People communicate through such diverse lines. Text, email, cell phones, home phones, letters are just some of the physical forms. So it’s common (but incorrect) to assume communication is easy and intuitive. It is mission critical for employers to focus on all lines of proven communication. This has never been more true when developing company wide health, wellness, and benefits programs. The old adage still holds true, what employees don’t understand what they have for insurance the product will be used incorrectly or not used at all… Both situations will be leading the blame to you.
Let these 8 valuable communication concepts serve as the base of your health, wellness and benefits messaging:
- A flawed plan well communicated is better than a perfect plan poorly communicated. It doesn’t matter how great your health plan looks. You may have a $500 deductible, 100% coinsurance, $15 copay. The simple fact that you have that coverage does nothing when there is no program in place to explain the program.
- If you think “plain language” is “dumbing down,” you flatter yourself. Businesses that want to sound “official” usually end up sounding egotistical or confusing.The intent of their messages is lost in the delivery.Clarity is key.
- Creativity is a precursor to engagement. Conventional health communication appeals to the head but not the heart, embodying science but lacking sentiment.
- Less is more. Think “telegraph message.” The average attention span of Americans today is roughly the time it has taken you to read this sentence.
- Headlines are critical. Most people don’t really read. “Scannable” elements such as headlines, subheads, captions, and lists are key.
- Print communication will not disappear. The print medium isn’t dead, it’s just changing — companies need to make it more timely and customized.
- Simple beats complex. Small beats big. Easy beats hard. Well-crafted messages can spur employees to action, but change is more realistic when it’s less idealistic — when it encourages minor changes rather than massive overhauls.