Did you make a resolution at the start of this year? If so, you’re in good company. About 4 out of 10 Americans make resolutions each year.

While you are setting goals to lose weight, exercise more, and spend more time with the kids, how about making one or two resolutions that can help you and your client improve your benefits communications? Here are a few ideas to discuss with your client:

IN 2012, I RESOLVE TO:

  • Start the year with a 12-month communication plan and stick with it.
  • Establish measureable goals for my communications and assess my progress throughout the year.
  • Communicate more frequently – not only during annual enrollment.
  • Use communications to motivate my employees and facilitate action.
  • Make employee communications the cornerstone of any strategy to add, remove, or modify my employee benefit plans.
  • Use language the average employee can understand. (For example, pretend you’re explaining benefits to a high school senior who has no idea what benefits are.)
  • Design communications that are attractive and easy-to-read (remember, white space is your friend).
  • Consider all the different generations in the workplace when developing messages (Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y).
  • Use a mix of media - such as print, face-to-face, electronic, and social media – to better reach workers with different preferences for learning and information.
  • Communicate with my employees’ spouses/partners, as well, since they are often key to household benefits decisions.

Resolutions that help you be healthier can improve your quality of life. But, what can you expect from your benefits communications resolutions? Actually, quite a bit - 90% of employees who say that they received effective benefit communication also say that their employer values their work and 88% say they are satisfied with their job (Harris Interactive online survey, December 2009).
Happy new year!

Box-Farnen is a communications consultant in Aon Hewitt’s Baltimore office. She can be reached at helen.box-farnen@aonhewitt.com.

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