146: Make Your Communications Matter with Jennifer Benz, Communications Leader at Segal Benz

With the many strategic priorities within organizations, employee communications can often be forgotten, not given an adequate budget or attention. Perhaps there’s a portal that most people don’t visit, uninspiring emails that go out and/or no clear employer brand. But with employers spending millions of dollars on their benefits programs, doesn’t it make sense to put more effort into having employee capitalize on these benefits? Today’s guest, Jennifer Benz thinks so.

Jennifer Benz, leads Segal Benz, a consulting firm that helps organizations engage their people and drive business results through effective benefits communication. The firm’s work spans across all areas of benefits and HR and blends the best practices of consumer marketing, design, and behavioral science.

Jen is widely quoted in publications, including the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Employee Benefit News, Human Resource Executive, HR Magazine, and Workforce.

According to Jen, not only do your benefits help reinforce why someone works for your company, but they’re also part of the value proposition of taking a job with your organization. With employers still being a trusted source of information, strategically communicating your company’s benefits provides an opportunity to enhance employer brand, employee experience and increase utilization of the programs you’re already paying for.

In this interview, Jen explains how benefits and communications have changed in the last 5 years, three keys to successful benefits communication, why behavioral science is important but first, you have to get the basics right. She tells us how health and wellbeing plays into the overall benefits strategy and leaves us with a tangible tip.

You’re invited: Join me for Next Generation Wellness: From Theory to Practice at the WELCOA Summit Intensive on August 26th: Click HERE for more details.

Interview highlights (with timestamps):
  • [7:15] How HR Communications and benefits have evolved over the past 10 years
  • [14:24] What is slowing the adoption of technology in the workplace
  • [16:25] Where to start with your communications
  • [19:05] The 3 foundational pieces of the 10 Keys to Successful Benefits Communication
  • [24:20] One thing that’s often missed when it comes to building the benefits experience
  • [28:10] Before you worry about behavioral science, get these things right with your communications
  • [33:00] Setting employees into defaults and some considerations
  • [35:45] How health and wellbeing plays into the total HR Communications strategy
  • [40:00] Jen’s tangible tip
Mentioned in this episode:

10 Keys to Unlocking Successful Benefits Communication

Behavioral Science for Employee Benefits Communication

https://www.segalbenz.com/

Full Bio:

Jennifer Benz leads Segal Benz, a consulting firm that helps organizations engage their people and drive business results through effective benefits communication. The firm’s work spans across all areas of benefits and HR and blends the best practices of consumer marketing, design, and behavioral science.

Jen launched Benz Communications in 2006 and quickly established the company as a leading voice in the employee benefits industry. Benz Communications was one of the Top 100 Women-Owned Businesses in the Bay Area from 2012 through 2019, up until The Segal Group acquired the company. Segal Benz has received top honors from Pensions & Investments, Business Insurance, the Profit Sharing Council of America, Employee Benefit News, and others.

As an influential voice in the employee benefits industry, Jen is widely quoted in publications, including the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Employee Benefit News, Human Resource Executive, HR Magazine, and Workforce.

She has testified twice about retirement education before the Department of Labor’s ERISA Advisory Council, and Workforce magazine named her an industry Game Changer. She served for 3 years as the program chair for the HR Executive Health and Benefits Leadership Conference, one of the industry’s premier events. She also advises several industry organizations and startups.