Benefits Amnesia Is Real
Do you ever wonder why you’re able to remember every lyric to a song from ten years ago? Or why you’re able to recall word-for-word a conversation that maybe hurt your feelings from childhood? Why are some things that happen in our lives so memorable and other things not? Turns out, we tend to forget a whole heck of a lot more than we remember. Think passwords, dates, how to reset the clock in your car…and employee benefits information.
As an employee benefits communicator and educator, I ask this question to myself all the time. Why is it that something as incredibly important as our own health benefits are so forgettable? Why is something that many of us pay quite a bit for out of our paychecks an afterthought? Benefits amnesia is real.
Here are a few ideas to help keep benefits more top of mind throughout the year:
1. FAQs work. Creating a FAQ page housed in the benefit section of your company intranet is a great first step. Sharing that link via email early in the year and then again multiple times throughout the year will be key. Sending the FAQs in the body of an email will feel daunting to the reader and won’t get read. By creating a FAQ page, they can self-select what question they’re pondering and get the instant gratification they’re ultimately looking for.
The FAQs can simply be made up of the top 10 most asked/relevant questions of their current benefit plan options. Creating in Q&A format is helpful, too. It allows the reader to scan the information and only read what they need answers to. A Q&A format is usually more conversational - and should be for optimal readability and absorption.
2. Shampoo…rinse…repeat. Frequency matters. The more often you see something, the less likely you are to forget about it. How often is subjective. The point is that shorter, targeted communications sporadically sent over the course of the year may be more impactful than an annual open enrollment communication blitz once or twice a year. Will it be a bit more work? Definitely, but it’ll be impactful. It’ll help make your benefits program unforgettable.
3. Simplicity is key. Create meaningful communications geared towards a middle school level. Don’t think of it as being condescending – all levels of employees will appreciate it. I promise. To create maximum impact with your communications, be thoughtful about your target audience, how you’re going to create awareness and engagement and what the intended action item is. And humor is okay. Sometimes it makes the seriousness of benefits seem a bit less scary. For a deeper dive, check out my past blog, “Um, I Don’t Get It!?”.
Keep the focus on simpler and more regular communications. Being thoughtful in your approach to communicating with all employees drives engagement. Why not give it a try? For help communicating your benefits, contact a member of the ‘A’ Team.
- Um, I Don’t Get It!?
- Communication - A Year-Round Pastime
- What’s Your Benefits Program Vision Statement?
- Meet People Where They Are
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