numbers-dont-lie-copyEarlier this year, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans published the results of their benefits communication survey. Of the smart stuff in this report, 3 findings jumped out at us. Here they are:

#1. Benefits communication strategies that communicate by life stage (Millennials, Gen X, near retirement, etc.) or in multiple languages aren’t that common, but they’re highly effective.

Specifically, the study found that only 40.8% of employers have communicated by life stage, but those that have, have seen an 81.3% success rate. As for communicating in multiple languages, only 30.5% of employers have tried this, but 73.5% of those that have, have seen success.

Takeaway: If you haven’t tried tailoring your communications to talk directly to the worries/needs of young workers, middle-aged workers, and older workers…or if you haven’t bothered to translate your central messaging into languages commonly spoken at your company beyond English, it might be worth your time.

#2. The top challenge of benefits communication, by a landslide, is “Participants do not open/read the communication materials” at 79.5%.

The next closest top challenge was “Participants do not understand benefits/communication materials” at 48.7%.

Takeaway: It’s possible your employees don’t feel that reading your communications are necessary. They expect the same old, same old, or they expect to be bored/confused in advance, so don’t even bother. So not only do you need to crank out information, you need to make it clear WHY employees should check your communications. Will they learn something that will save them money? Save them time? Make sure to answer WIIFM (What’s in it for ME?).

Also, finding a way to disrupt their ho-hum expectations with something fresh, engaging, and delightful couldn’t hurt either.

#3. Only 51.6% of respondents had tried personalizing benefits communications, but 85.7% of those who had saw success.

What the headline said.

Takeaway: Look for ways to make your benefits communications feel less like a robocall and more like a one-on-one chat. Here’s a great article by our CEO about how any HR department can “speak in human.”


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