Beyond Tech: Best Practices for Communicating Benefits

January 04, 2017

Employees want information digitally. Some still prefer to learn about their benefits in-person. Find tips on how to communication benefits here.

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It’s no secret technology is playing an increasingly important role in administering benefits and communicating them to your clients’ employees. However, recent research reveals that while employees appreciate information communicated digitally or through technology, some still prefer the phone or in-person discussions to learn about their benefits. “Health Advocate released the results of a recent survey on communicating benefits, finding that 73 percent of employees prefer to talk live with someone about their benefits rather than use an automated system,” reported Valerie Bolden-Barrett for HR Dive.

However, digital communications are still a popular tool for employees, wrote Marlene Y. Satter for Benefits Pro, citing the same Health Advocate research. Sixty-nine percent of employees prefer using websites and online portals to learn about health care costs and administrative information. “For information about physical wellness benefits, 71 percent opt for the website/online portal, while 62 percent want to talk to someone on the phone, and 56 percent want an in-person conversation,” Satter stated.

What’s more, recent research from Jellyvision found 56 percent of U.S. workers want help from their employers in making health plan decision, writes Jack Craver for Benefits Pro. “That figure represents a major opportunity for employers to help workers out,” Craver wrote.

Regardless of how you’re communicating, make sure the information you share is easy to digest and focused on the recipient, added Alison Davis for Inc. Sharing tips, advice and even clients’ reasoning for providing specific benefits will resonate with employees. For example, companies are choosing benefit technology solutions “to help employees enroll in, use and monitor their benefits,” wrote Bruce Shutan for Employee Benefit News.

 When you’re sharing such information, offer “the most relevant information first and save the details for lower down in the message,” Davis suggested. “It works for any kind of communication, from email to enrollment packages to benefits meetings.” And, don’t forget to break down complicated or boring information. “Instead of long narrative copy, break content into easily [digestible] segments,” added Davis. “For example, create a table that captures key changes to next year’s benefits. Or add a sidebar with a checklist of decision items. And whenever possible, use icons, photos, or sketches to illustrate your points.”


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