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Changing the Way We Communicate Benefits for Better Employee Engagement

Changing the Way We Communicate Benefits for Better Employee Engagement
Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2018 by Bridget Mortland
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“A problem is only a problem when viewed as problem. All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.” – Robin Sharma

Communication-strategies-to-win-the-talent-war

Change is hard. When the number one priority of your job is to institute change, it can be exhausting at times. Working in product development and marketing, I often find myself in an uphill battle as we work to introduce efficiencies and changes that go against the way we have been operating for the past 10+ years. I get it.

I think the quote above sums it up perfectly. Change is always hard at first, a bit messy while you work out the kinks and then totally worth it in the end. As we think about change in benefits administration, it should be something we are used to, right?

Regulation updates can speed up change

Regulations are always changing (and often at the most inopportune times), new legislation means a new way of doing things. Health care evolves, and benefits have to keep up with the times, especially if you want to attract and retain top talent. Being prepared and open to change is an important part of supporting the success of your organization.

Be prepared for 2019 and register for our upcoming compliance webinar

Communication preferences matter

One of those changes we are dealing with right now is a shift in our perception of communication preferences. As we continue to move our manual process online, it can be difficult to move the needle to a more automated (and electronic) approach.

What’s our current hold up? We often make assumptions about how people want to be communicated to.

“Oh they don’t have a computer at home.” “There’s no way our retiree population has email.” “They refuse to do anything online.”

I’m sure you have heard those before. We often get caught up in what WE think or assume, as opposed to really finding out what our employees may want.

Learn more about communication techniques for different generations here

Send the right communications at the right place and at the right time.

Last year, we introduced a new Personal Preferences option in Benefitsolver for just that reason. We wanted to give employees an opportunity to TELL us how they prefer to be communicated with, whether that’s a work or personal email, text messaging or even paper mail delivery. By providing that option, there was no more guessing — we could share with our clients how to most effectively deliver information to meet their employees where they preferred to be met.

Take these statistics from Pew Research: Roughly nine-in-ten American adults use the internet. Meanwhile, 95 percent of Americans own a cell phone, 77 percent of which own a smartphone.

Those stats alone tell us the trends of where the workforce is going, online and more specifically on their phones. But again, don’t take my word for it. Ask! Give your employees an opportunity to tell you how they want you to communicate with them and then build your communication strategy around that.

While change can be difficult, it’s important that we continue to consider and embrace a new way of doing things, especially as intelligent applications continue to transform the way we as HR professionals do business. Accept the current chaos knowing the desired results will be worth it.

Ready to accept the change and start delivering more effective communications? Start by reading our multi-generational e-book to benefits communication. 

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