One of the biggest enrollment challenges is communicating effectively so that employees understand and appreciate their benefit options. Too often, communications fall short. Employees say these are their top frustrations with open enrollment, according to a survey by Namely:
- 34% say there are constant changes and choices.
- 19% say the materials are full of jargon and are hard to understand.
- 19% say that the enrollment process is rushed.
- 11% say that their HR representative doesn’t know enough about the benefits.
It’s clear that having better communications can address nearly all of these frustrations. Jellyvision offers the following jargon makeover and some suggestions for clearer communications:
Before: “An election of voluntary life coverage for a spouse can equal up to half your individual life buy-up.”
After: “If you buy extra life insurance for yourself, you can also buy up to half that amount for your spouse.”
Steps to Better Communications
- Focus more on how much time or money benefits will save employees.
- Use “you” whenever possible in materials.
- Use testimonials.
- Use humor.
- Send out surveys before you launch new initiatives, and use that feedback. Encourage employees to send anonymous questions to create online FAQs.
- When you have bad news to share, be honest and kind. This breeds trust, which is the highest form of communication.
- Offer a lunch or snacks at enrollment meetings.
- Ask senior leadership to respond to your benefit meeting announcement with a reply-all email expressing their support for the meeting.
- Ask front-line managers to tell employees that they expect everyone to attend.
- Offer door prizes at enrollment meetings.
Here are some communication strategies that employers say have the highest results, according to a survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefits:
- 81% Communicating benefits by life stage.
- 79% Having year-round communications.
- 74% Communicating in multiple languages.
- 73% Customizing communications for multiple generations.
- 72% Simplifying complicated content.
It’s time to get creative with your benefit communications to shoot for higher enrollment. Contact your LISI Regional Sales Manager to get started.