How communication unlocks the value of employee benefits

By July 26, 2019July 22nd, 2020employee benefits
Communication unlocks employee benefits

Are your workers aware about the employee benefits that you offer?  Do they understand when, and how, they can access them? Do you know which benefits your people value most?

Investing in employee benefits is a strong commitment. It is a commitment that demonstrates that you want to invest in the health and well-being of your people. This is a commitment that becomes part of the fabric of your work culture. It’s also a financial responsibility that needs to work hard to justify spend.

Effective employee benefits communication is critical to the success of your plan

For businesses where the answer is a resolute yes, they are probably already unlocking the value of the employee benefits they offer with a well-crafted communication plan.  However, research shows us that these businesses are still in a minority.

Where the answer is no, not sure or hopefully, you might need to rethink the way you communicate what’s on offer.  Research also tells us that most companies need to do more on this.  Canada Life discovered that around a third of employees (34%) would like their employers to communicate more about the workplace benefits and perks available to them. While the same number (34%) report their employers are good at communicating what’s on offer. Clearly there is a squeeze in the middle where communication is inconsistent.

Why does communication breakdown?

When new employees join a company, they will have already done their research on the employee benefits and perks on offer.  The package will probably have helped sway the decision to join a business. Going through benefit plans in detail will also be part of the on boarding process.  Everybody’s excited.  Everybody’s communicating.

But then, employees get wrapped up in their work. They’ve got busy lives, friends, family and other commitments to juggle outside of work.  They may start to work remotely, from home or start flexible hours. Reaching everybody can be a challenge. Without regular communication, employees can become disengaged or simply forget.

If you create a comprehensive benefits package and the uptake is low, then the return for both employee and business will be low.

Improving employee engagement

More than half of employees (53%) think that benefits engagement is extremely important. However, 70% of businesses spend less that £7k on communication, according to a study by Aon.

There are actions you can take to improve communication without piling on additional costs:

  • The Canada Life study also found that 16% of employees did not know who to ask about the benefits available to them. Are your employees clear about who is the right person to approach?
  • Email updates and team meetings will keep your employees involved.
  • A benefits platform can help you build an online community to encourage participation and keep everyone up to date with the latest news.
  • By sharing the value of employee benefits with Total Rewards Statements, all team members will be able to see what benefits they are getting, what they could get and what it’s all worth.
  • Using surveys and simply asking about the benefits they value and encouraging feedback will also give you valuable insight on how to optimise plans and avoid unnecessary spend.
  • Utilising social media will help you reach employees that live on their mobile devices.

These are just a few steps you could take to improve engagement and unlock the value of the benefits and perks you offer with a consistent communications plan.

Rethinking your plan? Let’s talk to see how we can help.

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