Dynamic Communication Keeps Employees Engaged
Communication is key with consumer-directed health plans
Most employees don’t spend much time trying to understand their company’s benefits offering. Young, single employees figure that they rarely go to the doctor, so what difference does it make? Employees who are choosing a plan to fit their family mostly focus on co-pay amounts and which doctors are in network.
If your company has been struggling to get employees to understand the plans offered and choose the right plan, a decision support tool is probably a great idea (read more about decision support tools here). But what other methods can you use to communicate the plan differences to employees? Other than open enrollment time, when should you try to educate them about the plans?
Common communication methods
No matter the age or socio-economic age of your employees, it’s likely that they’re familiar with online apps and sites that deliver social media, video, or instant messaging. Using these same types of communications can keep employees much more engaged than passing out big packets of incomprehensible printed material. Plus, you can utilize online communication year-round – no matter where your employees are.
Videos, blog posts, online surveys – all of these interactive tools are a great way to share information with your employees. A video can be simple or professionally done – the key is to make the concepts simple and easy to digest, and to keep the video short. Viewers are much more likely to stick with a 5 minute video than a 20 minute one.
Blog posts are a quick, easy way to share short snippets of information, and it’s usually easy for employees to search a blog and find the information they’re looking for. Cover frequently asked questions with a short blog post, and then you have an easy location to direct employees to get answers. Blogs also offer a friendly, conversational tone, so employees are more likely to turn to them than to info packets when they are looking for an answer.
Another benefit of online communications is the ability to track effectiveness. With basic tools, you can track how many people view a video, open an email, or visit the blog. With an online survey you can gauge the number of responses you get, and gather information about where you need to provide more information, or less.
Online communications are also great for reaching a different audience – spouses. Often employees want their spouse involved in the decision-making process, and with online communications, employees can sit down with a spouse at home and compare options, read up on specifics, or watch a how-to video.
It’s important to keep the message simple when communicating, too. Think through the messages you have to convey, and then determine the best method for communicating those messages.
For more information on engaging employees in Consumer-Directed Health Plans, contact Tango at firstname.lastname@example.org
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