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Your Employees Don't Care About Benefits Programs

Patrick Ball on June 16, 2015 04:53 PM

If there's such a thing as clickbait in the HR space, then that headline is it. 

You know what though? It's true.

Employees don't care about their employer-provided benefits programs -- perhaps because less than half of employees say their company effectively educates employees about their benefits options. But they do care about their lives, and how your company's programs support them in their lives -- both inside and out of the office. 

That's why it's so important to be impactful in your employee communications, to make certain that you're delivering clear and concise information so that your employees can make educated, informed decisions about their benefits, professional development opportunities and other employer-provided programs. 

Why bother? Simple: Because employees who are satisfied with their employee benefits and lifestyle perks are more likely to be loyal, engaged employees who'll say their company is a great place to work. 

So, with that in mind, here are some benefits communication strategies sure to get your employees' attention. 

  1. Go Mobile
    The world today is quite literally at our fingertips, thanks to advances in mobile technology. That's where today's modern workforce expect to not only learn about, but access their benefits. So, as you develop your communications strategies, make sure they're mobile-friendly. Optimize your emails for mobile devices, and tap into social media and other applications -- the more you can deliver information on platforms where your employees are accustomed to consuming it, the better chance you have of communicating for impact.  

  2. Call in the Big Guns 
    For many employees, benefits are a welcome safety net. In fact, according to a MetLife study, 73 percent of employees say having insurance/benefits gives them peace of mind for the unexpected. Part of that peace of mind is knowing your employer has your back -- don't be afraid to show them this proactively by calling in subject matter experts. Use a seminar on caring for loved ones with Alzheimer's as an opportunity to promote your senior care support programs, or provide access to financial advisors to help employees make informed decision about retirement, 401ks and stock options. 

  3. Remix the Classics 
    Those ugly fliers in the kitchen? Stick QR codes on them to allow for instant enrollment. Fed up with traditional benefits fairs? Rebrand yours by making it a family-friendly affair. Schedule it for late afternoon, invite employees to bring their spouses and kids (that way, you'll be sure to get the family's decisionmaker) and sweeten the deal with food, games and raffle prizes. Up the energy level around employee benefits and you'll find employees are more engaged in the process. 

    Read More About Awesome Ways Leading Companies Support Working Dads 

  4. Optimize Email 
    You know the question about if a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one there to hear it? Same principle applies to email.You could write the most comprehensive, informative email about changes to your health care plans or to introduce a fun new benefit, but none of that matters if your emails are unread. Keep in mind that the average employee will receive 100 or more emails a day, so you need yours to stand out. A few tips for that: nail the subject line, make sure you send it at a time when employees are likely to be checking email (not 10:18 p.m. on a Tuesday) and, remember, make sure it's mobile-friendly. 

  5. Show 'Em 
    Some experts are projecting that video will make as much as 70 percent of all web traffic within the next few years. This rise in video coincides with the emergence of mobile as a go-to platform for consuming information. A simple application of video to benefits communications include creating informational and testimonial videos, which you can present during onboarding, share on social and house on your website.

    Bonus: In addition to being effective employee communication tools, you can post the videos you create to your website and social networks as a way build and enforce your employer brand. 

  6. Think Like a Marketer
    By that we mean treat your employees like consumers. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is assuming that all of your benefits and work perks will appeal to all of your employees. Remember, your employees – like any consumers – are more likely to be responsive to those communications and information that they feel are directly relevant to them. Promote child care to new parents, tuition reimbursement to recent graduates and so forth. 

  7. Let Them Eat Cake 
    Because food (and booze) are still effective ways to grab employees' attention. 


Employee Benefits Communication