How COVID-19 Should Change Your Benefits Communication Strategy
This year has changed the way the world does everything, including benefits enrollments. Employers may be looking for new ways to engage their employees in safe and effective ways. American Fidelity shifted all enrollments to a guided virtual experience beginning in March, and we’ve observed which strategies are the most effective for a successful benefits enrollment.
Set an Expectation for Digital Communication
Ensure your employees know to expect important information digitally. Make sure you have your employees’ personal email addresses and cell phone numbers. Especially if your organization needs to close for any reason, having personal contact information will ensure you can get in touch with your staff. Even if you have returned to an in-person environment, using digital communications is safer for health reasons.
Here are some digital communication methods to consider:
Postcards: To promote digital engagement, send a postcard to your employees with a QR code or hyperlink that opens your intranet or enrollment site. You can also use this as an opportunity to promote the other digital communication channels you plan to use throughout the enrollment.
Intranet: Ensure your intranet is kept up to date with a list of all your benefits offerings. When available, include digital versions of brochures, benefits education videos, and other information to help employees learn ahead of time.
Email Marketing: Email marketing has been the method of choice for businesses during the pandemic. Your employees are likely getting bombarded from every retailer and organization they’ve ever interacted with. Respect your employees’ inboxes by keeping your email frequency low, and only include relevant and important information. If you aim for quality and not quantity, your employees are more likely to view the emails as pertinent.
Text Messages: Use text messages to send out important dates and reminders. You can include hyperlinks to your intranet site or other important benefits information.
Social Media Groups: Consider creating a private social media group for your employees to share updates and important information. Since employees are using their personal devices more now than ever, it is a great channel to use.
Don’t Stop Offering One-on-One Support
As you increase your digital communication strategies, don’t abandon one-on-one support. Employees want an opportunity to ask questions and receive personalized benefits recommendations.
Here are some ways you can still provide personal support:
Offer Educational Group Meeting Webinars
While benefits education videos are effective, live webinars are a great companion. One benefit of webinars compared to videos is the opportunity to ask questions. Hosting live events creates a sense of urgency and anticipation, so you are more likely to see engagement compared to a static video. Consider hosting webinars at multiple times of day so your employees will have a chance to attend.
Provide a Virtual Guided Enrollment
While you may be considering an online self-enroll experience, only about 12% of employees said they prefer self-education on their benefits and enrolling on their own.2 A guided virtual enrollment allows your employees to receive one-on-one guidance from a dedicated account manager. Watch How Virtual Enrollments Work
While we hope the future allows things to “return to normal”, these benefits communications strategies are likely here to stay. We’re here to help, whatever the circumstances may be. Learn More About Guided Enrollments
This blog is up to date as of July 2020 and has not been updated for changes in the law, administration or current events.