open enrollment communication
Employee Benefits

‘What’s In It For Me?’

Mark Fitzgibbons
Mark Fitzgibbons
Communication Director, Employee Benefits

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not pumpkin spice latte season — benefits open enrollment season!

If you’re responsible for creating your company’s benefit communications, it can also be a super stressful season. And since time is short, let’s get right to the point. When it comes to benefits enrollment, your employees only want to know one thing: “What’s in it for me?”

So, before you start creating (or updating) this year’s enrollment materials, answer these three questions from the employees’ point-of-view:

  1. What’s this about?
  2. How does it impact me?
  3. What do I have to do?

Once you have this nailed down, you can begin creating your enrollment materials. Follow these tips to make sure your messages are engaging, useful, and drive your audience to action.

Tip 1: Use the Second Person, Not the Third

Use “you” and “your” —  don’t “we” all over yourself (c’mon now, that’s funny). Take the employee’s point of view, not the company’s. In successful benefits communication, it’s rarely about the company or the process or the enrollment system. It’s all about the people. Let them know you understand what matters to them. Put them center stage.

Tip 2: Be Specific

Focus your messages more on the “what” and “how” and not so much on the “why.” The more specific you are about the actions you want employees to take, the better results you’ll get. Whenever possible, target your communications to specific audiences so they only get the messages that apply to them. And tell them how it affects them — they’ll pay closer attention.

Tip 3: Keep It Simple

I mentioned this in my last blog, but it’s worth saying again:

  • Write in words employees will understand.
  • Keep your emails, guides, and online content brief and clear.
  • Avoid acronyms and other benefits geek-speak.
  • Keep sentences short.

Tip 4: Make It Relatable

People make decisions based on emotions, then justify with facts. To make an emotional connection, your benefit materials need to be relatable. Use photos of actual employees instead of stock images. When you’re explaining a complex issue, use examples or stories to get your point across. In your enrollment guide, describe a few hypothetical employees, outline their family situation, then tell why they are choosing one medical plan over the others. People relate much better to stories of “people like me” than they do to charts.

Happy enrolling!

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