Employee communications

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Tailoring Your Employee Benefits Communications to Your Workforce

12 January 2018
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Your company offers great benefits. Your employees need to know about them. This is why creating excellent, engaging employee benefits communications is important. In fact, these days a lot of employees say they would take certain benefits like comprehensive health insurance or company stock and a remote work arrangement over a pay raise.

That being said…

Why do so many emails from HR about those amazing employee benefits get left on read?

I’ll tell you why. The benefits you’re offering are better than the way you’re delivering them. Gone are the days of sending a boring and generic ten-page email. Now you can use everything from videos to digital video postcards to get your message across in a way that’ll catch your employees’ eyes and is tailored to what they really care about.

How can you tailor your employee benefits communications in a way that gets your employees excited?

Make your employee benefits communications specific, useful and engaging

For your employees to care about what you’re saying, it needs to be three things:

  1. Specific.
  2. Useful.
  3. Engaging.

If you can nail those things, you can reach even the most apathetic employee.

When your message is specific, it catches your employees’ focus because it is tailored to what they need and doesn’t read like something that could have been written to or about anyone. The next step is to make it useful, as your communication about benefits won’t work if you’re talking about a type of benefit employees don’t have or want.

The most crucial thing to do, however, is to make your employee benefits communication engaging. I find that the best way to do this is to get excited yourself when putting the messaging together. That excitement shows in the message and will pull your employees in to make them really care about what you’re offering them.

Split test, different methods

The term ‘split testing’ is one of those fancy marketing terms that sounds a lot more complicated than it is. It just means that you try out two small variations of something to see what gets the best response! This can include sending groups A and B identical messages, but one delivered in a digital video postcard and one delivered in a standard email. You can also try out videos, testing whether short or long videos capture your employees more and if your employees like live or recorded video better.

Ask for feedback on employee benefits communication

There’s one surefire way to make sure that your employee benefits communication is reaching your employees:

Ask them!

Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that your work environment needs to be a place where your employees feel safe giving feedback without any negative consequences.

If your company has a history of punishing those who speak up and give feedback, there’s a slim chance you’d get anything other than a ‘looks amazing please don’t fire me’ from an employee survey. Of course, you can always allow for totally anonymous feedback but it’s important that your people feel comfortable being honest with you. If your employees resent you to the point where they’re scared to give honest feedback, that needs to be addressed before they’ll take any communication from you at all seriously.

Give your employee benefits communication personality

This can feel a little silly, but it can provide that final tailoring which makes employees feel like the message is crafted just for them. Putting specific names or inside company jokes in a letter gives it a relatable color that makes employees feel like you aren’t giving them a canned, boring mass message. Putting personality into your employee benefits communications is what makes employees feel like you aren’t just talking at them, you’re talking to them. This little human connection will bring your employe benefits communication to the next level.

Elizabeth Woodard

Liz Woodard is an office veteran who's fascinated by office dynamics and believes that applied behavioral psychology can go far towards managing a company well. Find her at http://www.lizwoodard.com/.

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