Introducing a new benefit or employee program? If you have a change coming, you should begin planning for it well before it’s time for employees to choose their benefits.

When employees don’t understand why a change is happening, it can often lead to resistance, push-back and just general dissatisfaction with the company. Follow this checklist to make sure you effectively communicate the change and help employees with the transition.

Determine the various ways to communicate the benefit change.

It’s best to get your message out through multiple different channels. These can include mail, email, intranet, newsletter, posters, flyers, digital signage and tools, etc. 

Here’s why: Employees absorb information differently, so providing communications multiple ways increases the likelihood that it’s received.  Most people need to see something a few times to remember—the more it’s seen, the greater the chance it will be remembered.

Explain the benefit change in a clear, laymen-friendly way.

Spend time explaining the changes, why they are important and how it will affect the organization long-term. 

Answer ‘What’s in it for me?’

Be honest, clear and consistent as you answer this question.

Have an established call to action.

Once employees understand the benefit change, they need to understand what to do. Make the call to action clear and communicate any specific deadlines. 

Be honest about the benefit change.

State the change, explain the why and make the connection to how it affects employees. 

Develop visuals to help explain the change.

Infographics, videos or other visual elements can help explain any complex parts of the change.

Give employees time to absorb the change.

Tell employees what’s happening and why well before open enrollment. Then tell them again. And again. And again.  

Remember that employee communications is a conversation.

Set up ways for employees to ask questions and clarify the change. This opportunity helps them feel prepared for the change and supported by the company.

Keep a pulse on employee responses to the benefit change.

Monitor any call center calls, online or social media comments and/or website page views to understand how employees are responding to the change and if there are areas that need further clarification.

Measure the effectiveness of your communications.

Post-engagement surveys that ask which communications were most utilized can provide actionable information for the next benefit change. Focus groups are another opportunity for learning more about employee preferences and attitudes. Regardless of the measurement tools you use, it’s always a good idea to establish 3-5 data points you’ll measure to give a well-rounded picture of a program’s effectiveness.

Want a quick, printable reference guide? Download it here!

2022 Benefit Communications Report: Insights Into What Matters

We have a pulse on the state of benefit communications, and you can too! Learn the top three challenges facing employee benefits professionals, common communication tools, and how to measure success.

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