8 Topics You Should Communicate to Employees in August

Every month, Airbo provides you with suggested topics to communicate to employees as part of your Annual Communications Plan. The topics are based on hundreds of data points regarding what our customers communicate each month of the year.

August is a busy time for vacations and outdoor fun. Don’t let the lazy summer days fool you – there’s plenty for HR and Benefits to communicate with employees in August. Here are a few of the main topics to cover in your employee communications this month.

1. Back to School

Many employees are preparing to send their kids heading back to a socially-distanced classroom or bracing themselves for another round of remote learning. Remind them that they can use the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to connect with childcare specialists and find support during this unusual back to school season.

Sample Tiles: Benefit Spotlight: Employee Assistance Program, Budget for back-to-school expenses, Resources available to you during times of need, What is available to me using the EAP?, COVID-19: School not reopening? Here’s what to do.

2. Dependent Care FSA

As working parents sort out their plans for the fall, promote the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to help cover the costs of childcare. Make sure that employees are aware that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, recently added more flexibility to change dependent care contributions to FSAs. Plus, August is a good time to remind everyone to pace their FSA spending so they don’t lose funds at the end of the year.

Sample Tiles: Benefit Spotlight: Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account, Reminder: Check your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) funds, COVID-19: Use your Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), New Rules for Medical and Dependent Care FSAs

3. National Immunization Awareness Month

August is National Immunization Awareness Month, and vaccines are top-of-mind as we face the pandemic this year. A COVID-19 vaccine isn’t available yet, but in the meantime, it’s important to remind employees to get their flu shots and maintain the usual immunization schedules for their dependents.

Sample Tiles: Health Care Consumerism Tip: Practice prevention, COVID-19: Positive updates from around the world, Don’t Forget: It’s still important to get the flu vaccine this fall!

4. Masks

Many workplaces and public settings now require people to wear face coverings to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Communicate your company’s mask policy and help employees understand why and how to wear masks to contain the coronavirus.

Sample Tiles: How to safely wear and take off a cloth face covering, CDC: Wear cloth face coverings in public to help slow COVID-19 spread, Reminder: Stop touching your face, Face coverings do’s and don’ts, REMINDER: Cover your mouth & nose with a face cover when around others, Is your face mask uncomfortable?

5. Telemedicine

August is a good time to promote your company’s telemedicine benefit because it saves time when families are busy with the back-to-school rush. Many people used telemedicine for the first time over the last few months of social distancing. Build off that momentum by educating employees about telehealth.

Sample Tiles: Telemedicine is temporarily HSA-eligible, COVID-19: Utilize telemedicine where possible, Reminder: Telemedicine is a free resource for you and your dependents!, Busy with back-to-school? Seek virtual help first

6. PTO Policy

As summer winds down, touch base with employees about vacation time. Whether they are traveling or taking a summer “staycation,” they’ll need to know your company’s policies for paid time off (PTO).

Sample Tiles: Summer PTO requests, Mindfulness Challenge: Give yourself permission to go on vacation, Technology Tip: Create auto-reply in Outlook, Summer vacation ideas for your kids

7. Disaster Preparedness

Hurricanes, thunderstorms, and wildfires are common in the late summer and early fall months, so share tips for disaster preparedness. Highlight any benefits that your company offers to help support employees in case of a natural disaster.

Sample Tiles: What to do when a disaster strikes, What is available to me using the EAP?, Natural Disasters: Emergency evacuations, Benefits and resources available to you during times of need, Emergency Evacuation: Escape routes, Emergency Evacuation: The 6 P’s, Have you signed up for our emergency notification system?, Do you know how to stay safe during a lightning storm?

8. Open Enrollment Preview

Is your annual enrollment coming up in September? Start talking about it now so that employees know what to expect. Especially if you will be doing a virtual benefits fair for the first time this year, start sharing quick tidbits to spotlight voluntary benefits while there’s plenty of time for employees to consider their options.

Sample Tiles: Open Enrollment Checklist, Action Required: Update contact information before Open Enrollment starts, Follow these instructions to pick your benefits, Make sure your furry family members are safe and healthy, Benefits Spotlight: Identity theft and credit protection insurance, Benefits Spotlight: Student Loan Repayment Plan, What happens if you don’t take action during Open Enrollment?

That’s it for now! We hope these tips help you stay in touch with employees and keep their attention during the last month of summer.

Want to keep up on best practices for HR communication throughout the year? Sign up for our newsletter to get more tips delivered straight to your inbox.