6 WAYS TO USE TECHNOLOGY IN BENEFITS COMMUNICATION

Employees in any department or of any designation in an organization expect a comprehensive benefits package beyond their basic compensation. For them to be able to make the most of the benefits program their organization offers, it is essential that HR effectively communicates the features of the program. This reinforces the objectives of the benefits program and ensures that employees are clear about the practical use of their benefits package. They can then implement the various perks they are given in their day-to-day lives. This is where technology can help, literally transforming a benefits communication plan.

Any compensation plan for employees must contain a multifaceted benefits package. This makes strategic employee benefits communication all the more important, aiding awareness across the widest possible employee base. In this article, we discuss:

  • Why HR teams need employee benefits communication
  • Six ways in which technology can help communicate employee benefits
  • Why the traditional employee benefits guidebook is still relevant

Employees in any department or of any designation in an organization expect a comprehensive benefits package beyond their basic compensation. For them to be able to make the most of the benefits program their organization offers, it is essential that HR effectively communicates the features of the program. This reinforces the objectives of the benefits program and ensures that employees are clear about the practical use of their benefits package. They can then implement the various perks they are given in their day-to-day lives. This is where technology can help, literally transforming a benefits communication plan.

Why Do You Need an Employee Benefits Communication Plan?

A survey by Willis Towers Watson in 2018 revealed that 78% of employees would choose to stay with a company based on the benefits available. This makes both the benefits plan and its intelligent communication to employees a critical part of the initiative’s implementation, which is likely to boost retention as well.

Employees can have several questions around the program, which vary between third-party benefits brokers, cost elements, bill raising, and reimbursement protocol, and extensions according to changes in their personal lives.

Let’s evaluate how technology can answer these questions with an effective employee benefits communication plan.

6 Ways to Use Technology in Benefits Communication

“Employees need to understand and connect with the information you’re passing on to them — not just what it is but why it’s important. Then you need to reinforce that message. Because in the end, engagement with your HR programs is only as good as your communication strategy,” says Keith Kitani, CEO at GuideSpark. Here are six ideas that can dramatically boost the effectiveness of employee benefits communication, regardless of annual enrollment or at any time during the employee’s tenure.

  1. Intelligently leverage the power of social media

HR teams can use the company social handle across platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share posts on the benefits available, remind employees about key dates, and personalize any benefits communication release. Facebook helps employers connect with employees on a one-on-one level, while LinkedIn reaffirms the organization position and its commitment to the benefits program.

This also helps build the employer brand significantly, demonstrating to other potential employees and companies that the company not only has attractive benefits programs but also cares about its employees taking advantage of these programs.

  1. Effectively employ email marketing automation

When communicating benefits programs to employees, HR would benefit from thinking like a marketer. This is practically an effort at selling packages that employees will definitely benefit from but are too wary of enrolling because they do not have enough information.

Using tools such as MailChimp, you can share regular reminders and communicate detailed advantages of the program to employees.

  1. Enhance engagement through YouTube videos

Videos are always a great way to cut through the clutter and deliver the intended communication in a manner that is creative, conversational, and popular. You can share videos explaining the different benefits available and how employees can benefit from those packages. You could even upload employee testimonials that highlight how the benefit was helpful, helping employees make better decisions. This also increases organizational brand recall.

  1. Collaborate with a benefits marketplace for 360-degree support

HR teams looking for a composite ecosystem can work with a benefits marketplace – for instance, BenefitsPlaceby Benefitfocus – connecting every stakeholder (employees, HR professionals, third-party carriers, and the like) on a unified platform. The advantage of such a tool is that it a) increases employees’ confidence in the program, b) offers a larger selection of benefits, c) allows you to effectively manage enrollments in a single place, and d) is usually equipped with a support center that can help both employees and HR teams.

  1. Utilize collaboration tools for continuous benefits communication

HR teams can use collaboration tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Skype to conduct townhalls where senior leadership can outline the benefits program or launch a new one. This is even more relevant when kickstarting a benefits campaign or after the completion of a major hiring cycle. A message from the senior leadership can boost employees’ confidence in a program.

  1. Ensure that the benefits communication plan is mobile -friendly

Given how employees constantly use their smartphones for both personal and professional needs, any communication plan must be optimized for mobile usage. At its simplest, HR teams can send SMS as reminders about enrollment time and impending deadlines. Over time, the benefits communication plan must also have a clearly articulated mobile-only element – this would be through a dedicated app for benefits.

Pro tip: The Employee Benefits Communication Guidebook Is Here to Stay

The legacy guidebook or manual will continue to remain a convenient and useful part of any benefits program. This is because it offers a detailed breakdown of a) the benefits, b) the various cost components, and c) scoresheets on how the employee is placed on the eligibility flowchart. Organizations can even share statements monthly/bi-monthly, as part of the regular paycheck.

The six uses of technology for employee benefits communication will only expand and amplify the intended purpose of the manual. These tools and platforms will work as ready reckoners, quick reminders, and a means to increase participation.

How are you using technology to improve benefits communication at your organization? Share your insights with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. We are always listening!

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