By Charu G. Raheja, PhD
Companies invest thousands of dollars in employee wellbeing. How do they encourage employees to take advantage of those resources and make more informed decisions? When asked to list priorities for employee resources in 2018, respondents ranked their top three priorities as managing employee benefit costs (66%), helping employees make more informed benefits decisions (44%), and improving employee wellness and productivity (32%).
And these priorities make sense. As we discussed in our blog on return on investment, companies that invest in employee benefits, wellbeing, and related resources are associated with better performance. One final step after making these investments however, is ensuring employees know how to access the resources and use them. As an HR director said recently, “I want my employees to go from simply having benefits to becoming consumers of benefits.”
Consider Your Communication Strategy
As most senior managers discuss, gone are the days where you can send out one company announcement and know that most of your employees will read it. Today’s workforce has different needs and much of the communication has to be tailored for them. Many companies have employees working offsite, meaning that they are not always paying attention to emails. Other companies are also seeing a generation change, with millennials and younger workers who prefer to sit at their desk and chat rather than meet face-to-face to learn about the new resources a company has to offer. More importantly, we are also seeing a shift in how people get their information and how engagement is done. Videos and podcasts are now becoming an important part of communication. In fact, as of 2016, YouTube has become the second most popular social network because of its visuals. Almost every major social network – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more – have all made it easier to upload, view, and share videos on their respective apps and websites.
Organizations wanting to reach and engage with their employees need to do the same. Look for communication tools and platforms that allow your organization to share using different modes of communication.
Communications Tools to Increase Engagement with Company Resources
A key to making sure your staff is aware of your company resources is to make sure it can be viewed on their mobile device. As your company looks for new internal engagement strategies, start considering the diverse ways by which people communicate today and a technology solution that allows you to easily incorporate these different forms.
- Use multiple modes of communication. Look for a solution that allows you to send videos and podcasts to your staff. Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text.
- Another important one, communicate with your staff on their phones. Push notifications immediately engage a user, keeping your staff updated in real-time.
- Drive actionable responses in surveys. Surveys are a great way to get a pulse on your staff. The key to getting a good response is to keep surveys short and viewable on their mobile phones. For example, ask quick questions such as, “Are you aware that we have a telemedicine program?”.
As many of these strategies indicate, the key to getting people to be aware of your company resources is to communicate with them on their phones. While you look for solutions that improve your communication, make sure that you are able to get data to review open rates and overall engagement. This is important for two reasons: one so that you can understand better what your employees want and second so that you can communicate about underutilized resources and remind employees to use them.
Do you have suggestions or success stories about on how to communicate about company resources? Leave me a comment or an idea.
 Source: HUB International Employee Benefits Barometer 2018 Study, SourceMedia Research/Employee Benefit News, December 2017