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Karolyn Fulton February 18, 2016 2 min read

The pursuit of happiness. How communication helps employees find more meaning and satisfaction in their lives.

Philosophers, psychologists, religions, novelists, and even pop culture icons are talking about happiness. Many companies are taking notice of this—and taking action to create happier work environments. The return? A measurable impact on productivity.

We’re happy—pun intended—to see two of our clients honored on the CareerBliss 50 Happiest Companies in America for 2015.  Congratulations to Intuit and Adobe. We are honored to work with companies that truly care for their employees, and we see every day how effective, relevant, and employee-focused benefits communication add to company culture and employees’ happiness.

Why communication matters

Across all age groups, but particularly among younger workers, there is a strong desire to work for a company that both shares employees’ values and cares for its employees. An employee benefits package demonstrates values and caring—even in times of change. And ongoing and effective communication about those benefits is what elevates benefits to become a valuable part of the employee experience and employee value proposition.

CareerBliss measures the following factors when looking at happy companies: work-life balance, an employee’s relationship with his or her boss and co-workers, office environment, job resources, compensation, opportunities for professional development, and company culture.

Benefits should connect to work-life balance, compensation, company culture and, even, office environment. But they only do so if employees are actively using them and appreciate the role benefits play in their lives. This means not only offering benefits that support employee needs but also investing in effective, employee-focused communication to spread the word.

How the happiest companies communicate with their employees

How do the happiest companies communicate with employees? They:

Elevate the brand. Benefits communication doesn’t have to be dull and dry. Forward-thinking benefits teams are approaching benefits as a marketer would any other service or product. You can, too. Using your company’s brand to connect to employees and their families and elevate the impact of communications is key.

Treat employees like customers. Sarah Lecuna, Benefits manager at Intuit, shared their approach with Forbes. “We think about: How do we make our employees’ lives easier, or better, or both? That means we offer programs that enable them to be present while they’re at work. We want them to bring their whole selves to work, and not have to worry about things we can solve for them.”

Treating employees like customers also means marketing to them like customers. We have seen time and time again that building a dynamic, branded, and easy-to-use website outside your firewall is the best foundation for marketing benefits throughout the year.  

Keep benefits top of mind. Communication shouldn’t stop after a program is implemented, and it shouldn’t happen only once a year during annual enrollment. Frequent communication is necessary to keep benefits top of mind and reinforce the full range of benefits an organization offers. Getting employees fully engaged in the programs that matter to them and matter to your company requires a year-round approach.

Learn more about what we see on the horizon for forward-thinking benefits design and communication.

Start by joining us on March 9 for a webinar discussion of the implications our 6 Employee Benefits Predictions for 2016 will have on employers. 

Senior Consultant