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Employee Benefits Communication: 5 Effective Ways to Engage Your Employees

Don't let poor communication be the reason your benefits programs fail. Here are a few strategies that work.

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Your team has done it all. You’ve benchmarked your benefits against others in the industry, completed employee surveys, and established a great benefits package. But a few months later it becomes clear that employees are not engaging with your new initiatives. The biggest culprit? A lack of communication. 

Establishing a great benefits program is worthless without proper communication. Employee education around your program will increase engagement and reduce administration time by providing answers to frequently asked questions. We've collected a few ways to improve communication with your employees below. 

1. Encourage team champions

Employees are often strongly influenced by their fellow teammates. Establishing team champions, individuals who are well-versed in your company’s benefits, to act as the point person for questions and feedback across the team increase enrollment and participation in various programs. Team champions can aid the HR team by providing direct feedback and insight on how employees like to be communicated with and how they feel about the benefits offered by the organization. 

You can also route communications through existing employee resource groups that might be particularly interested in promoting certain programs. 

“We have different ways of communicating with employees as well through our Teams,” said Judy Mendoza, Sr. Manager of Global Benefits at LinkedIn. “So there’s a Families at LinkedIn Teams channel where we would post if there’s something that would affect families. From a wellness perspective, there’s a Teams channel as well. If we're running a campaign or doing an initiative or a program in a certain space, we’ll shout it out there so that people are aware.”

2. Create a dedicated site

A benefits or HR-specific company portal or website can help employees, view, manage, and understand their benefits. Many leading HR vendors offer easy-to-use websites or apps where employees can keep track of their benefits. 

At Moderna, an intranet site helped employees understand the benefits at their disposal. Even more useful, they implemented a tool that’s tailored to each employee’s location and benefit options. 

“We implemented and communicated these amazing benefits, but people were constantly reaching out to our team asking how to access them,” said Kelly Wakefield, Senior Manager of Global Benefits at Moderna. “We were thrilled with the engagement, but it also made it clear that we needed a self-service tool to get these resources in front of employees. So we further built out our existing intranet site. I think the intranet is helpful, but I foresee using certain benefit platforms where you can really start personalizing the experience. We’ve since built out a customized platform that allows location segmentation for each of our populations. If you’re in Poland, you log in and you only see what benefits are offered in Poland.”

Kelly sees even more opportunities for personalization in the future: “If we can use data and AI on the back end to give employees what they’re looking for when they need it, we can boost engagement immediately. I think that’s the thing I’m most excited about. In the next six to 12 months at Moderna, we’re looking to hone in on a personalized experience for benefits. The idea is if I search ‘maternity leave,’ I'm presented with other benefits that relate to the journey that I’m on right now. I think that’s going to be a trend in the next couple of years: employers utilizing HR technology in a different, more intentional way.”

For smaller organizations with less budget or support, even a simple online PDF that links to commonly asked FAQs can provide help. It’s also critical when selecting a benefits vendor that they communicate with and support employees directly, taking a load off the HR team’s plate.

3. Send small and frequent communications

Instead of overwhelming your employees with a long meeting or a 200-slide PowerPoint, think about how you can offer employees information in more digestible formats. Consider all the ways you currently engage with employees: Are there opportunities to include updates and reminders in your routine communications? 

“We’re always trying to plug little bite-size bits to the employees, whether it’s in our town hall or our employee newsletter,” said Michelle Kerr Stenzel, CHRO at Turnberry Solutions. “You have to communicate with employees in a variety of ways, both formally and informally, and also in different mediums. We also have an app and a benefits guide. We try to make sure we’re providing communication in all kinds of formats to help with engagement.” 

4. Share personal stories

Newsletters provide a channel where you can share real-life stories, engage employees, and encourage them to use their benefits in new and creative ways. The Community Group, an education nonprofit in Boston, shares stories of how team members are using the funds in a monthly newsletter feature. The newsletter also acts as a great reminder for individuals to spend the funds, increasing engagement with the program. 

One employee recently shared how he used Benepass to purchase his wife a sound bar for their TV designed to make voices clearer for individuals with hearing difficulties. Another employee shared how she used Benepass on her wellness: “I have used my Benepass for a massage with aromatherapy at Elements and bought myself a Chi Air Spin & Curl curler to style my and my daughter’s hair — which she absolutely loves!”

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5. Make it fun

Employees today are suffering from digital burnout brought on by a steady stream of emails and Zoom calls. Some countries such as Portugal have even banned employers from contacting employees outside of work hours in an effort to combat this reality. If you want to respect your employees' personal time and get them to participate in your benefits plan, you need to keep it fun. Don’t be shy about using prizes, awards, or lunch n’ learns to connect, educate, and build a sense of camaraderie. 

When building your benefits communication strategy, it’s critical to take the unique needs of different employees, age groups, and industries into consideration. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. The right communications strategy will increase employee engagement with your benefits and help your programs meet their goals. Want to learn more? Contact our team here or at sales@getbenepass.com

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Benepass Team

Our team is committed to sharing stories that help People teams do their jobs and empower employees to get the most out of their benefits.