Studies show people have an average attention span of eight seconds, which is less than that of a goldfish. This means you have precious time to grab someone’s attention before you lose them. Between smartphones, tablets, Netflix and Facebook, it’s no wonder benefit communications sometimes fall flat. Following these simple steps may help you get (and keep!) your employees’ attention.
Be Dynamically Short and Sweet. Say goodbye to the age of the 40-page enrollment guide, and say hello to the age of infographics, text message notifications and on-demand videos. Employees no longer want to thumb through a book to find the benefits information they’re looking for; they want short snippets of visually engaging information they can digest quickly and easily.
Meet Employees Where They Are. In 2015, the Pew Research Center found 68 percent of US adults have a smartphone and 45 percent have a tablet. Employees and their dependents are constantly using their mobile devices. In addition to the traditional sharing benefits information on the company intranet site or on flyers in a break room, consider reaching employees and dependents through channels they are actually using. Turn one-dimensional resources into device-responsive deliverables that can be read, watched and shared easily from email, smartphones and tablets.
Avoid the Insurance Robot. Having a year-round benefits communication plan is great; effectively executing your plan is even better (and harder to do). However, it is all for naught if your employees don’t understand what they’re reading. Don’t assume your employees understand insurance terms. Studies have found as many as eight out of 10 consumers are unfamiliar with insurance terms. This means you need to break down insurance “jargon” into familiar words and concepts. Spell it out, do the math, and make the content meaningful to your audience.
Find Your Sense of Humor. Let’s face it, many employees look at benefits communication as being synonymous with a bedtime story; they’ll start to read it and go right to sleep. Incorporating a sense of humor into your materials can be a strategy to attract, engage and retain your audience. When it comes to benefits, humor does have a time and place, but we challenge you to look for those opportunities to be playful and lighthearted. Using humor appropriately will keep your reader awake the next time you send a benefits-related update.