Estimated Read Time 5 min.

While there are plenty of negative things to say about 2020, it was an incredible year for the employee experience. Companies, driven by the pandemic, implemented many new benefits programs for well-being, family support, and safety information around new guidelines, delivering a much more meaningful and productive workplace experience. Human resource professionals subsequently scrambled to meet the urgent needs of implementing new processes for everything from hiring and onboarding, to policy changes and use of new technologies to enable employees to either work from home or an office.

Hiring and retaining employees, the main function of HR, is a full-time responsibility and where the employee experience within an organization begins. While compensation has always been a key ingredient for employees looking to make the next step in their careers, 2020 illustrated a sharp rise in employee interest around benefits and their importance to the new workplace experience.

As companies compete for talent, benefits packages have grown beyond medical, dental and vision to offer additional benefits, or otherwise called total rewards, like life or disability insurance, retirement savings plans, flex time and more. 2021 will see a continuance of the same initiatives adding additional work/life balancing programs to the cadre of benefits already offered in their total rewards packages making them, not only, more enticing but equally confusing to the employee.

Whether it is onboarding or annual enrollment, benefits are a mystery for just about everyone besides the human resource team that evaluated and selected the benefits and all they offer. HR teams have an opportunity to shape and define the workplace experience using employee communications platforms and set the baseline for how targeted information can aid the organization, starting with benefits.

The need to understand one’s benefits and how to use them has never been more important and top-of-mind than in today’s pandemic climate. Traditionally HR only communicates about benefits weeks before the deadline to enroll. Similarly, employees usually only seek better understanding of their benefits package when they need to use them, adding stress to what may already be a difficult situation.

Instead, what if HR used the entire year to communicate about benefits, providing layers of education to employees to help them better understand their benefits, and encouraging them to use the benefits to better themselves? Or perhaps HR use benefits communications to lower the company’s cost of benefits? If you are not already using internal communications throughout the year to educate employees, here are some considerations for you to try in 2021.

5 Tactical Opportunities for HR to Transform the Workplace Experience

  1. HR Systems and Clean Data

As you develop your 2021 HR communications plan, consider using targeting to help you segment your audience so you can deliver relevant content to employees. The foundation of your communication targeting solution is your employee data. Does your active directory or HR System include attributes associated to each employee like role, department or location? If not, how can you get the data cleansed so it is usable for targeting purposes?

  1. Targeting

Use your employee data to create audience groups so you can send specific content or educational messaging to different audience segments based on age/life stage, gender, role or location. Example – younger employees care less about saving for retirement. Use targeting to educate them on the benefits of incremental saving for retirement and send different/relevant content to older employees who may need to use their retirement soon or now.

  1. Content Marketing

Utilize content marketing to deliver information on various aspects of your wellness program educating your staff through a plan of continual learning. Guide employees through their benefits journey and solicit their stories for shareable anecdotes on benefits usage. Share personal stories on saving for retirement or how flexible work/life strategies benefitted an employee. Whether it is video, image posts, or sharing curated links of interesting articles, experiment to discover the best content mix and preferred device per audience group to maximize engagement and understanding.

  1. Distribute anywhere

We all realize that true understanding of a concept is gained with reinforcement and it is the same with your benefits program. Utilize workplace communications to distribute content anywhere and everywhere to hit your 100% reach total and reinforce timelines and modes of response. Use web, mobile, signage, intranet, social, email to strengthen and support total understanding of the benefits your company offers, while utilizing response tools like surveys and quizzes to gain insight on your team’s level of understanding.

  1. Use analytics

Analytics give insight to the performance of your program and allow for adjustments based on your primary objective of understanding and utilization of the benefits offered. Sending short quizzes about the more complex aspects of benefits packages will aid in developing further materials to increase understanding when and where needed.

2021 may be the most important year for digital transformation of business and HR processes that we have seen.

A digital workplace communications platform can be the central hub to engage your workforce to achieve new heights in productivity while setting the stage for how communications can reshape the workplace.

If you are ready to learn more on what a workplace communications platform can do for your company, contact us and have one of our professionals give your team a personalized demonstration of the Korbyt platform.