Benefit and HR communications have long been a challenge for HR departments and the benefit consultants that support them. The struggle to communicate effectively with employees so that they better understand and utilize their employee benefits has made little progress in recent years. Now more than ever benefit professionals are looking at cross selling voluntary benefits to generate new or additional revenue sources, and the need for better communication with employees is even more vital.
The topic of how better to leverage the latest in technology is a regular in our industry news and articles, mostly related to marketing for new business. Until recently we have all looked at paper, onsite enrollers, and email blasts to try to interact with employees so they will understand and use their benefits. The simple problem with these options is that they are all very easy to ignore and often miss entirely. These methods are work-related and as we all know work is the easiest thing to tune out or save for some later date that never seems to arrive.
The clear opportunity before us all is that better utilizing technology and social media for employee-directed material is the true “ah-ha” moment that has been missing. Utilizing the technology that employees use and access 100 times a day is the real key to interacting with your employees and getting the response you crave. Platforms like mobile-friendly websites, SMS/text-based reminders, and social media profiles are the next generation of employee engagement.
Case in point: at the next enrollment meeting notice before, after, and sadly DURING the presentation how many employees check their mobile devices. I think we can all agree they are probably NOT checking if a vital work email has come through. Text messages and social media clearly rule the attention of employees and ask yourself how much of that attention do you have?
Examples to consider adopting for your agency:
- Text-based messaging blasts
- Social media / hashtag content posts
- Incentive-driven voluntary benefit sign-ups
Each solution could be easier than you think to leverage and might be a simple extra step with how your clients may already be connected with employees. Be intentional and meet with your client and ask what types of communications they may already be doing and suggest one or more of these options. There are various vendors that can support and provide these services so do a little homework in advance to feel comfortable with delivering on your ideas.
Jeff Hill has been passionate and working with Benefits Technology since 1998 starting with Resource Financial Group in Austin, TX. Developing employee benefit platforms for the broker community related to benefit websites, online and paperless enrollment, and communications has been Jeff’s constant focus in all areas of professional work. Jeff was on the original staff as Director of Technology for United Benefit Advisers and traveled the country presenting to agencies on how to best use technology to attract and win new business. As a leading expert in web design for the employee benefit market, his work has been utilized by agencies, carriers, and benefit industry professionals nationwide.
As President of eTekhnos Benefit Technology, Jeff has led the company to annual double-digit growth and new innovations in the benefit technology industry. eTekhnos is also the nation’s only Benefit Industry-focused web design and internet marketing agency. The benefit world is very unique in its marketing and branding needs and eTekhnos knows that world inside and out. eTekhnos saves agencies time and money and delivers stunning client technology web design and social media content.