Employ­ee ben­e­fits and open enroll­ment may be some­thing you only think about a few times a year, and for your employ­ees, it might be even less often. How­ev­er, with a thought­ful, year-round com­mu­ni­ca­tions plan, your busi­ness can increase employ­ee engage­ment and smart ben­e­fits utilization.

Many employ­ees don’t know what ben­e­fits are avail­able or how to uti­lize them.  And with many employ­ees work­ing remote­ly or on a hybrid sched­ule, com­mu­ni­ca­tion is even hard­er. Only com­mu­ni­cat­ing with employ­ees regard­ing their ben­e­fits pack­age dur­ing open enroll­ment will most def­i­nite­ly result in them not tak­ing full advan­tage of all it has to offer.  So, what are some cre­ative ways to engage employ­ees with their employ­ee ben­e­fits through­out the cal­en­dar year?


As you begin craft­ing your engage­ment plan, think of the over­all goal you want to accom­plish. Per­haps you sim­ply want your employ­ees to be bet­ter edu­cat­ed on their plan offer­ings. Maybe you’d like to reduce the num­ber of ques­tions that employ­ees ask dur­ing open enroll­ment meet­ings. Maybe you want your employ­ees to uti­lize a cer­tain plan ben­e­fit that has been his­tor­i­cal­ly under­used result­ing in high­er costs to the employ­ee or the com­pa­ny. What­ev­er the case, first set your goal for the com­mu­ni­ca­tion plan.


Now that you have an end-goal in mind, start think­ing of how fre­quent­ly you want to com­mu­ni­cate.  Sched­ule your com­mu­ni­ca­tion moments to post con­sis­tent­ly. Maybe you start a “Ben­e­fits Minute” that hits the first Mon­day of the month. You could also start a “Ben­e­fits Blog” that posts every oth­er Fri­day. What­ev­er the case, make the com­mu­ni­ca­tion hap­pen on a sched­ule so that employ­ees know when to expect it and know what it’s called.

9 out of 10 employ­ees will choose the same ben­e­fits year after year.  Cre­at­ing a con­sis­tent edu­ca­tion­al cal­en­dar gives peo­ple time to find out and digest changes.  Be sure to send infor­ma­tion and reminders to avoid unwel­come surprises.


Get to the main point quick­ly. If your com­mu­ni­ca­tions are long-wind­ed, employ­ees will like­ly tune out before they receive the per­ti­nent infor­ma­tion. Instead, fol­low this sim­ple for­mu­la when craft­ing your communication:

Pitch – “Here’s some­thing you may not know about your benefits.”
Why – “This is why it’s important/relevant to you.”
Call to Action – “Here’s what you should do to learn more,


Com­mu­ni­ca­tion isn’t one-size-fits-all. Peo­ple learn in dif­fer­ent ways—some may be visu­al learn­ers while oth­ers may be oral learn­ers. Make sure you mix up the way you com­mu­ni­cate to cov­er both types. Also, change up the method of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Try emails, videos, print­ed fly­ers, and quick vir­tu­al pre­sen­ta­tions. The idea is to get your mes­sage out through every chan­nel avail­able to ensure you’re reach­ing the entire­ty of your audience.

Ulti­mate­ly, a good ben­e­fits pack­age attracts and retains tal­ent and increas­es the pro­duc­tiv­i­ty of peo­ple.  Fol­low­ing through with strong employ­ee ben­e­fit com­mu­ni­ca­tion is equal­ly as impor­tant as the imple­men­ta­tion.  By fol­low­ing through with con­sis­tent and rel­e­vant ben­e­fits edu­ca­tion, you will see that your employ­ees will reap the ben­e­fits of a healthy under­stand­ing of their ben­e­fit plan!