Going Virtual: A Different Way to Present Benefits to Employees
COVID-19 has dramatically changed operations of businesses across the country. From temporary closures to an increase of remote workers, life has been flipped upside down. If day-to-day operations have changed drastically, so has the way employers communicate with employees. Reliance on virtual technologies is more prevalent than ever for one-on-one meetings, training classes, conferences and more, and this includes how employers communicate with employees about their benefits.
It’s possible to communicate effectively with employees virtually with proper methods, planning and tools.
To help you get started, here are five virtual benefit communication ideas:
- Host a benefits fair online
It’s possible to take a benefits fair from offline to online. With the proper online platform, a virtual benefit fair reaches all employees regardless of location, gives the convenience to learn from anywhere, allows for employee family participation, gives employers immediate feedback through real-time data, and allows employees the option to only participate in the sessions they need more information about.
- Use benefit video communications
Sixty-seven percent of employees are better at completing tasks when information includes text with images (screenshots) or video than by communications featuring text alone (Techsmith). If you can create overview videos that include instructions for employees on accessing the virtual benefits fair or creating paperwork online or the benefits themselves, you can help streamline the process and even reduce the assistance employees may need during their benefits enrollment or during an actual virtual event.
- One-on-one benefit video meetings
Using online meeting technology will allow you the face-to-face interaction that isn’t currently available in the office. A bonus is an employee may be able bring in their spouse on the meeting without the need for after-hour meetings to ask questions and get more information.
- Online tools (quizzes, polls and surveys)
Online tools such as surveys are a great way to collect feedback about how your virtual benefits communications efforts are going. Polls and/or quizzes can be used to break up long virtual events and keep employees engaged.
- Create an integrated virtual communication experience
Are you planning to send out a PDF via email or a link to a PDF full of benefits information? Make it an integrated experience using video, images, calendars, checklists, quizzes, calculators and more. As you build your content, consider whether information needs something extra to make it easier to understand.
For example if you’re talking about the costs of an HMO vs a. PPO in a benefits guide, insert a hyperlink to a webpage with a 90-second video demonstrating how to use the benefits cost calculator on the same page below the video, the employee can then calculate costs as they are reading.
If you’re talking about how to get a wellness benefit, insert a link to a three-step checklist they can download, save and/or print separately for later.
Have a benefit guide devoted to dental care? Insert a hyperlink to the 2020 recorded webinar that discusses the dental benefit right at the top.
When sharing this interactive guide, start your entire communication off with a video that accompanies the PDF, that lets employees know the benefit guide is an integrated, interactive walk-through.
Highlight each of these interactive features with callouts on the page.
These are just some benefit communication ideas to get you started. What virtual benefit communication methods do you use?