The benefits open enrollment season for many companies will be here soon. Take time now to figure out what you’re going to communication to employees and how. Remember, benefits are one of the most important employment aspects and one of the most confusing for most workers.
To be effective with reaching and reassuring employees about benefit changes, communicate:
- Frequently – You will want to get your messages out often and through various channels to make sure that all employees learn about open enrollment, how it will affect them, and what they need to do. Many people need to hear and read about change more than once or twice to understand it. Start your communications soon and continue them through the end of the open enrollment period.
- Clearly – Benefit information can be riddled with jargon that, unless you deal with benefits on a daily basis, can be challenging to understand. Don’t assume employees can speak the benefit language. When it doubt, define everything in plain language that anyone will get. Also, try different communication formats, including infographics, to explain information.
- Honestly – Don’t try to gloss over change. Explain any changes and why they are needed. Nobody likes to feel snookered. When asked a question, answer it directly. If you don’t know the answer, say so and let the person know you will find it out.
- Sensitively – When explaining benefits, focus on employee needs and provide meaningful examples that don’t offend anyone. You don’t want to explain a change in the prescription drug formulary by saying that particular condition isn’t as serious as another. You never know what issues a particular employee has.
For more tips on writing your content in Plain Language, read this article from Shawn Connors, President of Hope Health: If You Think “Plain Language” is “Dumbing Down”… You Flatter Yourself.