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This Valentine’s Day, showing your employees the love is more important than ever.

benefits-communication-tipsAnd, we’re not talking flowers and chocolates. We’re talking benefits.

It’s a cold hard fact that the war for talent is not only making it challenging for organizations to fill the need for new talent, the job market is making jumping ship increasingly attractive. In fact, right now about 30 percent of your workforce is considering switching jobs, and that includes a sobering 38 percent of Millennials.

So, how do you get your top performers in your proverbial sights and make your organization one they wouldn’t consider leaving? Equally important, how do you do this without breaking the bank? You may want to shower your best and brightest with gold and diamonds, while your budget barely supports cubic zirconium.

Have no fear, you can win their hearts with benefits communication.

Research shows that employees value their benefits. In fact, 55 percent of employees say they would be open to taking a job with a lower salary, as long as it included a robust benefits package. In this highly competitive environment, reinforcing that level of appreciation and adding some support to help employees use benefits wisely is the arrow in your quiver you want to reach for.  

You’re potentially competing with a shiny new employer that’s using their benefit program as an incentive to woo away your talent. Your objective is to make your employees fall in love with their benefits all over again. They need to be reminded that your benefits are awesome too.

Want to make your benefits more lovable? Try these five affection-winning techniques.

  1. Focus on the other 50 weeks. You can’t keep benefits top-of-mind if you only communicate during the two weeks of annual enrollment. Ideally, find a way to promote the value of your benefits monthly throughout the year. Send reminder emails with useful tips on how to use benefits. Put up some eye-catching posters. Send a postcard or two. Even if you can’t manage monthly, something is better than nothing.
  2. Make it manageable. While employees do love their benefits, they don’t love learning about them. Don’t go overboard and create dense materials. Provide usable information in small, readable chunks that employees can easily digest. 
  3. Make it accessible. Delivery is important. Don’t waste money creating communications that will end up hidden somewhere deep on your benefits website. Push the information out to your employees, and then put it somewhere they can find it easily later on. 
  4. Write for your audience, not your peers. Jargon, long words, complex sentences and poor design can make benefits communications impossible for employees to navigate. As HR pros, we often forget that employees aren’t experts. It may feel counter-intuitive, but skip the minutiae and create short, easy-to-understand communications that apply to most employees.
  5. Look at the big picture. While it’s important to highlight specific benefits, letting employees know the overall value of their compensation helps them better appreciate the whole package. An online total rewards portal is a powerful tool that shows your workforce how much they really earn and supports retention by aggregating the value of salary, benefits and perks in one place.

Every relationship requires work and commitment, and your relationship with your workforce is no different. Employees need to be reminded about their ongoing value to your organization, and a vital part of that is your benefits program. The good news is employees already love their benefits. Your job is to keep that romance alive with some well-aimed communication.

Need help getting the word out about your benefits? We can help. Find out more below. 

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View all Posts by Beth Begany