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Alisha Berman November 6, 2018 3 min read

Successful Benefits Communications are Easy for Employees to Follow

It’s getting harder and harder to grab—and keep—employees’ attention. You’re competing with shorter attention spans and smartphones, not to mention busy, demanding schedules. Every day, your colleagues are bombarded by tons of messages asking them to make decisions about all sorts of things, from doctor’s appointments, bills, and investments to purchasing choices, taking care of their families, and so much more.

All these distractions mean we have to put extra effort into promoting programs where and when people need them and into making it easy to enroll, sign up, or use the benefit when they need it. We did that recently in a very different way for one of our clients.

We deployed Facebook ads as a new way for our client to reach employees and inform them about a new service to help them with stress and anxiety. Targeting people who had visited the company’s benefits website or listed Intuit as their employer, the ads promoted the program and asked employees to download the app on the spot. Because so much of Facebook’s traffic is from mobile devices, we knew the ads would be viewed primarily on mobile.

While testing the ads, we realized that the call to action—in this case downloading the mobile app—was hard to find. It followed a lengthy description about the new stress and anxiety program. Employees had to read through the description (or at least scroll through it) before they reached content asking them to take action.

So, we made a super simple change that took no time to implement. We moved the call to action to the very top of the page, so it was clear and obvious. No one needed to read through a description to get the link to download the app. The number of app store clicks doubled.

Make it easy for your employees to know what to do. Don’t bury the action you want them to take. Rather, put it up front where they can’t miss it. They’ll be more likely to see the message and take the action you want them to take.

These same rules apply, regardless of the media you’re using. First, promote programs in a way that is appealing and speaks to the problem they solve. Then, make sure it’s easy for people to take action on the spot, instead of waiting until they have more time to figure it out later.  

Simple language and calls to action go a long way. We talk about this in detail in our ebook series, Unlocking Successful Benefits Communication: Marketing. Here are 4 tips that can help you create communications your employees will want to read:

1. Present Information in Easily Scannable Formats

The best way to quickly catch—and keep—employees’ attention is to structure communication so they can easily scan it for information that’s relevant to them. This will make it much easier for employees to absorb what they need to and take action. Checklists are a great way to do this.

2. Have a Clear Call to Action

Make sure each communication piece has a clear call to action—it’s the “so what?” of your communication. At first glance, employees should understand what they need to do next and how to take action. If it’s not clear, they’re more likely to do nothing.

3. Connect the Dots

Don’t make employees figure things out on their own. It’s your job to tell a complete story. If you can make connections for them, they’re more likely to engage. Examples: “This plan saves me $X.” or “This plan is better for me because of Y.”

4. Employ Good Information Design

Information design is the practice of presenting information in a way that makes it easy to understand. It’s not solely about looks; it's about organization and structure. A great perspective to keep in mind when designing is “don’t make me think.”

By first giving your employees the information they need, including how to use a specific benefit, you’re making it easier for them to take advantage of the plans and programs you offer. You can promote a benefit all you want, but if you don’t give them the information they need up front (e.g., whom to contact, how to use the benefit), you may lose their interest. Meet your employees where they’re at: busy. The quicker you give them what they need to know, the better the results.

We're proud to work with large employers who recognize the business value of engaging employees in benefits. If you want to learn more, contact us

Alisha Berman

Alisha Berman, Senior Consultant, has more than 10 years of experience creating winning benefits communications strategies for her clients.