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Better communication means better enrollments

At one point or another, you’ve probably had a last-minute meeting put on your calendar. And, as with anything that comes up last minute, it can be stressful — maybe you don’t have adequate time to prepare or time to familiarize yourself with the topic in order to make informed decisions in the meeting. 

In the same way that you might appreciate some lead time, some information beforehand and the chance to prepare, employees deserve the same opportunity during enrollment. That’s why communication prior to enrollment is such a key part of making your enrollments a success. It gives employees time to prepare and it helps them make informed decisions. Here are a few easy ways to make sure your communication is effective:

Start communicating early – Much like the last-minute meeting, trying to digest information about benefits just before enrolling isn’t going to set employees up for a positive experience. By starting early, you give them time to process information about their enrollment, formulate a plan and show up to enrollment both informed and prepared. Giving plenty of lead time also means you can send multiple communications. Employees aren’t intuitively familiar with benefits so they’re probably going to need to hear the information more than once.

Use multiple channels – Starting your communication early gives you a chance to send multiple communications, but you also want to make sure you’re not repetitious. Varying the message and the media you use is critical. Trustmark’s research has shown that employee engagement, satisfaction, and voluntary product take-up rates are all higher among employees who receive at least three different types of benefits communication.1 It make sense, since not everyone processes and retains information in the same way. Adding in variety can help you get through to as many employees as possible. 

Personalize your messaging – Personalization is the new norm. You can get just about anything you need tailored to your exact specifications and communication to employees should be no different. Whether it’s the messaging or the design of your materials, make sure it feels personal to an employee. For example, little things like including the employer’s logo or images that resonate with their industry can help make the message more personalized and will help to make sure messaging resonates with the employees.

Emotion over logic – One thing to keep in mind with your communication is to avoid being over-reliant on stats and statistics. We’ve discussed our research on this topic at length but, in short, employees rely more on emotional reasoning rather than logic when making benefits purchases. In fact, just 13 percent of employees cite the details of their plan as their primary reason for enrollment1. Appealing to their sense of responsibility or sharing stories about how other peoples’ lives have been affected by the protection you’re offering are more effective routes to help engage employees and start teaching them about their benefits.

While all of this may make sense and sound like a pathway to better communication, the challenge is execution. We recommend talking to your carrier and enrollment firm partners to learn what kind of communication solutions they can provide. Coordinating this type of communication prior to enrollment requires time, expertise and careful coordination in order to ensure better communication and more successful enrollments. If you’re working with a partner who can simplify this process for you, you’ll have a head start on creating better communication for employees and better results from your enrollment.

1Trustmark and Customer Benefits Analytics, “Who Buys Voluntary and Why: 2017 Enrollment Study.”

Posted on December 20, 2018 in Employee Communication

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