Luckily, social media can provide solutions to some of these biggest challenges. Think about it; your employees are already there. The amount of time people spend on social media is constantly increasing. It's time for HR to leverage that preoccupation.
How Benefits Leaders Leverage Social MediaWhat common benefits communications obstacles can social media help overcome?
Often, employees find benefits information complex and overwhelming. The result? Important information that may not fully register with employees or that might be completely ignored. Social media can help break down complex benefits information into more digestible snippets (though those "snippets" appear to be on the rise for certain social platforms). By making benefits information more personal and engaging, employees are more apt to listen and comprehend.
In today's multi-generational workforce, benefits communications preferences are as individual as the employees themselves, and so vary based on age, gender, and type of benefit. A one-size-fits-all approach is no longer effective. Nimble social-media campaigns, on the other hand, allow you to adjust to your people.
A dispersed workforce:
For smaller companies, or even larger companies whose employees all work within a single location, simply posting flyers around the office may be all that is needed to effectively communicate benefits information to employees. However, that approach likely won't cut it with a more dispersed workforce consisting of remote employees, across the country and globe, a workplace trend that only continues to rise. Social media helps benefits employers expand their reach; allowing them to reach a larger portion of their workforce, including remote employees.
According to Jennifer Benz, CEO of Benz Communications, the biggest obstacle to more effective communication is resources, time, people, and money. But signing up and creating a social media profile is free for almost all social networking platforms and can be done within minutes. Furthermore, any paid social advertising or promotion that you may choose to invest in is a relatively low cost compared to other marketing tactics.
Effective communication starts with meeting people where they are. But how can you know you've reached them if communication only goes one way? Social media not only enables employers to communicate benefits information to employees in real-time. It also serves as a two-way communication tool to collect real-time feedback from employees. These social postings can also serve as an effective medium for driving traffic back to your benefits website, where employees can find more detailed information.
Transforming the Way Employees ConnectThe caveat is that you'll have to craft social media guidelines to ensure communications remain consistent with organizational standards. Bright Horizons offers our own example, here.
What's clear is that for businesses small and large, social media is no longer just a "nice-to-have." Technology has transformed how people make decisions, connect to information - and each other - whenever and from wherever they are.
Social media is already a recognized vital component of any marketing or communications initiative from brand awareness to customer engagement, customer service, lead generation, recruitment, and more.
The good news is benefits communications can do the same.