- Despite growing efforts to communicate employee benefits, people don't seem to be paying attention, according to SHRM.
- SHRM reports that a recent survey found that despite near 40% of North American employers budgeting for benefits communication (and 25% looking to boost that spending in 2016), just 19% of employers say a "high level" of understanding about their benefits packages exists among the workforce.
- The Benefits Communication Survey, from the nonprofit International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP), reports that there is a good reason for this lack of understanding. For one thing, 80% of employers says participants don't open or read communications materials. Even if they do open it, they don’t understand the materials (49%) or they don’t perceive value in their benefits (31%), according to SHRM.
With traditional communication methods seemingly not working, it might be a good idea to try something more effective. Less than half of employers surveyed tried non-traditional benefits communication platforms like video (29%), social media (23%), texts (10%), robocalls (9%) or games (7%). The SHRM article offers an example of a utilities contractor successfully trying some new approaches, including on-demand video and online presentations.
Pepper Krach, communications practice leader at consultancy Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. in Philadelphia, told SHRM that one problem is that employers may distribute too many materials too quickly, which confuses employees.
Krach's advice? Look for ways to be more targeted with internal customers, with a strong focus on demographics and matching delivery strategies. One idea may be to use microsites (web-based portals or platforms) that deliver benefits information in a "fun way," driven by ease of use.