Posted December 2, 2015
For many employers, making benefits decisions is relatively easy, but effective communication is more challenging. When communication is not clear, employees may develop a lack of trust in the employer. It’s important that employers take time to explain and help employees understand the pros and cons of benefits changes.
Here are four strategies for effective internal communications:
- Provide full disclosure – Sometimes employers communicate only the highlights of changes in employee benefits thinking that the complex details may be confusing. While some employees want to read only the headlines, others want full disclosure.
- Develop trust – Employers should focus on developing and maintaining employees’ trust every day. Proactively share information and let employees decide whether it pertains to them. Ask employees to ask questions, either in person or anonymously in writing. If you don’t know the answer, make sure to follow up the next day with the correct information.
- Encourage dialog – Set up Q & A sessions with brokers and insurance carrier’s representatives to discuss benefits changes. Invite employees to bring along family members who may have benefits questions. Encourage employees to take ownership of their benefits by providing a checklist of decisions and choices for their benefits that they can discuss in meetings. Then, summarize the questions and answers and share the information with employees who may not have been able to attend. Communicate the details through a variety of methods, such as email, web pages, social media, newsletters or benefits bulletin board.
- Close communication gaps – Continually remind employees about benefits changes and reasons for those changes. Affirm the value of employees and your desire to invest in their health and wellbeing by providing the best benefits package possible. Regularly educate employees on using their benefits, including preventive screenings and services available at no, or minimal, cost.
Learn how to select and communicate benefits with employees.