The past year has taught us a lot about the way we interact daily within our organizations. Going remote overnight when the pandemic began was certainly not easy for organizations and their employees. However, it forced a shift in old patterns, opening possibilities for new, innovative ways to get work done, including hybrid workplaces.
What is a hybrid workplace? A hybrid approach is one that allows a mixture of work being accomplished remotely, in small populations and traditional on-site workplace environments.
Many companies are already planning a shift to a hybrid workplace after positive experiences with remote work during the pandemic. From this success, we can safely assume the future of work will be hybrid for a large percentage of companies, with most people working from both the office and from their homes. According to a PwC study, 13% of employers have chosen remote work completely, while 11% reported maintaining a significant amount of remote work and 32% being likely to increase the level of remote work at their organization.
With the hybrid workplace becoming the norm, it’s more important than ever to have an effective and engaging benefits communication strategy. This means employees and managers must adopt new methods of connecting and communicating. When everyone is working remote, they have a much more similar experience. But, in a hybrid work environment, employees have access to varying degrees of resources and technology.
Here are five major ways the hybrid workplace is affecting the focus of company communications:
- Elevated Communications – Strategic cadence of quality communications including a centralized source for information
- Focus on Employee Experience – More visually engaging communications including graphics, charts, videos and infographics
- Technology Adaptation – Applications and resource accessible on mobile, tablet, desktop alike
- Focus on Employee Well-Being – The pandemic has brought to light the importance of promoting well-being, both physical and mental, and must be prioritized.
- Data-Driven Communications – In the hybrid workplace, it’s crucial to keep everyone on the same page since they aren’t working alongside one another. Tracking important metrics and KPIs gives more weight to the success of your internal communications.
Benefits communication is successful when your employees understand the value of what your organization provides, what their benefits mean, and how to enroll. One way the First Person Employee Communications Practice is getting ahead of the need for enhanced communications is the new Digital Benefits Guide.
A recent study reveals 66% of Americans check their phones 160 times a day. It’s clear that whether your workforce is remote or onsite, your employees rely on digital technology to seek information and engage with others.
FirstPerson’s Digital Benefits Guide provides your employees an immersive benefits and well-being experience that meets them where they are. Online. Here are a few ways it helps you level up your benefits communication.
The Digital Benefits Guide is designed to be more personalized and interactive. This means adapting communications to individual communication preferences and learning styles through mixed media, such as infographics, educational videos, links, etc. The Guide is an excellent resource during Open Enrollment but can also be tailored efficiently for new hires and act as a valuable tool for recruiting and retention. Employee benefits packages are extremely important to employees and prospects, so you might as well show them off in style!
The Digital Benefits Guide allows your employees to access their benefits information via desktop, tablet and mobile with full optimization and functionality. They can find resources, such as carrier websites, benefits education materials and more with just a click of a button. Additionally, the Digital Benefits Guide is structured with on-page hierarchy to allow your team to easily dive into as little or as much of the details as they want, depending on what’s important to them.
The Digital Benefits Guide is designed to represent your company through a white label approach, which emulates your consumer and/or employer brand standards. Your guide will stay on-brand, using your company’s personalized visual and verbal standards such as logos, color scheme, fonts, imagery, tone, etc.
The Digital Benefits Guide is easy to share with your employees and their spouses at home through a personalized URL. Direct links within the guide provide them with easy access to important resources and enrollment tools. And, you can emphasize important information through calls-to-action (CTAs), enrollment reminders and click-through options throughout.
The Digital Benefits Guide is created with security in mind. Keep sensitive information and your benefits plan offerings private and within your organization by enabling a login-only feature and/or excluding the guide from web searches.
The Digital Benefits Guide allows for in-depth tracking of user engagement. With the reporting dashboard, we can review together important analytics and metrics to evaluate strategy effectiveness. You can then use this valuable data to update and make strategic improvements to the guide and your team’s benefits enrollment experience going forward.
Below is an example of a reporting dashboard.
The process of creating your Digital Benefits Guide is designed in partnership with you, including a number of milestones to keep you engaged, informed and on track:
- Introduction, questionnaire and timeline
- Content gathering and outline
- Content and outline review
- Site development and feedback
- Final review and deployment
- Ongoing reporting
Below is a visual representation of milestones one through three of the Digital Benefits Guide Milestone Process.
With the ensuing shift to a hybrid workplace for many companies, it will become increasingly important to develop a communication strategy and best practices that meet employees where they are – regardless of their physical location. This means communicating consistently and efficiently through digital methods. The Digital Benefits Guide is just one way the First Person Employee Communications Practice is getting ahead of the need for enhanced communications.
If you’d like to learn more about the Digital Benefits Guide or other innovative ways we are helping our clients with strategic communications, please contact Amos Haffner, or reach out to a member on our advisory team.