Quick Summary: No matter what size your company is or what industry you are in, developing the best and most effective benefits communication is a challenge, according to a white paper released by Colonial Life. And let’s make that hurdle even higher. News flash: employees are not always actively engaged in the process.
“Regardless of how the business landscape changes, companies need to stay grounded in the basic principles of communication—relevance and convenience—in order to be successful,” say benefits experts writing the white paper.
Sounds simple enough. But the reality is that companies create their own barriers that stand in the way of effective benefits communication. Let’s look at what those hurdles are:
“Costs too much.” Most employers think they can’t afford to have specialists available to talk to new hires or to employees undergoing life-event changes throughout the year, not to mention during the intensive period of open enrollment. This is one expense that pays off.
“Our internal resources are limited.” HR people feel burdened down by their administrative tasks that include enrollment and claims management. They often see benefits communication and education as soft and unnecessary. Wrong. Even with limited resources, communication is vital to engage employees in understanding their benefits in the first place.
“The benefits programs are too complex.” Let’s stick with that perception (and reality) of limited resources. Integrated benefits packages that offer traditional coverage plus voluntary products can be complex to administer, yet hundreds of thousands of companies are creating these complex systems. Yes, administering them can be overwhelming. Anticipate the problems.
“We have employees all over the country.” Employees work at the office. They work at home offices. They work at remote locations throughout the country and globe. With employees scattered everywhere, HR people find it difficult to provide personal benefits communication. Tap into technology such as webinars and intranets and blogs.
“Benefits are a necessary evil.” Some companies consider benefits a “necessary evil.” Imagine the type of apathetic corporate culture message this sends to employees.
Leading companies have leaped these hurdles, torn down these barriers, and adopted successful, cost-effective strategies for delivering health and benefits communication.
This information is based on the white paper entitled “Benefiting the Bottom Line: How a Strong Benefits Communication and Education Strategy Helps Drive Business”.
Examine your corporate culture. If offering benefits is thought to be a necessary evil, you will see this apathy reflected in your employee satisfaction surveys. Conduct one.
What types of technology can enable you to reach dispersed employees with health and benefits information messages?
Talk with the HR administrative staff. Can you add staff during peak enrollment periods?
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