Open enrollment is one of the busiest and most hectic times of year for any HR professional. And while there is much to do about using social media for employee communication, most companies with social network accounts use them for external communication instead of internal. Many companies prefer to use email or internal networks to distribute and share pertinent employee information, and this can be necessary to a degree. But during open enrollment, employers not using social media to share benefit and other important information with employees are setting up their HR departments for a lot of headaches.
Enrolling in workplace benefits can be a confusing mess- the different kinds of benefits, what’s covered, costs, enrollment dates, etc. Making sure your employees are “benefit-literate” year-round can go a long way in reducing the number of calls made to the HR department for help. Social media is the perfect platform to keep your employees educated throughout the year. For example, you could use the “Polls” feature on your company’s Facebook page to ask weekly/monthly multiple-choice questions on common health insurance terms. For example: “Which of these does not qualify as a dependent a) your child b) your spouse c) your neighbor’s cat”, and let your audience “vote” on the answer.
Make sure your employees are well aware of important dates and where to access the information they need to enroll by using your social networks to broadcast those messages repeatedly. This will ensure those employees who skimmed through the email at work will see the message again loud and clear when they login to their Facebook or Twitter later. Keep your employees up to date on issues and updates, as well as answers to frequently asked questions to help mitigate HR issues.
No one particular network is the best choice for communicating benefit and enrollment information- companies should use the networks where they already have a presence. And social media is by no means a replacement for internal messaging and communication when it comes to this information. Instead, it’s a powerful tool to reinforce those messages in a place where your employees are already present and feel comfortable.