Escape the snooze factor: making benefits interesting

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Making benefit communication interesting as well as informative might sound like mission impossible, but a benefits expert says it’s easier than it sounds.

Michael Motyka from Winston Benefits suggests the following:

  1. Focus on the value to the consumer. The traditional way of communicating the value of employee benefits has focused on telling workers just how much they COST the employer. Good marketers know that people don't care about what something costs someone else -- they care about the value they derive. This is where the standard Total Rewards statement falls short, especially when it comes to voluntary benefits.  While employees pay for these themselves, they may not realize how much they save by being part of their employer's group plan.
  2. Speak in their language. You can have the most amazing benefits package in your industry, but it won't matter if your audience -- in this case, your current and prospective employees -- don't understand them. Translate the HR jargon into the language your employees use every day. In some cases, this may literally mean translating it into Spanish or French. More often, it will just require you to explain what  a benefit like long term disability insurance is  in terms that connect concretely with a person's household budget.
  3. Put your people in the picture. Original content, including multimedia, has gotten much cheaper to produce and distribute in recent years. There's also been a push toward transparency within organizations and facilitating direct connections between employees and customers. Marketers tap this trend to personalize big businesses and get fans talking with their friends about the products they love. Benefits professionals can take the same tools and create engaging videos featuring the workers themselves talking about their benefits and explaining how they work to their co-workers.
  4. Use multiple channels.  For many employers, "benefits communication" has been limited to the big stack of plan documents dumped on workers  when they initially start their job. In the marketing world, this would be equivalent to only producing lengthy, detailed white papers and praying someone would care enough to read the whole thing. Sophisticated marketers would never do that. They go after their targets with in-person meetings, print, web and social media – whatever it takes.



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