How to communicate your total rewards program

By Higginbotham on October 11 , 2018

GettyImages-Employees Holding Talk Bubbles

Employee benefits are one of the key drivers that entice great people to join a company, be productive employees and develop long-term loyalty. But today’s employees want more than just health insurance.

They want personal and professional growth opportunities, career flexibility, collaborative work environments, volunteer days and an individualized balance of compensation and benefits. They want a diversified and personalized experience, and they want it neatly packaged and easy to understand.

This unification of work-life balance benefits is what the concept of total rewards is all about. However, offering a rich mix of work-life benefits isn't enough. The success of your total rewards program depends on how employees perceive your program’s value. How can you help promote positive perceptions? Through great communication strategies.

Here are seven communication tips to get you on the right track:

  1. Identify the motivators. Do some investigating through surveys and interviews to find out how, when and where employees want to learn about their rewards, and keep track of the data. Segment large populations into similar groups, and find out what’s important to them so you can create personalized content. Knowing what motivates your employees helps you focus your communications.

  2. Draw a map. Give employees a clear path to understanding and using their benefits with examples that relate to their lives. Show them options. Give them resources. Help them make choices.

  3. Create an ongoing strategy. Advertisers know it takes at least seven times for someone to hear a message before it really gets through. You can’t just “fire and forget” with your benefits communications at open enrollment time. You need a strategy for communicating continuously throughout the year.

  4. Tailor the message and the medium. Reach your employees where they are, which means using a mix of channels and vehicles such as social media, direct mail, web-based apps, email and text messaging. You’ll reach your audience more effectively and boost the perceived value of your program in the process.

  5. Show and tell. We all get monthly statements for our bank, credit card and other accounts. Why not provide personalized total rewards statements for employees? It’s one of the most popular and effective communication tools. And with today’s technology, it’s possible to provide employees with access to real-time information on their total rewards through statements and online portals.

  6. Brand your benefits. Any business owner knows the power of having a strong brand. But you should also “brand” your total rewards program. Give it a distinctive and compelling voice and visual identity. Communicate to employees what’s expected of them and what they can expect. Use the same language and tone with every communication, along with consistent visual design elements, and repeat the messages regularly so they become familiar.

  7. Don’t just inform…motivate. Focus on changing behaviors, not just providing information. Help motivate employees and improve engagement by helping them better understand the value of their total rewards. Help them consume their benefits wisely.
Businesses that invest in diverse benefit offerings and successfully communicate the value of their total rewards programs attract better talent, enjoy greater operational efficiency, experience higher levels of employee engagement and have better customer service. That’s a pretty impressive ROI.

Ready to learn more about promoting your total rewards program? Contact the benefits communication team at Higginbotham for more information.

Tags: Employee Benefits


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