For most people, open enrollment brings a host of questions: Will my employee benefits change? Will any more modern HR benefits be added to our existing packages? How will these changes impact my take-home pay?
These questions are all valid and worth considering in terms of employee communication strategies during benefit renewal season. Benefits packages have a significant impact not only on employees but also on the lives of their family members and loved ones.
Considering a recent Mercer study found that 70% of large U.S. companies plan to expand their benefits in 2023, plenty of HR leaders are already hard at work strategizing how to best explain their new benefits to team members. There’s no time like the present to consider the critical role communication plays in the employee benefits management process.
How to Communicate About Benefits Effectively
When it comes to employee benefits, communication is key. If employees aren’t aware of how to make the most of their benefits, all of that investment on the part of the employer is wasted.
Paytient is passionate about benefits communication with our clients. We want our members to know all about their Health Payment Accounts, including where, when, and why they should be paying for care with their HPAs.
This proactive communication is at least partially responsible for our high client retention rate and Net Promoter Scores. It stands to reason that employers who are knowledgeable and transparent stewards of their benefits information stand a better chance of leveraging their benefits as an effective employee engagement and retention method.
Here are a few ways to stay ahead of the game when it comes to communication:
1. We keep in regular contact (and start early).
Anything new takes people some time to get used to. Because of the wide-ranging effects of corporate health and wellness, it’s best to create a benefits communication calendar that provides information early and often.
Whenever we onboard new clients, the Paytient team makes itself readily available. We try to do weekly and monthly check-ins and keep in regular contact through in-app chat and by providing helpful employee resources. We understand there’s a lot for newcomers to wrap their heads around, so we maintain a consistent presence while answering any questions that arise.
HR leaders can do this by making themselves available to team members during enrollment — and really whenever employees have questions about their benefits. It’s peace of mind for them as well as strong employee benefits management.
2. We help them see the big picture.
Healthcare and benefits can evolve so quickly that it might be difficult for employees to keep pace. As bigger changes occur, HR leaders should present them to employees and explain how they impact their benefits packages.
When we first connect with clients, we provide a thorough explanation of what Paytient is and how it works. But we also work to weave that information into the larger healthcare ecosystem, both showing how we interact with other benefits and how we help give our members the power to pay for care.
For people who might not feel comfortable relaying the information themselves, they can connect with their benefits brokers or consultants for help articulating these details properly. This sort of expert assistance will ensure employees get correct, useful information.
3. We communicate through numerous channels.
Early communication is important, but employees need to hear from their HR leaders on several fronts. This makes it easier for them to get to know their available benefits as well as why their employers are providing them.
HR leaders can do this by leveraging several different communication platforms to share their messaging. A benefits communication strategy for HR should probably make use of everything from email and SMS to direct mail to keep employees in the know. This messaging strategy works well for us, as a mixture of communication channels helps us reach every employee possible.
In terms of what the messaging should communicate, it’s smart to look at specific portions of the benefits package and show how one element collaborates with another. A benefits communication campaign could include blog posts, case studies, and testimonials from satisfied customers.
Employee benefits are always evolving, which can make it challenging to set a proper employee benefits communication strategy. By spreading the word early and often, helping team members see the bigger picture, and using multiple channels to share a consistent message, HR leaders can help their team members better understand their employee benefits and serve as a reliable resource for any questions.
Want to learn more about how Paytient communicates our revolutionary new benefit to clients and members? Download our Paytient Quick Start Guide.