The loss of face-to-face interaction and group benefit meetings can understandably leave employees feeling lost and questioning their benefit decisions this enrollment season. If organizations fail to offer viable alternatives, eligible employees could potentially make uninformed decisions and miss out on valuable benefits for their household.
Successful organizations are finding ways to adapt and deliver timely, relevant benefits communications to a predominately remote workforce and guide employees to make the best benefit decisions.
4 Ways to Adapt Your Benefits Communication Strategy in the COVID Era
- Avoid surprising employees with unexpected benefit changes by monitoring your communication frequency and timing
COVID has opened a new door for potential benefit changes, like expanding telehealth programs, enhancing mental health support, and adding voluntary benefits. A recent global survey conducted by Mercer indicates that 47% of employers are still monitoring the pandemic before deciding to adjust benefits for 2021. However, 16% of employers have already adjusted 2021 benefits and are implementing changes.
When employers provide frequent communication about existing benefit resources and timely updates surrounding benefit changes, employees are empowered to make educated benefit decisions.
Informed employees are more likely to get the most out of their benefit plans since they understand how their benefits work, where to access appropriate care, and how to find the resources they need. When employees are utilizing their benefits efficiently, employers traditionally experience reduced claim expenditures and a positive bottom line impact.
Leverage existing data to present employees with benefits information that matters (to them!)
Most organizations have hundreds of datapoints within their HR platforms that can be extremely useful in their efforts to reach the right employees. Leveraging existing data with engagement technology now allows employers to strategically target employees based on prior benefit elections, demographics, job class, etc. and send tailored information that’s relevant to individual employees. Know your audience and target, target, target!
Leverage two-way communication to listen, address, and tackle employee concerns
Successful, engagement-centered organizations find a way to systematically gather employee questions, listen to their concerns, and provide solutions to their problems. Chances are, if one employee has questions surrounding benefits or return-to-work protocols, other employees are likely pondering the same questions.
Organizations can use surveys to get an idea of how much employees know about their current benefit offering and what areas may require additional information. Based on these responses, organizations can identify patterns that set the stage for proactive measures that will go a long way in gaining employee trust.
A word of caution - it is not enough to simply collect employee questions and concerns. Leaders in the organization must be ready to act and address concerns head-on. Failure to follow-through and address employee concerns in a timely manner may ultimately lead to lower levels of engagement and reduced levels of employee trust in the organization.
Maintain transparency and frequency of open communication
Establish a structure to keep communication frequent and transparent, especially in times of uncertainty. Transparent communication efforts that directly address employee concerns can cultivate an environment where employees feel heard and in turn, are more likely to remain understanding during difficult times in the organization. As employee trust grows, organizations will tend to notice positive downstream impacts such as increased productivity, lower levels of turnover, and overall employee satisfaction.
Best-in-class engagement technology enables employers to position themselves as a reliable and supportive source of information for their employees while saving time and resources in the process. To learn more about how the suite of Selerix HR solutions can help your organization, contact us today.