10 tips for better benefits communication

1. Engage to protect

“Providing education and engagement about both benefits and workplace initiatives increases the effectiveness of programs and contributes to keeping costs down for employers. The more engagement generated, the healthier and better protected the employees.” Steve Horvath, vice president, CoreSource and Dan Johnson, vice president, Trustmark Voluntary Benefit Solutions

2. Cut the jargon

“The benefits business is full of jargon. Studies have shown that words we use all the time are confusing. Watch the jargon and use terms that make sense to employees.” Marty Traynor, vice president of voluntary benefits, Mutual of Omaha

3. It’s not about you

“M. Scott Peck said that true listening requires a setting aside of oneself. And sometimes that means setting aside your personal opinion.” Celeste Headlee, radio host

4. Offer your expert opinion, though

“Millennials get information on their own. However, when it’s time to purchase, they still want the personal service and an advisor to help them. As a large demographic, they are similar to the silent generation in that they think through their purchases and do research on their own.” Aprilyn Chavez Geissler, owner, Geissler Agency Inc.

5. A closed sale shouldn’t mean closed communication

“Don’t stop communication once the sale is made. The success of your business requires keeping customers on the books. Communication between enrollment periods can help strengthen relationships and boost persistency.” Rob Carnaroli, broker & vice president of sales, Sutter Health Plus

6. Communication as a retention tool

An Aflac study found that 80 percent of employees agree that a well-communicated benefits package would make them less likely to leave their jobs.

7. Read the room

“Many employees are not knowledgeable about benefits plans and insurance terminology and, as a result, are at risk of getting inadequate coverage or buying products they don’t need to. You have to look at the workforce and determine what channel would be best to reach employees.” Dayne Williams, CEO, PlanSource

8. Modify your approach as needed

“When carriers, brokers, and HR teams are putting together benefits packages, they need to think like marketers. They must adapt their messages to a mobile, impatient audience, while still supplying enough information so that people know what they are getting into.” Scott Carver, president, PlanSource

9. Real people get real results

“Many otherwise great campaigns have failed because they are tone deaf to their audience. A program from union members better not be littered with ‘employee’ references. Graphics should match the demographics of the employee audience, and designers often tend to show ‘beautiful people,’ but plans need to be shown benefitting real people.” Marty Traynor, vice president of voluntary benefits, Mutual of Omaha

10. Again, it’s not about you

“Don’t equate your experience with theirs. If they’re talking about having lost a family member, don’t start talking about the time you lost a family member. If they’re talking about the trouble they’re having at work, don’t tell them about how much you hate your job. It’s not the same. It is never the same. All experiences are individual, and more important, it is not about you.” Celeste Headlee, radio host


View the full article at: http://www.benefitspro.com/2017/01/27/10-tips-for-better-benefits-communication?t=employee-participation