an older employee working on a laptop at home
By
Mark Fitzgibbons, Holmes Murphy Communication Director, Employee Benefits

“Dispersed.” This word likely meant something different to you before COVID-19 appeared. And while many employers are encouraging remote staff to return to the office, millions of U.S. workers never stopped reporting to their job sites. Retail, manufacturing, construction, transportation, utilities — these are just a few of the many industries that have long faced the communication challenges of reaching a dispersed workforce.

As employee benefits pros, it’s our job to make it easy for employees and their families to take advantage of all the programs our organizations offer them. We must do everything we can to remove obstacles that prevent people from accessing important information when — and where — they need it.

Think about all the things that might get in the way of a person accessing your content. They might not know where to go in the first place. They might not remember a password. They could get turned off by how something looks on their phone. They could even leave a site if it loads too slowly.

Human nature suggests that most of us follow the path of least resistance. By reducing the number of hurdles for your employees, you can maximize your reach and impact, even with the dispersed segments of your employee population.

Tips to Connect Employee Benefits Communication with Dispersed Employees

While every organization is unique, we do see some common issues that hinder connection with dispersed employees. Below are five ways to expand your communication approach and improve that connection effectively and efficiently.

A Publicly Accessible Benefits Website

Many organizations feel a need to protect information by only making it available on their intranet. This puts barriers in front of your content for your workforce, and it excludes spouses and family members entirely. Even if your dispersed employee population never has access to a desktop or laptop computer as part of their workday, they almost certainly have access to a mobile device. People today, regardless of employment type, are used to accessing information and resources via a mobile device. In fact, there is a now consumer expectation that information and resources will be available on a mobile device.

Manager and HR Communication Resources

Equipping managers, Human Resources, and other employees who may have more frequent contact with a dispersed employee audience with talking points or toolkits allows them to be ambassadors for your employee benefits team. Enabling these team members to provide information and tools, especially when they are cross-referenced to an employee benefits website (think QR code), goes a long way toward successfully engaging your dispersed workforce.

Onsite Signage and Other Environmental Displays

Onsite signage and other displays, such as table tents, digital displays, or breakroom placemats, are a great way to drive home employee benefits messaging. The use of QR codes can easily route employees to more information than the display provides. Thank you, restaurant industry, for reviving this simple and effective communication tool!

Good Old Home Mailings

Mail-to-home print communications are still alive and well and continue to play a crucial role in any successful employee benefits communications campaign. Postcards and mailers (again, with QR codes) can reach family members at home and help deliver your message when employees don’t have regular access to employer communications as part of their workday.

Worksite Events or Fairs

One-on-one in-person interaction still rules. You won’t find a better communication method than when an employee has access to an expert, can ask questions, and can find out everything they need to. Employers are starting to get back to in-person worksite events, but virtual events, especially with video conferencing, can be just as effective. Providing incentives, such as raffles and giveaways as part of these events, can enhance the experience and promote greater participation and engagement.

These are some of the tactics we’ve seen successfully reach dispersed employees. And, even better, they all can be deployed as part of an employee benefits communication campaign with the rest of your employees as well.