“I have a glass of red wine with dinner about once a week. For the antioxidants.”

Stanley Hudson, The Office Season 2 Episode 20

The hangover from open enrollment is a fading memory. Now is the time to continue serving up benefits information to your employees.

Offering compelling benefits packages is like planting a vineyard. Conducting open enrollment is like the grapes blossoming on the vines. Ongoing marketing of employee benefits is crafting the fine wine where employee retention and productivity are high, and you are recruiting great talent.

Maintaining the Vineyard

A MetLife study reveals that when employees are satisfied with the frequency of benefits communications, they are 156% more likely to feel valued and appreciated.

Communication around benefits is not “one-and-done” with open enrollment. Communicating throughout the year matches how we live and work today. We make healthcare decisions year-round, long after electing a health plan. In addition, our attention spans are short. We absorb frequent, bite-sized reminders vs. long presentations or websites heavy with text.

Sips & Tips

A wine-maker doesn’t pour a whole bottle of wine into a glass for a wine tasting. You pour a small amount of wine into each glass so that individuals can sip and appreciate the wine. Here are some tips for your benefits communication planning.

  1. Tactics: We recommend trying a mixed media approach: emails, short videos, and infographics. You’ll have to consider using a few different methods to reach your entire workforce.
  2. Timing: Most people need to hear information more than once and more than one way to fully comprehend it. Implement regular communications such as monthly emails, quarterly lunch & learns, etc., to continue to educate employees on the company’s benefits plan.
  3. Spread the word: Find ways to engage the family’s decision-maker. If your employee’s spouse is making health care decisions, you want to be sure your message reaches them. Direct mail is an option. Try using a colored envelope or an oversized postcard.
  4. Speak plainly: Nine out of 10 US employees do not have a firm grasp of benefits and benefits terminology. Your employees, outside of HR, focus on different pieces of your business. Don’t dumb down the information; keep messaging simple and straightforward. Use visual elements such as relevant images, charts, and tables with words everyone can understand.
  5. Reveal the value: Benefits are often a hidden value in an overall compensation package. 74% of employees do not fully understand their compensation and benefits program or their employer’s contribution. Use compensation statements to share the value of the benefits your company provides.

When your employees understand their benefits, they utilize them more, resulting in better health, wealth, and wellbeing. So, let’s toast to you and the health of your business.

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