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The Secret to Higher Benefits Engagement

The Secret to Higher Benefits Engagement
Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2018 by Marcy Klipfel
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HR professionals have a difficult job cut out for them. They have to communicate benefits to five generations in different ways at different times on top of thinking about budget constraints and affecting the bottom line.

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Despite their best efforts, data reveals that employees still don’t know about their benefits. According to the data pulled from our online benefits platform, Benefitsolver, 38 percent of adult employees under age 29 claim to have no benefits knowledge, while employers claim that 80 percent of employees don’t even read benefits collateral.

On the other hand, data shows that when employees know and understand their benefits, they have higher job satisfaction overall. In fact, according to the Guardian Life Workplace Benefits Study, 84 percent of employees with high benefits satisfaction report higher job satisfaction. And, data from MetLife revealed that 73 percent of employees believe the right benefits increase loyalty to their employer.

Higher job satisfaction = higher productivity, higher engagement, positive impact to the bottom line.

So, how do HR professionals find a time efficient, budget friendly, means of communication that will deliver their benefits option at the right place and the right time? A marketing technique could be the key.

I’m lovin’ it. Do a Dollop of Daisy. Give Me a Break. I’m a Big Kid Now. Reading those phrases, did you hear the jingle playing in your head? As annoying as jingles and marketing catch phrases can be, they are effective in the way they get us to remember one key thing: the product. Now, we may not be totally convinced to run down to the cornerstone for a Kit Kat every time we hear the song, but the jingle does get stuck in our heads and creates a familiar feeling. How? Repetition. HR Pros can learn from jingle methodology when they are developing their benefits communications strategies.

Repeating your message year-round will build habits, increase reading retention, and increase the odds that your employees actually pay attention to your messaging. Here are 3 ways how:

  1. Send text messages. According to Pew, a whopping 95 percent of Americans own a mobile phone of some kind. With this stat in mind, it’s probably safe to assume that most of your workforce, all 5 generations, own a phone that can do more than make or receive calls. Sending text alerts or reminders is a great way to communicate especially during AE, to remind employees to enroll or simply sending links to helpful benefits information.
  2. Send emails more than once. Another marketing theory to keep in mind is the Rule of 7, which states that it takes 7 times for a message to sink in. Think about how crazy your inbox is! Don’t be afraid to send multiple messages to your employees about their benefits. Repetition helps form habits – sending informative emails about where your employees need to enroll, or a link to a page on your benefits website explaining what an HDHP is multiple times throughout the year, would be extremely helpful in creating awareness around your offerings. However, don’t wait till the last minute and blast your employees with 30 emails in the two weeks leading up to AE. Repetition works best when stretched out over time.
  3. Start early. How long do you think it takes to get a jingle stuck in your head? As stated above, you don’t want to leave your repetition strategy to the last minute as that would probably upset your employees. Start early in the year so you have plenty of time to send multiple messages to your employees. And, like a good jingle, your benefits communications will stick just like a good neighbor…

Benefits are a major investment for both the employer and the employee. The data is clear that when employees know about their benefits, they are more likely to join and stay with your organization. The key to communicating benefits to employees is repetitive, year-round communication strategies to be able to reach them at the right place, and the right time. In the end, employees who are educated about their benefits are worth the time and effort it takes into developing a year-round communication strategy.

Need help in convincing your CFO? Download our infographic for more targeted ROI data points on benefits communication.

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