Employers that offer voluntary benefits — such as health insurance, retirement plans and flexible spending accounts — are required by law to disclose certain information about the plans to employees. These laws aside, employees should understand the benefits available to them so they can make appropriate choices.
Normally, this information is communicated during new hire orientation, open enrollment, employee termination and at intervals throughout the year. Relying on printed documents — or in-person communications — can be time consuming and expensive. And while email is a viable option, it runs the risk of being ignored or overlooked by employees.
Video may be a better alternative. When done right, videos stand a greater chance than printed materials of capturing employees’ attention. Moreover, videos save time, can be accessed on demand and are not likely to interrupt employees’ workflow. With a remote workforce, it’s a much simpler situation than using print methods.
But before you begin churning out benefits videos, keep the following points in mind:
First, understand that not every benefits communication is suited for video. For instance, certain benefits notices, such as summary plan descriptions for group health plans, are written documents that must be given to participants in the legally required manner — such as electronically or by first-class mail or hand delivery. Also, employers need to consider privacy laws when using videos to communicate benefits.
Videos are best for breaking down complex benefits information into simple, digestible formats. For example, video is ideal for explaining how your company’s high-deductible health plan works in conjunction with your health savings account and for describing the different aspects of your employee assistance program.
During new hire orientation, you can use video to demonstrate standard benefits policies and procedures. And during open enrollment, video can inform employees of benefits changes and how to adjust their selections.
To resonate with employees, your videos must be high quality. Video no-nos include:
- Tacky animation.
- Amateur illustrations.
- Poor lighting and sound.
- Intrusive noise.
- Long, boring narration.
Decide whether an on-camera speaker or off-camera narrator is needed or whether to let the illustrations do the talking. Speakers and narrators should be professional, engaging and relatable.
Break up longer material into a series of short videos, as people often have short attention spans.
Hire a firm that can help you produce informative, succinct and compelling videos if you lack the ability to do so in-house.
Include calls to action at the end of the video — such as links to download benefits materials or to enroll in your benefits program — plus contacts in case employees need live support.
Make sure employees know that the videos exist and where to find them. You can, for example, embed them in your website, in emails and text messages, in your social media pages, and/or in your virtual open enrollment packet.