The 3 R’s for Great Benefits Communications: Relatability, Resonance, and READABILITY

The 3 R’s for Great Benefits Communications: Relatability, Resonance, and READABILITY

What makes for great employee benefit communications? The three R’s: Relatability, Resonance, and above all, Readability.

If you think about it, why shouldn’t employees want to read about their benefits programs? After all, their benefits are some of the most important reasons they come to work, right? They sit in a cubicle, drive a truck, make coffee for millennials and executives, bake cupcakes, care for hospital patients—not out of the goodness of their hearts, but to collect a paycheck, get health and perhaps life insurance, and if they’re really lucky, gain a sense of personal fulfillment.

Why shouldn’t they greedily devour every piece of communication you throw at them about the benefits they are entitled to have?

The answer is simple: Readability. Much of the benefits communications we’ve seen—and we’ve seen a lot of them—are just what-the-hell-are-they-talking-about incomprehensible.

Benefits communications are inherently relatable—they’re about me—and inherently resonant—they’re about what I’m getting. So, two obstacles to great communications are already crossed off of the list. All you have to do now is make them halfway readable. And while everyone thinks they can write effectively, unfortunately that is sometimes easier said than done. Further unfortunately, benefits can be complicated, so making them readable is not for the inexperienced or faint of heart.

So it might be time to take a step back and evaluate your current communications with an objective eye. Ask yourself these important questions:

If you were looking at them for the first time, would you have any idea at all what they were about? Would you know what they meant to you?

Do they make sense?

Are they laid out logically?

Does reading them for five minutes make you want to bang your head against the wall?

If you answered “no” to any of the first four questions, and “yes” to the fifth, it might be time for a communications overhaul. Trion’s Communications Practice can help.

Written by Stephen Trimble

Stephen is an experienced communications professional with a background in educational and internal communications. He is most excited by transforming complex and obscure subject matter into compelling content that readers are motivated by and can truly understand.

Trion Communications stephen.trimble@trion-mma.com