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June 16, 2020

Connecting with your five employee demographics

This is particularly important before, during and right after open enrollment

Companies used to talk to employees as one homogenous group. But now most organizations realize they’re dealing with five dedicated employee groups that need to be communicated with on their terms. The differences in work behaviors and benefits preferences have never been greater and there are many employees who are part-time, work-from-home, in distant locations, or mostly on the road. Those issues often create a situation where meetings or even phone calls are not the most efficient, effective ways to get in touch.

How do you best communicate benefit options and instructions?

A survey of Fortune 500 executives said 80 percent find communication across multiple employee generations to be one of the most challenging issues in the workplace. It essentially boils down to how different generations perceive and use technology. In general, here’s the most effective ways to communicate with each group:

  • Traditionalists – Face-to-face conversations
  • Baby Boomers – In-person or phone calls
  • Generation X – E-mail
  • Generation Y (Millennials) – Texts
  • Generation Z – Social media and mobile apps

To be as efficient as possible, you need to find a happy medium that embraces technology, satisfies generational preferences, and reaches your entire target audiences.

Finding a happy medium

Try to incorporate a blend of multiple communication methods. For example, make emotional connections in-person. If you need immediacy, try mobile messaging. To articulate details or create a “paper trail”, use email. Need to follow up on messages? The phone is a good choice.

But keep in mind, there are always new ways to communicate. You can now use tools like Slack, Yammer and Chatter to send messages and open up intra-office communications. These platforms are generally searchable, allows file sharing, and provide an instant, easy way to communicate.

You’re not just communicating, you’re marketing.

Here are six ways to make sure you communicate clearly and that you’re delivering the most compelling message possible.

  1. Make sure your subject lines or titles and the headlines of your messaging grab the attention of the employee. Give them an incentive to read.
  2. Use plain language. Jargon or overly-corporate writing is a turn-off to employees. Talk to them like they’re sitting across from you, not as though you’re lecturing them.
  3. Be as personal as possible. Talk directly to them. And keep it short and simple.
  4. Be creative whenever you can. Use typography, video, links to your intranet to attract attention and make getting the information as interesting and entertaining as possible.
  5. Send. Re-send. And then re-send again. You not only have to make your message compelling and interesting, you need to make sure everyone sees it. Don’t be afraid to repeat the message.
  6. Mix up your “media.” A good rule of thumb is to use a variety of channels to push your message. Use an Enterprise Social Networking app (ESN), then email, put up posters, and then follow up with texts or phone calls. Think as wide and deep as possible.

Find out more about communicating more effectively with your employees. Contact your Marsh & McLennan Agency representative to set up a meeting to work through your plan.