Video Communication: Put the Master of Employee Engagement to Work this OE

Video for Benefits: Put the Master of Employee Engagement to Work This OE

Video. Digital communication. Millennials' best friend. No matter how you label it, video is the master of employee engagement.

As a benefits leader, you’d like engagement to be high year round, but during your open enrollment period, it's crucial. Open enrollment is a time where employers have a special opportunity to show the investment they’ve made in their employees, and employees embark on personal decisions around their health, wellness and retirement planning.

And while this marks a time of big decisions, there are big challenges to match. The complexity of employee benefits, coupled with the time demands imposed on administrators, can result in a continuing disconnect on benefits education. That translates to benefits confusion. Currently, more than half of employees don’t fully understand their benefits, and only one in five employees feel their employer communicates benefits effectively.1

And let’s face it, employee benefits can be an intimidating topic, making it even harder to get employees excited about open enrollment, much less to help them better understand their benefit options.

Why video works

What happens when you use video, the master of engagement, for something that’s inherently hard to communicate? Simply put, it works.

You’ve heard this before, but it's important to remember that your employees are consumers, and their expectations are high. In most all other aspects of their lives, they have immediate access to the information they need to make a purchase, tutorials to help them solve an immediate need or expert advice to support their decision making. They want convenient guidance, and they find that in video. There's a reason why millions of people visit sites like YouTube and Vimeo every day. In fact, 75 percent of people are more likely to watch a video than read.2

The same goes for employee benefits communication. Employees want that guidance in an easy-to-access format to help them translate a complex topic in a way that will lead them to the right decision. Advanced HR teams have picked up on this, making video their medium of choice and incorporating into their open enrollment communications strategy.

And in terms of your company, think about your benefits brand. There is no faster way to extend your presence across your organization than with video. Not only does it foster a familiarity with your benefits brand, it also goes a long way to personalize your message. Video can help you convey empathy, strike the right tone with employees and foster connection like no other medium can.

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What's appropriate to communicate via video

The options are really endless when it comes to using video to communicate. That also makes it a double-edged sword. Endless options mean freedom of choice, but it can also make it difficult to determine exactly how you want to use video for your workforce.

To help, try thinking about your video communication within the context of three buckets: explain, support and promote.


Explainer videos are ubiquitous across the internet. Consumers consult these types of videos to gain clarity or help them make a decision in the moment.

A good example of this is something that just happened to me recently. My husband and I borrowed a paint sprayer for a house project, and instead of pulling out the manual on how to operate this piece of equipment we’d never used before, we turned to YouTube. We watched a few videos explaining the best way to prep, use and clean the paint sprayer, and were on our way to refinished kitchen cabinet glory within 15 minutes!

Now, that’s not exactly the most complex of subjects. But benefits are complex, which is all the more reason why short, to-the-point explainer videos can help remove confusion and offer clarity your employees will appreciate.

Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?

You have a large number of employees that are new to the workforce. They don’t have a strong understanding of basic health insurance concepts like deductibles, copays and coinsurance.

You’re expanding your benefit offerings to include a new HDHP option along with a traditional PPO plan. Your employees need help understanding the difference between them.

You offer voluntary benefits such as accident insurance, critical illness or hospital indemnity. Employees aren’t sure of their need for these products.

In these types of scenarios, videos can help you answer employee questions that otherwise would bombard you during open enrollment season – translating to significant time saved for you.


Video can also be a great way to support your benefits brand or overall employer brand. Here are a few examples of how this might work:

  1. If you have changes in policies or procedures, support videos can be a resource employees can come back to when they need a refresh on what changed.
  2. Perhaps you have a lot of employees enrolled in HSAs to help them cover their personal health care costs. A video that reinforces the benefits of an HSA, and provides information on accessing and managing these accounts, can go a long way in helping employees make the most of them.
  3. Most of your employees are probably aware that a portion of their paycheck goes into their 401(k), but do they know the percentage the organization contributes to that retirement account as well? A video could serve as a reminder of how much their employer values their financial well-being now and in the future.


Whether you want to promote healthy lifestyles with wellness initiatives or keep your benefits brand top of mind, promotional videos can effectively engage employees year round. This is something that’s easily translatable, as you see it everywhere as a consumer.

But you can also think of promotion as a way to get your employees involved (literally) with your video. For example, hearing a testimonial from a peer in the company on how they’re taking advantage of your wellness program, or showcasing the team that won the walking challenge, can inspire others to jump on board.

How-to communicate via video

Here are a few rules to consider as you start to communicate via video:

Rule #1: Make sure employees can see it.

Employees need to be able to easily access and view the videos. This means posting your videos on your benefits portal, making them accessible via mobile device, and even embedding them in your online enrollment experience.

Rule #2: Make it short and sweet.

In a video, you have to be able to deliver a lot of information in a short amount of time. The optimal time is no more than 3 minutes. If you have a lot of information to cover, consider doing a series of short videos. 

Rule #3: Make it a part of your coordinated OE communication strategy.

This one is less of a rule and more of a wishful request from a marketer. When you want to drive home your message and turn that into action, consider delivering your video as part of a coordinated open enrollment communications campaign. Your videos will ultimately make more of an impact. Plus, video campaigns can begin months before your open enrollment period, helping to introduce and familiarize your employees with new concepts.

Ready to get started with video?

See how you can get an extra boost on employee engagement today, and press play on personalized video communications!


1. Aflac Workforces Report

2. Forrester Research