunity, it’s critical to communicate in a way that will cut through the clutter and ensure that employees understand the value of your total rewards package as well as how your benefits can provide support, security and resources.

 

Provide timely, simple and targeted communications and deliver a consumer-grade employee experience.

 

Top Tips for Communicating About Benefits

 

1. Get personal.

Tailor messages, images and stories to employee groups, segmented by current plan elections, age range, gender or consumerism patterns.

Create a sense of personal connection and relatability with self-recorded testimonials, self-driven decision tools and branding that embodies the heart of the organization.

 

2. Say less, show more.

Tell the benefits story with visuals. Icons, images and infographics can help illustrate how complex plans — such as a Health Savings Account — work.

Consider providing a modern, self-paced e-learning experience with recorded narration, engaging animation, videos, quizzes and gamification.

To keep benefits and other rewards top of mind year-round, create a total rewards website that communicates the full range and value of an employee’s pay and benefits.

 

3. Engage in two-way communications.

Build in a way for employees to ask questions, get answers and provide feedback on your efforts. This feedback will help you adjust your plan and inform communication going forward.

To gather feedback, consider using pulse technology, hosting live Q&A sessions with leaders or holding virtual office hours through a platform such as the Mercer Virtual Benefits Fair.

 

4. Provide consumer-grade digital tools.

Help employees experience your benefits in the same ways that they engage with the consumer world: via smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Open enrollment is a great time to rethink your media and communication channels and consider the timing, look and feel of your communication pieces.

 

How to Get Started

 

  • Develop a strategy. A strategic communication plan can give you the clarity and focus to engage your employees differently in their health and benefits.
  • Craft the story. Storytelling will help employees and their families see how a particular benefit or decision will lead to a better outcome.
  • Activate your plan. Cascade your messages, leveraging leaders and influencers through media such as podcasts and video. And, remember to allow for ample time for employees to choose the benefits best for them.

Mercer can help you plan for open enrollment in a virtual world.

Deena Harvanek
by Deena Harvanek

Partner | US Talent Communications Solutions Leader

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