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Use Segmentation to Speak to Employee Needs

Address the “why this benefit is important" – which can vary across groups of employees.

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Personalization Answers “What’s in It for Me?”

There are times when it’s useful to go even further by answering the “What’s in it for me?” question.

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Year-round Communication is a Must

Keep benefits top of mind and remind employees regularly how the company is caring for them. 

Many company benefits go unused by employeesand even more are under-utilized. 

It’s a huge disservice to employees and employers alike. Employees are missing out on opportunities to save money, improve health and find more convenience. Employers are seeing their investments in benefit programs go to waste. There’s very little ROI. After all, unengaged employees don’t understand the financial or intrinsic value of benefits. 

Some of the most commonly under-utilized benefit programs include: 

  • Retirement 
  • Wellness 
  • Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) 
  • Onsite clinics / clinic partnerships 

In most cases, the issue isn’t what is being offered but rather the communication around that benefit. If you want employees to use a benefit, you must do more than mention it during employee orientation or annual open enrollment. Employees must become engaged to use the programs that can help them the most.

So how do you engage them? 

A successful employee engagement plan includes three strategies: segmentation, personalization and year-round communications. 

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Dive Deeper: Four Tips to Help You PersonalizeEmployee Retirement Communications


Use Segmentation to Speak to Employee Needs

Employees today expect information geared toward their individual needs and concerns. That means, when marketing your benefit programs, you must address the “why it’s important.” And that “why” may differ by employee, so segmenting employees into groups allows you to provide messaging that hones in on specific “why” motivations for each group. 

For example, one Westcomm client wanted to increase participation in its retirement plan. There was a significant portion of the employee population who were not participating or participating at a rate below the company match. The big “why” for everyone was that they were leaving free money behind by not taking advantage of the company match. That, however, wasn’t enough. We needed to take the “why” one step further. 

Westcomm analyzed the data of the under-utilized group and divided the population by age and life stage. This allowed us to target each segment with messaging that appealed to them. Additionally, for each audience, we highlighted plan features (e.g., ability to make withdrawals or change the contribution level at any time) that meant the most to them.  

For example, someone in their 20s who doesn’t have a deep focus yet on retirement savings may like the target date funds. Someone in the middle of life with many family expenses may like that the plan doesn’t lock them into a contribution level. And someone closer to retirement may like the catch-up contribution feature. 

The result was a targeted communication approach that provided information about the retirement plan that was relevant to each age group. Employee participation immediately increased as employees read information that was more meaningful and relatable. 

There are times when it’s useful to go even further by answering the “What’s in it for me?” question. This is done with communication that is personalized to individual employees. 

Personalization Answers “What’s in It for Me?”

After seeing some movement on the segmentation approach, the retirement plan client wanted to go even more granular. We created communications that showed every employee the exact dollar amount they were losing (per paycheck) by not participating in the match. With this motivation, we once again witnessed an increase in both participation and the contribution amounts. 

Westcomm did a similar campaign for another client’s wellness program. Employees could earn a financial contribution to their HSAs by completing certain healthy activities. We worked with the client to personalize communications that informed every employee midway through the year on how much they had earned—and how much more they could earn before the program ended for the year. 

You can move the needle with the right message to your employees, at the right time.  

Companies that have a reputation for providing good benefits usually have one thing in common: they promote benefits all year long.

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Dive Deeper: The True Value of Year-RoundEmployee Benefits Communication


 Year-round Communication is a Must

Keep benefits top of mind by regularly reminding employees how the company is caring for them. 

A mix of traditional and new communication vehicles should be used: videos, graphics, short articles, home mailers, web banners, posters, text messages, social mediathe list goes on! This allows you to reach different work environments and various styles of learning. 

One Westcomm client wanted to elevate its commitment to mental wellness and the free resources, like EAP, that they offered. Westcomm developed a year-long campaign focusing on a different aspect of mental health each month—from grief and loss, to stigma, to talking about mental health with a loved one.  

With both manufacturing- and office-based employees, the company needed a mix of communication materials for various work environments. Regular communication is helping leverage the company’s under-utilized EAP service. Even more, it’s normalizing mental health struggles and reinforcing the company’s care for every employee. 

The Bottom Line: Your Benefits Communications Need to Reflect Your Investment 

As a key element of overall compensation and rewards, benefits directly impact employee satisfaction with a company. To reinforce your benefits offering and the value they provide, it’s critical that your communications are proportionate to the investment you’re making.