Most HR professionals don’t get into their chosen field because they enjoy flexing their marketing skills — but that’s exactly what they find themselves doing out of necessity. They need to promote details about their health and benefits programs, and they need to do it in a way that stands out to a wide audience.
Breaking through the noise is easier said than done. In fact, HR benefits leaders say communicating about benefits is their top benefits challenge1—and many plan participants don’t open or read their communications.
Research shows that as many as 80 percent of employees do not pay attention to the information they receive about benefits.2 This happens for a variety of reasons: The details are confusing; recipients don’t find the material valuable or relevant, or they can’t easily access it.
It doesn’t matter how great a benefits program is if employees and their families don’t know or understand what is available to them.
More than half of employees stay at their jobs because of the healthcare coverage,3 which means they are motivated to engage with their health plan and other benefits programs. Unfortunately, they are discouraged by the complexity — often made worse by long-winded, confusing benefits content that doesn’t immediately answer the questions they have.
Consider where and how your employees receive information: Is it through email? On a company intranet page? Through a booklet in the mail? On a poster in the break room? Can they easily access it at work? Can their spouses access it at home?
Do you even have visibility into how they’re consuming the information? After all, your goal isn’t just better delivering the message — you ultimately want to improve employee adoption and utilization of benefits.
Marketing experts will tell you that people need to receive the same information multiple times before they feel compelled to take action. In fact, some employees may need to hear a message 20 times before it resonates with them. That might feel discouraging, but implementing basic communications strategies can help you reach your people in the right way at the right moment in time.
You can’t uncomplicate the world of benefits — but clear communication goes a long way in helping you better engage your employees in what’s available to them. Better benefits engagement means happier employees. To help you get there, Accolade created an e-book with five practical techniques you can start using to simplify the process of benefits communication.
1 Accolade survey data, 2019
2 International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, February 2016, https://www.ifebp.org/pdf/benefits-communication-survey-results.pdf
3 The Value of Employer-Provided Coverage, AHIP, February 2018, https://www.ahip.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/AHIP_LGP_ValueOfESIResearch_Print_2.5.18.pdf