Finding the best benefits to help your employees is a long process, but the payoff that comes from seeing a new program take off is well worth the effort!
Unless of course it’s a benefit that fails to engage the people it’s aimed at. The disappointment of low or slow engagement is tough on HR executors, and it’s also an all-too-common problem. But before you ditch that hard-won program, consider this—sometimes the only thing holding a benefit back from success in your company is a communication breakdown.
Instead of fixing a program that’s not even broken, it’s probably time to ask how well you’re bringing it to your team’s attention. All your terrific benefits are going to waste if nobody knows about them.
Ineffective communication can kill an employee benefit, but the right promotion can do wonders to boost enrollment and engagement. With that in mind, let’s look at several promotion strategies great companies use to get the word out about what they’re offering.
...right promotion can do wonders to boost enrollment and engagement.
Working Every Channel
Maybe you already have one or two platforms you’ve seen work well with your group in spreading the news about your benefits. There’s not necessarily any reason for you to stop using those methods, even if some programs are languishing.
But don’t rest on your laurels, especially if engagement is an issue. With so many free and easy methods available, you ought to be using them all to broadcast your benefits. The more awareness you bring, the more likely employees will be to get on board. Consider branching out and adding at least one or two more channels to your existing promotion methods.
For example, everyone knows the value of enrollment packets and an intranet. To really increase engagement with a specific benefit, try branching out through:
Table tents in common areas
And those are just the print media! You can also drive benefits engagement by adding announcements and updates to quarterly or monthly company meetings.
Don’t forget to try electronic media, like:
Screensavers on time clocks
Short videos on a loop on breakroom televisions
Group chat about benefits through workplace messaging tools, discussion forums and social media
You’ve already done some heavy lifting to find and implement your benefits—the last thing you want is to see them flop due to low awareness. If all you’re doing to promote your benefits is posting an occasional announcement on the intranet or holding an annual wellness fair, most employees will never know what’s available and even fewer will enroll.
Spacing Your Campaigns
While it’s always a good idea to send updates through as many channels as possible, it’s not always the right time to make a big push. Mounting a benefits campaign once a year is probably not enough, while monthly promotions could give everyone benefits fatigue.
Mounting a benefits campaign once a year is probably not enough, while monthly promotions could give everyone benefits fatigue.
A better approach is to launch campaigns throughout the year to draw eyeballs (and enrollees) to your benefits at certain seasons. Here are a few tried and true times of year that line up with natural interest in the benefit.
New Year’s Campaign – Your employees are already thinking about self-improvement in January, which makes it the perfect time to notify them of any benefits that could help them hit their New Year’s goals.
Tax Campaign – Tax season is one great time to push your financial wellness benefit.
Back to School – August and September are another popular window of opportunity for a benefits campaign. That’s because with kids going back to school, employees are already in a mindset of signing up for new programs and will want to enroll in any benefits that affect their own children.
General Open Enrollment – Time the general enrollment period away from other campaigns to help keep engagement high all year.
Once you’ve nailed down platforms and timing, give some thought to your audience. In particular, consider how an employee’s age influences their understanding of benefits. One size of T-shirt won’t fit all workers, nor will any single approach appeal to every age demographic.
Tailoring your communications to the various generations you employ could be the missing piece you need to maximize benefits awareness and engagement. Millennial and younger workers will appreciate your digital updates. Meanwhile, baby boomers are usually fans of something they can read or someone they can talk with about benefits. Regardless of their age, almost every worker will be responsive to face-to-face conversations and the chance to have their benefits questions answered by you or someone on your HR team.
Keeping Employees Aware of the Cost
For many companies, onboarding is one of the few times in an employee’s tenure when a leader makes an individual effort to spell out what benefits are available and how the company is involved in sharing the cost of those benefits. Giving new hires a clear and detailed explanation of how much your company contributes to benefits like health insurance, a 401(k) and fitness memberships is a good way to reinforce how much you appreciate their decision to join your team!
But how often do you go circle back and update employees on the actual cost of the benefits available to them? Giving workers regular reminders of how much you’re paying to offer them benefits can be as important as communications and campaigns. It’s one thing to realize a program is theoretically available for your use as an employee—it’s another thing entirely to realize that it doesn’t come to them for free! Just knowing the price tag can influence their willingness to enroll and engage with all you’re offering them.
And if you’re on the lookout for a financial wellness benefit that will help your company’s bottom line while putting more money into your employees’ pockets, SmartDollar has just what you’re looking for. And engagement is the name of our game. To get your team enrolled and excited about the program, we’ve already provided you with everything you’ll need to guarantee a successful launch.
A turnkey format that allows you to roll out SmartDollar to your company and encourage participation.
An onboarding survey that helps us understand your business’ unique financial wellness needs.
Downloadable assets that include everything from launch email templates to promotional print materials.
Once they’re enrolled, we give your employees inspiring content designed to bring about positive behavior change with their money.
Want to learn more about bringing SmartDollar and real financial change to your team? Contact us now for a demo.