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Social Media—the Fun Way to Talk Benefits

Social media can be a cheap, fun way to educate more tech-savvy employees about benefits options, giving administrators a valuable tool to promote their programs.

February 29, 2012
Related Topics: Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS/HRIS), Health Care Benefits, Benefits, Talent Management
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Health care shopping services such as Castlight are only successful if employees are educated about how and why to use them, says Castlight chief marketing officer, Peter Isaacson. "We spend a lot of time working with clients on employee engagement."

Currently the company focuses on conventional communication techniques, including email, Web-content, posters and mailings. But he hopes to add social media tools, such as Twitter and YouTube to the company's communication strategy going forward. "Social media offers a huge opportunity for us to engage with our clients," he says.

Social media can be a cheap, fun way to educate more tech-savvy employees about benefits options, giving administrators a valuable tool to promote their programs. Taking advantage of such channels can increase buy-in to the company's offerings, says Bryan Brenner, CEO of First Person Inc., a benefits consulting firm in Indianapolis. "The more you meet people where they are, the more engaging the message becomes," Brenner says.

To capture the attention of younger workers, First Person produces a YouTube channel where employees can learn about health care options and wellness trends through short, light-hearted video clips. Health Savings Accounts: Panic Moments and Solutions, for example, explains options that can be helpful during open enrollment. The YouTube channel has dozens of these three- to five-minute clips and serves as a clearinghouse for all of First Person's benefit and wellness information.

"The videos don't cost a lot, and our people really respond to them," Brenner says, of both his company's employees and clients' employees. Along with being quick and easy to access, employees can watch the videos on their own time, or from home, rather than having the information pushed to them or scheduled into their day.

"It's all about securing buy-in," he says. "An engaged workforce is more likely to feel good about its benefits. That's a win-win for everyone."

Sarah Fister Gale is a freelance writer based in the Chicago area. To comment, email editors@workforce.com.

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