Capturing your employees’ attention is a constant challenge. Competing against a myriad of distractions, from mobile devices and emails to instant messages and social media, gives you just a matter of seconds to seize their focus and convey your message.
Research shows most employees spend just 45 minutes a year making decisions related to benefits. So when it comes to communicating your employee benefits, you really don’t have a minute to lose. As a result, more organizations are recognizing the importance of developing and maintaining an engaged culture at work, expanding upon their more traditional benefits portfolio to reflect a more holistic approach to wellbeing.
Now is the time to assess the effectiveness of your communication strategy to ensure you're properly engaging your employees and driving essential business outcomes.
Consider these four approaches to improving the effectiveness of your health and wellbeing communications:
1. Mix and Match
According to a recent survey conducted by Virgin Pulse, roughly one in four employers (28 percent) communicate health and wellbeing benefits monthly, while the same amount communicate just once a year as part of their benefits enrollment process.
With employee engagement continuing to be a concern across industries, it's no surprise to hear many organizations are interested in expanding their communication efforts. Forty-one percent of organizations say they are increasing the frequency of their health and wellbeing communications and 33 percent are adopting new communications channels.
Adjusting the frequency of your communications and exploring new avenues for reaching employees is a great way to determine the best cadence for your messages and the proper channels in which to communicate with key audiences. Consider mixing in a variety of traditional media (posters, newsletters, postcards) with online and interactive content (intranet, social, video) to see how each influences engagement.
2. Test and Measure
Now that you’re mixing and matching your content, it's time to look at the data and determine what’s actually moving the needle and resulting in a return on investment. As Virgin Pulse Chief Marketing Officer Wendy Werve recently shared with attendees at the 2016 Thrive Summit, “Always measure your marketing efforts. Metrics help you pull the right levers at the right time.”
Armed with key metrics, your communications strategy can reach new heights and flip the switch on workplace distractions. Rather than blending into the sea of noise, your communications can provide a personalized solution to help your employees stay engaged, make healthy life decisions and ensure your organization becomes more productive.
Where to begin? Consider using analytics tools to track engagement rates and don’t be afraid to run employee focus groups to get their opinions on how and when they’d like to hear from you. By mapping behavior to business outcomes, you can drive more informed decisions across your organization.
3. Keep It Simple
You have a wide range of benefit offerings and programs available to employees. Unfortunately, your efforts can be viewed by employees as information overload - and as an administrative burden for your HR staff to maintain.
Streamlining the experience and making it easier for employees to learn about and access benefits is a win-win for all parties involved. An integrated platform, like Virgin Pulse’s Smart Hub, brings together all your initiatives while offering powerful and personalized recommendations. By helping each employee identify the programs that will have the most positive impact on their life, you’re helping your organization see optimal return on investment.
4. Give Wellbeing an Identity
Developing a brand identity around your wellbeing program helps to make your communications instantly recognizable to your employees and conveys a sense of weight and significance. Considering how vital your wellbeing program is to the success of your people and to your organization overall, it’s a great way to emphasize its importance in order to ensure greater engagement in your wellbeing initiatives.
Get the ball rolling by connecting with key members of your marketing team. They’ll work with you throughout the process to ensure your wellbeing brand conveys the right look and feel and is consistent with the organization’s overall brand standards. Once you’re ready to put the new identity to use, remember that consistency is key. Ensure your new branding and messaging carry through in all communications to ensure you’re getting the most from your efforts.
Bryan Mahoney is the Director of Content Marketing at Virgin Pulse. He brings more than a decade’s worth of experience as a content producer and blends his interests in all things wellbeing to help organizations become the best places to work. A former marathon champ, he now balances running with family by constantly chasing after his two-year-old daughter, Gia.