More! More! More! We just need to squeeze in one more thing about how employees can use their FSA to purchase organic, locally-sourced, non-allergen bandages.
As a designer, I deal with that scenario every day. Sometimes too much information gets in the way of what is the important information. Cramming in more content leads to dense copy, lack of white space, and small, condensed fonts – all of which does not encourage the audience to read.
While I always want to create a visually appealing, award-winning guide, the goal is to create a guide that’s usable and encourages the employee to read and understand vital information. Not only does this help the employee learn about the great benefits you offer, but it also helps you by cutting down on calls and emails from employees who don’t understand their benefits package. In short, a well-designed guide can help a busy HR team and alleviate employee frustration.
In the design world, we are always trying to simplify. Our goal is to keep visual clutter to a minimum, while creating a stylish aesthetic. One of my college professors pointed to the Nutrition label on a box of cereal as a great benchmark of good design. It’s simple, clear, intuitive, yet full of information.
While nutrition labels may not be the style you are going for in your enrollment campaign, a lot can be learned from the philosophy behind that design. A few key things to remember are:
- Don’t be afraid of white space! Don’t feel the need to fill the entire page with text, color, and imagery. Use an easy-to-read font, set somewhere between 9.5-12 point, with generous leading (the amount of space between each line).
- Don’t get stuck on extraneous details! Is all the important information being crushed into illegibility just so you can fit in a few small details that don’t affect the majority of your employees? Give the important bits some space. It will give emphasis and encourage the audience to read your communications.
- Simplify! Keep content simple and to the point. Use as few words as possible to get the point across. Charts and tables can help to disseminate information concisely and in an easy-to-reference format.
Just remember, if you wouldn’t want to read your communications, why would your employee population?
Hi everybody! As leader of the Trion Communications Practice, I’m happy to welcome you to our new blog. We’re excited to have a regular place to talk to you about the power of great communications.
While our work here at Trion focuses on helping employees understand and use their employer-provided benefits, I thought I would kick things off with a story from my personal life. An upcoming wedding in my family is a great example how important it is to create – and execute – a good communications strategy, and what happens when you don’t.
My stepdaughter is getting married in four weeks. Since January, we’ve been helping her and her fiancé plan the wedding and buy a new house. We’ve run into dozens of unforeseen problems with the house, and as a result, a few things for the wedding have fallen through the cracks: Most critically, the invitations. Even though they were purchased two months ago, they were just mailed today.
They invite guests to reserve their hotel rooms by April 7, and to RSVP for the event by May 7.
Today, as I’m writing this, is May 16. Ye gads!
The good news is, most of the guests are local. The bad news is that, 28 days out, we still have no idea who’s coming, and the final tally is due to the venue on Thursday.
This is a great example of how, when communications go awry, nobody wins. In this case, we’ll likely lose a few folks who could have joined the party with more notice. And my stepdaughter will need to spend the next four days sending texts, leaving voicemails, and tracking responses – that’s in addition to navigating a full-time job, three small children, a new house, not to mention grocery shopping, laundry, sleeping, seating charts, dress fittings, helping the kids with their homework, etc.
All of this could have been avoided by better planning – or what we in the communications world call “strategy”. Whether you’re trying to get 75 people to a wedding or 7,500 employees to adopt more consumer-like behaviors, thoughtful communications strategy has sway.
And that’s what this blog is all about. Helping you to use great strategy and all that comes with it to achieve your desired ends (e.g., just-as-great content, design, delivery, measurement, etc.). From increasing employee appreciation of your benefits program and driving participation in your consumer driven health plan, to using bold design to grab attention, finding your corporate voice, developing more creative communications, learning how to breathe during Open Enrollment season (no seriously, we have figured that out), and more.
We are here for you. So please, stop by often. Take a tour through the rest of our website to see some examples of how we’ve put great communications strategies in place for our clients. And feel free to reach out to us with questions or to learn how we can help you harness the power of communications.