Marketing your employee benefits enterprise-wide, and through multiple channels, builds awareness of your employee benefits program. When employees know and use all the benefits in your program, it improves their work-life balance and shows you value them as people, not just workers.
Just because you have a good array of employee benefits doesn’t guarantee that your workforce knows about them — or will use them. To ensure employee satisfaction, taking a marketing approach will build awareness and adoption of the employee benefits your organization has invested in. After all, your employees and your organization can’t benefit from these investments unless they’re actually adopted.
A few weeks back, we blogged about why you should market your employee benefits programs. Here we take a look at how.
HR Morning points to a study from Voya Financial which shows that 35% of U.S. workers don’t understand their benefits, with an Ameritas report citing that figure at 85% . Employer News in the UK reports in at 42%. Other global studies run the gamut between these two figures.
The reality is, though, that if even a small percentage of your employees fail to understand their benefit offerings they, and you, are missing out. The good news is that employers can pull out all the stops to make sure that employees fully understand the benefits available to them, how to choose those that will be right for them, and how to access them to ensure maximum value. The result —a happier employee experience and more productive workforce.
Here we take a look at seven different ways to market your employee benefit offerings to your workforce to ensure that you can realize these benefits.
Most organizations have an internal company newsletter — whether in traditional hard-copy format, or online — that can be a great way to spread the news about benefit offerings. Newsletters help to build awareness and create a sense of community among employees.
Regularly sharing updates, articles, and offers about employee benefits through company newsletters can help to maintain awareness and keep employees updated about important changes and new offerings. Including real stories and testimonials from satisfied employees who have benefitted from these offerings can help to make their value more understandable and compelling.
Benefit fairs — whether on site or virtual, or both — can create a lively and interactive environment for employees to explore the benefit options available to them.
Live events can include booths and one-on one-consultations with vendors to offer personalized guidance. Digital events can also offer personalized connections, presentations, and an opportunity for real-time interaction, Q&A, and discussion. Take a “pop-up-store” approach to these events, offering them regularly — a best practice is quarterly — to give employees ample opportunity to learn what’s new and interact.
One of the things that savvy marketers know is that marketing isn’t a one-and-done endeavor. It takes ongoing communications in a variety of forms to really have an impact. The same is true of your benefit communications.
Using digital signage or internal communication displays in common areas or breakrooms, for instance, can serve as an ongoing visual reminder of the benefits available to employees. Signage can also be used online through banners and pop-up ads.
Displaying infographics, videos, and success stories can help capture employees’ attention and boost their engagement with your messaging.
Email messaging remains both a popular and impactful means of connecting with employees whether they’re on site, or off. It’s a widely accessible communication tool that represents a quick, efficient, and cost-effective way to reach a large number of employees with the same message.
A big bonus in today’s digital technology environment is that these messages can be tailored to the specific needs and interests of specific employee segments. In addition, email can help reduce administrative burdens because messages can go right to employees without having to be distributed through HR or benefit administrators.
As an example, Circles uses email to communicate with the employees of our clients about our concierge benefit. We send new hires an email message 31 days after they start. During the first 30 days they are focused on the benefits they need to enroll in (e.g., medical, dental), so we wait until that hurdle is cleared, then we send out a reminder of the Circles concierge benefit. Newer employees need to be reminded of their benefits more frequently.
While you may worry about overwhelming employees with too many email messages, consider the data about the lack of awareness and understanding that exists. Regular email information and updates can help support employees and close these gaps.
Today’s organizations use a variety of communication tools — like Microsoft Teams, Slack, and others — to help employees stay connected. These tools can be used to help inform employees about company benefits and promote these options to them. For instance, create a channel within a Microsoft or Slack team, or communicate within one or more existing channels to raise and maintain awareness on an ongoing basis.
Virtual town hall meetings or webinars can provide an opportunity for leaders and HR professionals to interact directly with employees and discuss benefit packages and offerings. It’s a format that offers real-time engagement, and an opportunity for Q&A sessions, along with the ability for employees to ask questions, and provide feedback.
Putting all of your benefit-related communications into one central place for all employees can be another great way to ensure awareness. For instance, a few of our clients — a large American financial services corporation, and a large multinational biotechnology company — use microsites to keep all benefit information in one area, accessible 24/7 and always up-to-date.
These are just a few ideas of the many communication channels available to companies to help inform and educate employees about benefit offerings. You may have more. The big idea is to use a mix of channels to market your benefits internally. It works!
One of our clients, the largest law firm in the world, uses a great mix of communication channels to market their employee benefits and they have engagement data to prove how effective these efforts have been. Their data indicates that:
Those are impressive numbers, and shows that the marketing of our services, amongst all their benefits, stands out.
To achieve these results they send a monthly themed email to all employees, the HR team makes sure that Circles services are mentioned in their enterprise-wide monthly newsletter, they do desk drops for all new associates each fall, they send a welcome email to all employees about the Circles concierge benefit(separately from other benefit information), and they display digital signage with special offers in common areas.
Other clients have further segmented their internal communications on these channels to provide even more relevant information. For example, people managers or employee resource groups (ERGs) share communication with different groups through their channels to help cascade these messages deeper into the organization. For example, a parenting ERG may send a message to help promote benefits related to childcare.
Mercer’s Health & Benefits Strategies for 2023 Report indicates that more employers worldwide are taking steps to encourage healthy, rewarding, and sustainable work behaviors through personalized support — 50% plan to offer additional benefits and policies to support work-life balance and employee well-being. That’s a step in the right direction but, again, employees need to know and understand what’s available to them on an ongoing basis to live happier, more productive lives. Let’s work on getting the other 50% informed about the benefits they have available to them!
What new marketing communication efforts could you introduce to help boost this awareness and understanding for your workforce?
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