A thoughtful approach to ongoing employee benefit communications
January 16, 2018
Any benefit communications expert will advise you of the importance of having a year-round benefit communications and marketing strategy, as opposed to focusing your communication efforts only during annual enrollment. CPR and Benz Communications have partnered together in a collaborative centered on helping employers and other purchasers communicate high-value health care to employees. We are working directly with a few employers on their year-round communications strategies to maximize awareness and enrollment in their new plan offerings. Want to learn more about our approach?
Step 1 – Start with a communications check-up
Sure, there are some things you do well when it comes to communicating your benefits to employees, but there are always ways to improve! Figure out your baseline by starting with a communications check-up. Through research and extensive client work, Benz Communications has determined ten keys for employers in their communications approach, and have distilled their knowledge into a 3-minute online self-assessment that you can take to gauge your efforts. You’ll find the summary findings from the self-assessment are brief, yet actionable.
Step 2 – Gather information
As helpful as it can be to evaluate your communications efforts through a self-assessment, you’re leaving out an important data point – the feedback from your audience. Think about the right time to survey your population, whether it’s around annual enrollment or another period when you have their attention. You know your organization and your population best!
As part of the collaborative, each company surveyed their population after annual enrollment to learn how their employees perceived their new high value health plan offerings, such as an accountable care organization or a narrow network. Each team also incorporated feedback from other key stakeholders impacted by the new high value health plan offerings, including executive leadership, human resources, dependents, the health plans, and other vendors.
You’ll learn a lot to use for your communications strategy if you take advantage of the information sources right under your nose!
Step 3 – Make your communication’s relevant
With your baseline assessment and the supplemental information at hand to validate (and perhaps invalidate) what you thought you knew, it’s time to act. With all the information you gathered in Step 1 and 2, you’ll have a better understanding of your population and be able to define its ‘personas.’ From there, customize your communication to speak to your population, or segments of it, and test the message with your core users.
The beauty is that you can continue to refine your message. The challenge is that you’ll need to find new ways to speak to your ever-changing population!