A recent study by the University of Chicago suggested that approximately ⅓ of all American jobs can be performed remotely. While the majority of these remote workers are utilizing computer technology to access their jobs, there are still offline employees out there.
Offline employees, those classified as non-desk workers, make up nearly 75% of today’s employees. These employees, like factory workers and drivers, often don’t have access to technology in the workplace. They are usually on the go without designated office space.
Communicating with offline employees who don’t have ready access to technology can be a challenge for human resources professionals. It can be difficult to make sure these employees are getting the information they need promptly. It can also be difficult to make sure these employees are getting answers to questions, especially when it comes to benefits. Let’s take a look at some ways to help offline employees navigate benefits technology.
Utilize Mobile Technology
There’s an app for nearly everything. Your favorite restaurant, your favorite retail store, your grocery delivery service. Why not benefits administration? As of January 2021, there were 269.5 million mobile internet users in the United States. With this number of mobile users, you can be almost certain that your offline employees have some form of internet access.
With an app for benefits administration, your offline employees can access information on their own time from either their smartphone or tablet. Apps are versatile too. You can integrate social media features into apps to allow for two-way communication. Some apps even provide incentives for participation.
Don’t Discount Print
Worried that you won’t reach employees with a digital platform? There is something to be said for an old-fashioned method of communication like print. Maybe you use a poster in the break room, a postcard or a flyer placed in company mailboxes. Any of these forms of print are likely to reach employees that don’t spend their days behind a desk.
Print is a great way to disseminate information to a wide audience. Workers in a distribution site, truck drivers and delivery people have to return to the main office site on occasion. Think bullet points here — you want to meet your employees where they are with clear and concise information. Don’t forget to include contact information for the benefits administrator in the event of questions.
Try a Conference Call Town Hall
With benefits administration, employees often have questions about options and deadlines. When the majority of your employees are offline, it can be difficult or even impossible for employees to ask questions of the right person.
Think about hosting a town hall meeting via conference call. Employees can call in no matter their location to hear valuable information about benefits and ask questions of a live person. If the time chosen for the conference call isn’t amenable to everyone, tape the call for future replay.
Lean on Your Benefits Broker
Even if you are using multiple forms of communication with your offline employees, don’t forget to point them to the source. Your benefits broker is the MVP at your disposal when it comes to answering questions about benefits enrollment and eligibility.
Make sure your offline employees have access to your benefits broker at times and locations that are convenient. This may mean stranger than usual hours for the broker, but it is important for each employee to feel heard and seen. Meeting your employees where they are is likely to encourage participation and timely responses to benefits package deadlines.
Your Benefits Broker Can Help!
Getting information about benefits to your offline employees doesn’t have to be challenging. Even in today’s digital world, there are many ways to spread information to offline employees. Try some of these tips mentioned above and let us know if you see an increase in community-wide participation. Contact your benefits insurance partner or our office today to learn more.