How to Improve the ROI on Your Employee & Benefit Communications

Jan 11, 2023
Increase ROI and retention for employees

Post-COVID-19, the battle to attract and keep good employees has intensified significantly. In many professions, employees can work from anywhere, so their job options—and opportunities for growth—have greatly expanded. And in other trades and professions, employees are demanding better compensation.

As part of the recruitment and retention strategy, companies are trying to entice employees through total rewards. Employee benefits are a significant part of total rewards—particularly as benefits become costlier for companies to provide.

But here’s the challenge—one-third of employees wish they were more informed throughout the year so they could get better value from benefits. Statistics like these build the business case for elevated benefit communications —and for good reason. An investment in benefit communications provides returns that make a real difference in your organization.

How a Strong Partnership Between HR & Internal Communications Boosts Retention

The question for many isn’t if benefit communications can provide an ROI, but how to do that. At Westcomm, we believe that starts with a strong partnership between HR and internal communications professionals. HR know benefits inside and out—they have their own “benefits speak.”  And internal comms are experts at communicating with employees and using the available channels.  (If your organization doesn’t have an internal comms team, or if that department doesn’t have the capacity, then find an external communications partner with experience in this area.)

To make the most of the HR-communications partnership, we recommend the following strategies:

If you’re an HR professional:

  • Provide data that helps identify where there are gaps in understanding or utilizing benefits
  • Determine which benefits need to be better explained or communicated more regularly (Work with communications to create a quarterly or monthly plan. Download our handy toolkit to get started!)
  • Consider what you want employees to do (or stop doing)
  • Be open to different ways of talking and communicating about benefits—you have to be willing to communicate differently (and jargon-free!) to break through the information-overload
  • Segment your employee audiences and consider what matters most to each

If you’re a communicator:

  • Take complicated benefit concepts and simplify them with clear, creative messaging
  • “Translate” benefits jargon into everyday language the average person can understand
  • Consider using human storytelling to show how benefits help employees accomplish their goals, achieve holistic well-being and live their best lives
  • Lead with personal and inspiring stories to “hook” employees’ interest
  • Consider new ways to reach employees (home mailings, apps, employee HR platforms)

Bottom line: Leverage each other’s knowledge and proven experience to ramp up how benefits are perceived. Your collaboration showcases both disciplines and helps your company win quality talent.

The ROI of Benefit Communications:

  • Healthier employees (and a cost savings!): Employees who use their health and wellness plans to get and stay healthy help lower the overall cost of the benefits—for them and their employer. Plus, healthy employees help decrease absenteeism and medical leaves.
  • Recruitment and retention: Benefits can be a key differentiator, especially as companies view benefits through a health equity lens.
  • Better utilization of benefits dollars: Nothing is more frustrating than money going to waste, and that’s what can happen when benefits, like EAP or well-being programs, are underutilized. Companies are paying for many benefits, so employees should understand how to use them effectively to maximize their health and well-being.
How to Improve the ROI on Your Employee & Benefit Communications


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