7 Tips for Communicating Benefits Changes to Employees




  • — September 25, 2017

    7 Tips for Communicating Benefits Changes to Employees

    Free-Photos / Pixabay

    As the leader in identity theft protection, EZShield is incredibly proud of our success in helping employers roll out valuable employee benefit programs. In terms of participation and engagement, our identity protection solutions are second to none.

    While the growing demand for protection in today’s connected world is a strong call to action for any employee, it’s not the only reason employees look to EZShield for these services.

    The answer lies in how we help employers effectively communicate the benefits of these new protection perks.

    Effectively communicating benefits changes is one of the most challenging elements of building a competitive employee benefits package. As Lee Iacocca once said, “You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.”

    From our experience, we’ve developed 7 best practices for communicating benefits changes to employees. Here’s what human resources professionals need to remember:

    Best Practices for Communicating Benefits Changes to Employees

    1. Be Transparent
      Tell employees exactly why changes are being made and the impact they will have. You’ll quickly gain employees’ trust and can more effectively lay out next steps.
    1. Keep it Concise
      Get straight to the point when communicating benefits changes, otherwise you might lose employees’ attention… Remember, not everyone is a seasoned benefits professional so many common phrases you might use to speak to colleagues, may not mean anything to your average employee.

      • Avoid wordiness or industry jargon
      • Use bullets to highlight information
      • Give real life examples while highlighting value, benefits and cost
      • Always end with a clear call to action

    1. Extend Your Reach
      From emails to online portals to mailers and posters to full blown PowerPoint presentations — you have many distribution channels at your disposal. Use as many as possible to get the message out about employee benefits programs and always offer comparisons of current and future offerings.

      The only channel to steer clear of? Word of mouth. Ensure everything is written down and provide as many physical takeaways as possible to ensure your message is easily relayed and accessible.

    1. Use Your Allies
      Your network, especially your brokers and solutions providers, are your best allies in effectively communicating benefits changes to employees. Contact them about available collateral, advice, or even on-site representation during your open enrollment meetings.
    1. Stay Positive
      People respond to positivity — so get excited about these changes! Position changes in a way employees can rally behind them. Think about how change can benefit your company, employees and culture. Do the changes have undeniable pitfalls? Be transparent about the decision-making process and how you came to your decision.
    1. Facilitate Conversation
      It’s more than just being there for employees when they have questions. Your communication tactics should create opportunities for open dialogue. Get employees talking about their benefits — this can be the key to sparking engagement and evaluating the value of offerings.
    1. Follow Up
      Track and analyze benefit usage and its impact on company performance. If you realize a benefit isn’t performing as expected, take the time to remind employees of their perks throughout the year.

    You already put in the time and effort planning these benefits. Now it’s time to make them count. By following these seven best practices for communicating benefits changes to employees you’ll create real value. And ultimately, you’ll help propel your employees and your organization.

    Is there a top communication tactic missing from the list? Share your favorite words of wisdom in the comments section below.

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