The Council for Disability Awareness guest blogger, Joi Tillman, talks about the importance of benefits communication for short- and long-term disability insurance.
Now that the benefits industry is focusing more on innovating education and communications, we need to examine the best ways to tailor benefits communication for short and long-term disability. While disability insurance is more understood than say, critical illness insurance, different demographics think about disability very differently.
Effective Benefits Communication
In our recent Sun Life Summit, a panel of benefits communication experts discussed how to effectively communicate within a diverse workforce. This is something we wrestle with constantly when discussing disability insurance. How can we help different generations understand their own unique needs?
One angle the summit panel discussed was understanding ‘personas’. People can have similar needs based on age or gender, while having very different needs based on job type, geographic location, or life stage. The key is getting to know your workforce, and then communicating to them on their level.
How can you do this? One key step is communicating year-round. Yes, I said year-round. It may seem like common sense, but most employers offer benefits communication and guidance only during enrollment time.
People are overwhelmed and simply don’t have time to learn about their benefits options, or to reassess their needs and make a plan change. When benefits communication is incorporated into year-round internal messaging, employees learn more about their options. They are then more engaged in the decision-making process.
Benefits Communication for Millennials
Perhaps the most mysterious demographic when it comes to disability are millennials. Effective millennial communication has become the hot topic employers struggle to master.
What it really comes down to is speaking their language. This means utilizing social media, making transactions more interactive, and helping them see “what’s in it for them”. In benefits communication, it helps to be a storyteller. Show first-hand why disability protection is important at any age.
If we are willing to speak to our employees on their level, we will see better understanding and engagement in disability insurance enrollment.