Monday April 20, 2015
Whilst employee benefits are just part of the formula for engaging your people, today’s business realises that a great employee benefits package is essential for attracting and retaining top talent. However, not all businesses have quite understood the best ways to communicate the value of those benefits once the great package is in place. Research by Unum found that 64% of employers that have invested in employee benefits are not effectively communicating them to their people and are, therefore, missing out on the advantages of offering great benefits.
Having worked with clients across the country to not only help them select the best benefits package, but also to help them communicate it, I’ve learned some great tips for communicating benefits along the way. So I’ll get straight to it, here are my top three tips:
1. Look to the contract.
It’s certainly difficult to talk about employee benefits in any official communication with employees because – let’s be honest now – they often just don’t read them. Regular communications, such as payslip notes, often go unread so it’s little use including material on benefits with those. What can work, though, is to include information on a company’s employee benefits in more than one place, staring with the employment contracts, employee handbook that are signed off by the employee.
2. Engage a professional to explain them.
I’d recommend hosting workplace financial education sessions hereby a specialist in the subject will come along to the workplace to talk about the various financial options available to employees before having one-to-one meetings with them to discuss benefits such as pensions and protection. This is of great benefit to the employee and is a very positive additional benefit, which reflects the caring and responsible attitude of the employer. In my experience, the prospect of free financial advice paid for by the employer is very appealing, resulting in attendances higher than one would expect, and whilst there will be cost involved it is easily balanced by the benefits.
3. Make comms count.
I often visit workplaces and find that the company has put an uninspiring looking notice on an equally uninspiring looking notice board tucked away in a corridor or office somewhere. It’s really important to make all comms eye catching and inspiring so engage in-house design or marketing to help and put messages together that can be displayed in a variety of ways; on a well placed notice board, digitally, maybe even on the back of the loo door! And do make sure the information is regularly updated and refreshed.
So those are my three top ways to communicate employee benefits in a manner that will encourage employees to take note. It is possible to get people engaged with benefits by addressing them from day one, and keeping the conversation alive.