The new "work-from-home economy" means companies need to be more strategic about employee communication. Use a multimedia approach over multiple channels to make sure you are reaching your entire workforce. Try to make your benefits appeal personal, by connecting employees through more direct, individual and engaging email messages and social media posts. It can also help to use anecdotes and metrics to demonstrate the value of the benefits you're offering.

In the last few years, so much has changed about the way we work. Recent Stanford research found an incredible 42 percent of the U.S. labor force working from home full-time, creating what researchers describe as “a new work-from-home economy.”  

While there are certainly perks to the home office — like the 30-second commute and relaxed dress code — remote working can also threaten employees’ well-being. Remote workers experience fewer social interactions and could be more likely to struggle with emotional and mental health issues.

There’s already evidence that these challenging times are eroding our collective wellness. In a recent Gallup study, 47 percent of employees reported feeling worried “during a lot of the day yesterday,” while 24 percent felt lonely. 

Because a worker’s mental, emotional, and physical health can impact their job performance, attendance, and even how long they stay with your company, investing in employee wellness is just good business. A strong holistic benefits package can help connect your workforce with the care and services they need to stay healthy and productive. 

But even the best benefits package in the world won’t do much if employees aren’t engaged with the services you’re offering. Try these three tips for boosting activations of benefits like ours today.

Use multiple channels of communication 

When it comes to getting people to activate and engage, one of our most successful clients is a financial institution offering our service as an employer-paid benefit to its 25,000 eligible employees. 

This client used a multi-media approach to promote enrollment, launching a campaign that incorporated digital materials, such as videos; physical materials, such as paystub buck slips; and targeted internal emails about the importance of identity protection from the firm’s president. 

Within six weeks, the company boasted a nearly 45 percent activation rate, and today, 70 percent of employees participate. 

This is a great example of successfully messaging over multiple channels, which is key because different demographics prefer different modes of communication. For example, older workers often prefer printed materials like the paystub buck slips, while tech-savvy millennials tend to gravitate toward digital engagement features, such as videos and webinars.

To reach a multi-generational workforce, consider sending benefits materials to an employee’s mailbox and their inbox, and package the information in various formats, from videos to flyers, to accommodate different preferences.

There’s a lot of information to share about each benefit in your portfolio: what’s being offered, why it’s valuable, and how specifically employees can sign up for and use the benefit. Creating a communication strategy that captures it all can be a challenge. Here at Allstate Identity Protection, we can support your enrollment initiatives with tools and resources, such as emails, videos, and social media campaigns, as well as online educational webinars for your employees.

Make it personal 

Here’s another thing that the company in our case study got right: the email from the firm’s president about the importance of identity protection helped to make the message personal. 

If your employees hear about the value of a benefit from your organization’s own leaders, they may be inspired to engage in higher numbers. That’s especially true if the message has an engaging subject line, digestible writing style, and includes relevant facts to drive activation — like promoting an identity protection benefit like ours by noting Javelin’s recent finding that 14.4 million Americans had their identities stolen last year alone, at a cost of $6.4 billion.  

Company leaders can also drive utilization by sharing social media posts promoting enrollment on internal networks, like Slack, as well as external networks, such as LinkedIn.

Show value 

Perhaps the best way to encourage engagement is by showing just how useful a benefit can be. 

Compile and share specific anecdotes and metrics from within your organization, such as: 

  • A description of employees the benefit has helped in the past

  • Quotes from employees about how the benefit has improved their lives 

  • Data that highlights how the benefit has yielded measurable results — for example, increased contributions to retirement plans could indicate the success of a financial-wellness program

Taking care of employees’ physical and emotional health feels more important than ever. Use these strategies to invest in employee wellness and make sure your workforce continues to be healthy, productive, and engaged.