It’s July, surely there’s no need to think about your annual employee benefits enrolment just yet, after all there’s plenty of time until the end of they year…
But it will be here sooner than you think, and if you want to make the best of your annual enrolment period then you should start planning your employee benefit communications now. In this two part series I take you through what you need to do to make sure your benefit communications enable you to maximise employee take up of benefits:
Four months before enrolment
This is the time to review your employee benefit communications from last year. Start by analysing all the communication materials you sent out and be honest in your review:
- Would an employee understand the key communication message?
- Which communication materials worked better than others? Why?
- Do they grab the attention of employees? Why?
- Is the balance of information correct, or have we put too much information in?
Tip: Ask your marketing team for their feedback on the materials as well, after all communication is their profession.
You should also conduct a review with your employees with regards to last year’s communication. Use a short online survey to find out how effective your communications were: what your employees liked about them, what they didn’t, what was confusing and what communication channels they prefer.
Tip: Keep your survey to a maximum of five questions.
Once you’ve reviewed your last year’s communications you can focus on planning this year’s communications. Start by asking yourself these questions:
- What are our goals for this enrolment period?
- How do these tie in with the company and department goals?
- How will we measure success?
You can then start planning what new communication materials you need, what can be re-used or updated from last year, what theme you can use to tie your communications together and what your key communication messages are.
Tip: A theme can really improve your communications and it’s messaging. For example, a corporate goal might be to reduce staff absence, this can translate to a communication goal of getting more people to sign up to the wellness programme and related benefits. You can then base your messages on improving employees’ health so they can enjoy a more active lifestyle.
Three months before enrolment
At this stage you may not know the exact timings of your enrolment period, but it’s a great idea to start giving employees a heads-up on the forth-coming enrolment period. This can be done quite simply through an email to your employees and an article in your staff newsletter or on your staff website. This is especially important if you are planning on making changes to your employee benefit scheme.
Now is the time to create a messaging plan for all your communications. Segment your employees and create a messaging grid that addresses their lifestyle, needs and concerns.
|Employee Segment||Things to Consider||Key Messages|
|Employees aged 18-30||New to the workplace, not had employee benefits before.
|New to choosing benefits? Find out all you need to know at our benefits fair.
Moving home? We can save you money on everyday essential – remember to update your benefits.
Printed materials can take a while to produce so if you plan on using leaflets and booklets it’s time to get designers, copywriters and printers involved: get quotes, provide them with the information they need and give them key milestones and deadlines.
Tip: When you’re planning your communications think about how you can segment your employees and target specific benefit communications to that audience. For example, targeting childcare vouchers to employees with children.
In part two of our series on Engaging your employees at enrolment time I show you want to do in the final two months before your enrolment period starts.