When communicating employee benefits through channels like email, webinars, on-site fairs, etc, what is one communication mistake to avoid?
To help you avoid key mistakes when talking about employee benefits, we asked human resource professionals and recruiters this question for their best tips. From including the spouse to not concealing the terms and conditions, there are several strategies you can implement to improve your benefit communications.
Here are seven do’s and don’t’s when communicating to employees their benefits:
- Do Include the Spouse
- Don’t Overload Employees with Information
- Don’t Skimp on the Details
- Do Allow for Plan Variability & Flexibility
- Don’t Sell the Benefits—State Them Simply
- Don’t Overload with Options
- Don’t Conceal the Terms & Conditions
Do Include the Spouse
Employee benefit communications often target the employee as a retention tool. “Look at all the great benefits we have!” However, the spouse and the family are sometimes the main users of the benefits and have a significant influence on whether the employee continues to work for the organization or leaves for another. Employers must be intentional about involving the spouses in benefits communications. I have helped plan benefits enrollment meetings and invited spouses to attend.
Scott Baker, Stage 3 Leadership
Don’t Overload Employees with Information
One pitfall to avoid when communicating employee benefits through digital channels or events is to use too much text. Competition for attention is fierce in these environments, and most folks can only absorb small doses of information at a time. Rather than explain your benefits in detail, stick to key bullet points and then lure parties interested in learning more to a more comprehensive guide. This approach tends to be a winning strategy because you can simultaneously avoid losing your audience and gather contact information for leads.
Tasia Duske, Museum Hack
Don’t Skimp on the Details
When you use vague phrases like “health benefits”, people can misconstrue precisely what this means. For example, health benefits do not necessarily include dental or vision coverage. This is why recruiters and hiring managers need to be clear about exactly what their benefits cover, so that potential candidates do not feel misled.
Drew Sherman, Carvaygo
Do Allow for Plan Variability & Flexibility
Employee benefits are after all, for the employees and should seek to serve their unique needs and preferences. To constantly re-innovate your employee benefits and adapt to their changing needs, encourage feedback and pay attention to your employees’ opinions about the benefits. This way, you can use the same resources to curate something that truly benefits your employees instead of something you think they should enjoy.
Igal Rubinshtein, Home Essentials Direct
Don’t Sell the Benefits—State Them Simply
When communicating employee benefits, sticking to a routine that has you stating the benefits rather than selling them is important. When you sell the benefits your company offers and try to impress candidates and employees, you may spruce up the list in such a way that it could mislead your employees into thinking that they are probably getting more than what’s being revealed. Moreover, an attempt to impress employees with the list may come across as desperate too. So it is best to keep things neutral and simply state the benefits employees are eligible to receive.
Kris Harris, Nootka Saunas
Don’t Overload with Options
When communicating employee benefits through different channels, avoid giving too many options. When employees are faced with too many benefits options to choose from, they will suffer choice overload; a psychological impairment, and may eventually end up choosing nothing. Instead, package similar benefits together and present them as one.
Simon Bacher, Simya Solutions
Don’t Conceal the Terms & Conditions
While you may not always have enough time to elaborate on the terms and conditions that the employee benefits you are revealing are subject to, it’s highly recommended that you at least mention that terms and conditions do apply. It’s important for your employees to understand that every benefit you are communicating is subject to certain conditions such as performance, availability, attendance, productivity, etc. At least mention this in your communication to fulfill your primary obligation of giving employees a clear picture of their expectations.
Riley Beam, Douglas R. Beam, P.A.
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