In 2001, James C. Collins published a book called Good to Great. And with that, “great” catapulted into our everyday vernacular as a descriptor for – well – just about everything:
- How’s the food? Great!
- How was your weekend? Great!
- How’s your broken leg? Great!
In the interest of more effective communication that really gets to the heart of things, I’m banning “great” from my vocabulary. Try these on for size instead:
- How’s the food? Delicious! Try the mashed potatoes; they’re buttery and…
- How was your weekend? So fun! We went to the lake, out on the boat…
- How’s your broken leg? It’s healing. I’m so thankful that I can use these crutches to…
What’s this have to do with employee benefits communication? What if – instead of telling employees about our “great new benefit plan” – we tell them about our “amazing new benefit plan to help you stay healthy” or our “health plan designed with your well-being in mind” or some other more descriptive terms to help employees feel connected to the plan and its value.
The words you choose matter.
The descriptors you select will either resonate with readers or fall flat. If you’re going to communicate about open enrollment and your benefits plan – and I know you are – make the most of your opportunity to capture employees’ attention.
Now’s the time: let’s all be greater than great.