March 5, 2024
Evelyn Cools
Evelyn Cools

Effective Benefits Onboarding for Hard-to-Reach Employees

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Ensuring every employee receives benefits information can be tough, especially for those not in traditional office settings. Based on insights from a recent webinar “Best Practices for New Hire Benefits Onboarding”, here's how to effectively address this challenge.

Watch the on-demand webinar: Best Practices for New Hire Benefits Onboarding

Who Are “Hard-to-Reach” Employees?

Hard-to-reach populations cover a lot of people:

  • Remote employees who may not have regular, in-person contact with HR or management
  • Deskless workers in sectors such as manufacturing or healthcare, who make up 70% to 80% of the global workforce (BCG, 2022)
  • All employees you don’t have a direct line to, whether they lack a company email or other direct contact methods

The Challenge of Reaching Every Employee

HR teams often educate hard-to-reach employees about benefits through in-person sessions, by having managers relay the information, and via paper communications. While these methods can all be effective in their own way, it’s difficult to know if every employee is actually receiving the information they need.

Shortcomings of Current Communication Methods

  • There’s uncertainty whether managers will effectively communicate with the team
  • It can be really time consuming to see every deskless worker in person, and you might miss some due to scheduling
  • If employees do have work emails, they may be overlooked or remain unactivated
  • Paper communications are easily missed or ignored

Where to Start

If you want to improve benefits communication for all of your employees, start by answering these 3 questions:

  1. What are your hard-to-reach populations?
  2. Which contact channels do you have for them?
  3. What changes can you make to get in front of them better?

Gathering some initial data, like how many people have activated their work email or how many employees you have phone numbers for, will give you important insights on where to start.

Here’s an example of how one of our clients approached this challenge:

💡Tip: All Airbo campaigns, including our free new hire benefits onboarding campaign, come with sms and QR code functionalities, as well as links and email communication.

Collect Better Contact Information During Onboarding

The easiest way to overcome communication barriers moving forward is by making a few tweaks to the onboarding process. As you're onboarding new employees, use that as your opportunity to start getting better contact information. 

Here’s what you should gather during onboarding:

  • Phone number
  • Personal email
  • Consent to send communications to both of them

You can include a simple form for employees to fill out in their welcome packet or add a section in online platforms like Workday or Navigator for them to opt in. Begin this process with new hires and improve it as you go.

Onboard New Hires with Free SMS & QR Code Capabilities

To improve your new hire benefits communications immediately, make sure to check out our free program for New Hire Benefits Onboarding. This free campaign includes sms, email, link, and QR code capabilities. To learn more about the broker program and sign up your group(s), click here.

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