It’s a hot, humid, late August afternoon – I love it! But change is right around the corner or, rather, the Labor Day weekend. School resumes, the temperatures start to cool, and employers are getting ready for the open enrollment season.Speaking of open enrollment season, it’s a great time to think about ramping up the overall benefits communication strategy.
At open enrollment, employees are often overwhelmed by all the information provided to them. This leads to mistakes with elections, such as failing to select plans with appropriate premiums and deductible levels, or missing out on important coverage because they were unaware of all the options.
According the 2012 Alfac Workforces Report, nearly half of employees feel their HR department doesn’t communicate with employees enough. These same employees were nearly twice as likely to leave their jobs in the next year.
Year-round benefits communication, using a mix of communication channels helps bridge the gap between HR and employees. It can improve the perceived value of the benefits program resulting in healthier, better protected employees who are more engaged and are better able to retain the information, as well as a smoother, easier open enrollment process.
To get started, consider surveying employees to determine what they want and need – both with regard to available benefits and ongoing communication preferences. Use the survey results as the planning guide. Be sure to incorporate a mix of communication channels to deliver messages in ways that will engage and empower employees, such as: