If you build it, they will come - if they hear you. You could have the best benefits plan in the world, but if your employees don't fully understand it, you're missing the mark. Commit to better employee benefits communication at open enrollment this year.
In most companies, there is widespread bewilderment about benefits. In a 2011 survey, Aflac reported that three quarters of us admit to making mistakes during open enrollment, and that only 40% say that they feel well informed about the benefits that are offered at their company. [YIKES!] Unfortunately, mistakes from misunderstanding can be costly to employees and cause them to resent HR or their employer.
Benefits are intended to be beneficial and provide something of value to employees – we’re trying to build our internal brand and gain a reputation of being a great place to work. But if the only emotion people feel in relations to benefits is the frustration and confusion at open enrollment, your company is falling short of the goal, no matter how robust your benefits package.
Your people deserve effective communication about something as important as employee benefits! This year, commit to delivering the best employee benefits communication you can at open enrollment. Reject pre-packaged solutions, and invest the time and resources to make sure your employees understand the valuable information you’re trying to deliver.
Consider hiring an employee benefits communication specialist to help with your efforts, or even contracting a freelance writer to help put your messages in “laymen’s” terms. [It can be tough for benefits professionals sometimes to edit their own messages – since we live in the benefits world every day, it’s hard to identify to words and concepts that may be foreign too our employees.]
It certainly takes energy and resources to design effective communications, but the return from doing so can be great. The added financial and human cost invested in employee benefits communications is likely a fraction of what you’re spending on your benefits as a whole, and it’s worth a little more to make sure people actually understand it!