We are honored to bring you the 2014 Inside Benefits Communication Survey report, a collaborative research effort conducted with the National Business Coalition on Health. The report analyzes data from more than 300 high-level benefits professionals to help you gain greater insight into how your industry peers are strategizing and implementing benefits communication—knowledge that can help you serve employees even better.
The 2014 report expands on the trends breakout report released last month that detailed employers’ plans and perceptions regarding the Affordable Care Act—specifically, the law’s impact on plan design and communication efforts. The full IBC Survey data reveals that even amid the backdrop of ACA—which offers employers valuable opportunities to promote and communicate their benefits programs—there are still missed opportunities to improve employees’ understanding, use and perceived value of their benefits.
Most employers (56%) say improving employees’ understanding and perceived value of benefits is their main focus, yet too few companies use what we know are the proven communication best practices to help them meet that goal:
- Year-round communication to give just-in-time messages and increase employee engagement and trust.
- Targeted communication to reach not just employees, but their spouses/partners and family members as well.
- Segmented communication to make personalized and meaningful connections with employees of varying life stages, financial level, health status and benefit use.
The data reveal bright spots of encouragement, though, in employers’ use of overall strategic planning and effective online communication as far greater numbers of companies:
- Have a documented annual communication strategy.
- Put benefits information on the Internet outside the firewall, where it’s accessible for spouses/partners and family members.
- Optimize online information for mobile viewing.
- Use social media to communicate.