How remote working is changing benefits communication for the long term


Since we went into lockdown, we have all been in the same boat when communicating to our people. We’re not surprised remote working has changed how we work, but we are surprised it took a pandemic to consider its legitimacy. We’re entering a brave new world that needs to be much more considered, and we need to start planning for the changing pension and benefits world that’s here to stay (for now).

How remote working is changing benefits communication for the long term

Here are some main areas to consider when planning your future pension and benefits communications.

Target and personalise your communications

A real emphasis has been put on segmented, personalised communications. Blanket emails still have a purpose, but if you don’t segment your audience at all, it won’t cut it in the long-term.

Breaking down large databases is essential if you want to keep your people engaged. It ensures they’re only seeing content relevant to them, increasing interest and improving productivity.

Every communication needs to be as personal as possible to stand out in a digitally evolving environment where all current comms are fighting for the limelight.

Deliver your content in a creative way

As we mentioned, the digital space is a crowded one, and you need to think outside the box if you want to maximise engagement. The aspect of personalisation doesn’t simply come from the content you’re sharing, but also how you deliver it to your people. Try one of the following types of content in your communications:

  • talking head video
  • animated personalised video
  • expert-led group sessions
  • webinars.

Whenever you can, try and keep a human element to your communications. If we’re not able to physically see anyone in the flesh, seeing or hearing a trusted figure, an expert in the field or a peer delivering communications adds gravitas and trust to what you’re trying to convey.

Maintain an open dialogue to increase engagement and trust

It is imperative that you maintain open lines of dialogue. It’s an essential way of building trust by always being there if any queries arise. Communication is a two-way thing, and you need to make sure you’re prepared and equipped to handle any requests, queries and replies from your people.

Here are a few ways to future-proof your communication channels:

  • live-chat plugins to your website
  • reviewing your benefits website/portal content
  • improving customer service capacity
  • invest in suitable technologies (i.e. virtual GP).

Embrace video meetings

Many people hadn’t used video calling prior to lockdown, but it has quickly become second nature. Video calls can achieve the same outcomes as you would expect from a face-to-face meeting, which we have seen first-hand with our pension advice meetings.

Prior to coronavirus a remote meeting may have been considered second best, but aside from the obvious social distancing advantages, we are seeing some unexpected benefits of holding these meetings via video call:

  • seeing an adviser at home breaks down the formality of a suit in an office, helping build trust and rapport
  • screen sharing allows advisers to pass the control of online tools and modellers, empowering the member to be more proactive and improve engagement
  • but most important is the boost to mental wellbeing. A friendly face who wants to help you achieve your goals and objectives can give a huge lift. In these uncertain times, it’s never been more important that we feel in control of our finances.

These benefits build a strong case for changing the way we work for the better, even when we go back to some sort of normality, video calls can improve productivity and give you back precious time.

Increasing the regularity of your communications

The insular nature of remote working can leave people feeling in the dark and unsure of what’s happening to their benefits. One of the best remedies is to build a strategy and plan regular communications to keep your people abreast of the latest information.

Without regular communication, motivation, engagement and trust can quickly fizzle out. It’s never been more important to keep in close contact and ensure you’re looking after your people as best you can.

Many organisations are not planning on returning to a regular way of working, so take this time to assess what has and hasn't worked, learn from others, and invest in the new future of benefits communication to ensure you’re best placed for the back end of 2020 and beyond.

This article is provided by Lemonade Reward.


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