What better day than National Employee Benefits Day to communicate a simple truth: You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink in the beauty of your office e-mail “How Staying Hydrated Can Improve Work Performance.”
It’s not just equines, either. In a recent survey from the International Foundation, 80% of plan sponsors said their employees are not reading communication materials.
In the world of benefits communication, sometimes you have to laugh so you don’t cry. Besides, handwringing and hairpulling are for amateurs. Benefits pros are in deeper than that. Way deeper. How deep? We’re glad you asked. Read the tongue-in-cheek list below to see where you stand.
Top Ten Ways You Know You’re Deep Into the Benefits Communication Game
- When people ask for your thoughts on how the universe began, you always say, “With an eye-catching subject line. If you don’t start with a big bang, nobody will bother with the rest.”
- If you were marooned on a desert island, your first order of business would be asking the palm tree if it had time for a quick feedback survey.
- Your biggest fear in an alien invasion is finding out the intergalactic conqueror didn’t read your brochure “Ten Things to Avoid Saying When Taking Over the Planet.”
- You refer to your children as “my targeted segments.”
- When ordering a drink, you insist on bartenders making a “Clarity Navel” since anything “fuzzy” must be replaced with clear, concise language that can be understood by the average bar-going participant.
- You have two tattoos: One is a Japanese symbol for “Important benefits information. Your response is requested.” The other is a red exclamation mark.
- Your dating profile says “Looking for someone who won’t ask a question that was answered in the companywide e-mail I sent two hours ago.”
- You have 200 scripts ready to go in case a producer green-lights your television spinoff “CSI: CSO,” in which a ragtag team of chief security officers communicate corporate policy regarding personal health information. And here’s the hook: There are no cliff-hangers, and this team always plays by the rules.
- You’re fine with relationships that end without closure. But if you don’t get proper disclosure, look out!
- Your favorite knock-knock joke is “Knock-knock.” “Who’s there?” “Missing plan participant.” “Missing plan participant wh . . .” “IF I KNEW WHO, I WOULDN’T BE KNOCKING DOOR TO DOOR!”
It may be a struggle to get your benefits communication messages read, but we’ll happily read what you have to say! Please communicate how you plan to celebrate National Employee Benefits Day in the comments below, on Twitter with #NEBD or on Facebook.
Editor, Publications for the International Foundation