Imagine finding out a distant relative has left you $10,000 in her will. Then imagine finding out you’re no longer eligible for the money because you missed a critical deadline. Frustrated, you dig through your correspondence, only to discover that yes, you did receive several emails about the inheritance, but they were written in legalese, with long sentences and intimidating words. You didn’t have the time (or, frankly, the desire) to read them, much less decipher their meaning. Instead, you shoved the emails into a READ LATER folder and promptly forgot about them. Now, unfortunately, you’re out ten grand.
This scenario may seem unrealistic. But it’s not so different from the employee who discovers, months too late, that she missed her company’s FSA claims-filing deadline. Or the employee who learns in January that while he made his open enrollment selections, he forgot to press Submit. And what about the 65-year-old employee who didn’t realize she could’ve been making something called catch-up contributions to her 401(k) plan starting at age 55? She’s furious, and rightly so! She’s missed out on a decade’s worth of payroll contributions and compounded interest (likely equivalent to ten grand or more).
From an employees’ point of view, health, welfare, and retirement benefits are complicated, impossible to understand, and time consuming to navigate. There are too many details to remember and tasks to perform. It’s much easier to shove all the correspondence into a READ LATER folder and hope for the best.
As employee benefits communicators, we agree: Benefits are complicated and time consuming to navigate. We also agree there are lots of details and tasks. But we know that magical thinking never works; open enrollment isn’t going away, no matter how hard your employees might pretend otherwise. Instead, we partner with our clients to develop interesting, meaningful, and instructive benefits campaigns designed to engage, educate, and empower employees to act in ways that improve their lives. In other words, we help employees benefit from their benefits.
Here are a few samples of recent client campaigns.
Our team helped the University of Idaho develop an integrated communications campaign for open enrollment, which included print, email, and digital deliverables. We focused on short, actionable copy to engage readers and highlight the steps they needed to make informed choices and complete the enrollment process. Photography featured feel-good images, designed to grab attention, of employees interacting with dependents and coworkers. Similarly, icons reinforced important date information. The combination of actionable copy, engaging images, and on-brand design resulted in a successful campaign with high engagement and minimal noise for the university’s HR team.
The Teamsters Security Fund for Southern Nevada Local 14 opened new Family Wellness Centers to offer members and their families convenient, no-cost primary and acute health care, including preventive care and medications. Members welcomed these facilities, especially in areas with fewer in-network providers. Now, they have several options for health care treatment: wellness centers, in-network doctor visits, telemedicine, urgent care centers, and emergency room for life-threatening care. At the same time, however, it wasn’t always clear to members which type of facility or provider to choose, given their symptoms and cost concerns. So, we worked in unison with them to develop an interactive online tool that asks members about their symptoms and then, depending on their answers, helps drive their decision-making by providing the features, costs, and contact information for each of the different options available to them.
Midway through the pandemic, Splunk faced a number of challenges, including an extremely burned-out workforce. While this was true for many other organizations, Splunk lacked a well-being program that might’ve been updated and re-promoted to revitalize employees. Nor did they have the communications infrastructure to support this kind of offering. To help Splunk communicate their rich well-being benefits while rolling out a well-being strategy (and slogging through the end of the pandemic), we helped Splunk name and roll out Spark, a comprehensive, holistic, global well-being program. Designed to help Splunkers become—and stay—physically engaged, mentally focused, emotionally connected, and purpose driven, Spark is comprised of a benefits brand identity, a benefits website, and a well-being website. Working together, all these elements have helped to create a more engaged, energized, and productive culture.
At Segal Benz, we help great organizations inspire people to improve their health, their finances, and their futures. We design communications that matter because your people matter—and because no one wants to find out, months too late, that they missed out on a big pile of money because they didn’t read their emails.
We’re proud to work with organizations that value their people. If you want to learn more, we’d love to talk.
Jillian Medoff, Senior Consultant, has more than 25 years of experience developing communications initiatives for organizations of all sizes.