Five mistakes to avoid with employee benefits
While there is no doubt that companies put in a lot of work and money to set up a new employee benefit scheme, it’s important not to then fall into the five most common mistakes which can lead to the scheme’s failure.
Towergate Health & Protection highlights five key mistakes to avoid when introducing a new benefits package:
- Assuming they know what their employees want
One of the worst mistakes a company can make is not reviewing the actual take up and use of their benefits and just renewing automatically year-on-year. If a company is introducing a new scheme, or renewing an existing one, they shouldn’t assume they know what employees want. Ask them first.
It might be surprising when they find out which benefits employees value the most. Try a staff survey or if there is a scheme already in place, monitor the take-up and use of the elements to see what is most popular.
- Failure to communicate
New benefits bring lots of tedious policy documents and brochures, not to mention terms and conditions, so plan to communicate effectively with employees about what the benefits are and what they mean.
Communication needs to be clear, concise and importantly, ongoing. Don’t just email out the policy documents and never mention it again. Create meaningful conversations around health and wellbeing issues which then signpost to the new benefits solution.
- Going for one-size fits all
With many companies having several generations in the workplace, from the very young to those approaching retirement, assessing the health benefit needs can become quite complex but it needs to be carried out as going for a one-size fits all approach will never work.
Don’t assume the type of benefits that will interest the different age groups, talk to the teams to find out what they are interested in having and what they would find of value. Don’t make generalised assumptions based on age.
- Failing to monitor engagement
Benefits can also help the employer with managing things like sickness absence so don’t just introduce them and then leave the team to engage with them or not. Monitor how many of the team take them up and keep an eye on claims coming through in case there are any trends, pointing to an issue in the workplace which might need to be resolved or addressed.
- Not taking a modern approach
Many wellbeing programmes make use of technology now to enable members to have access to health advice, counselling, health monitoring and other services, at the touch of a button 24/7. Remote GP services offering video consultations are just one example of a modern approach to health insurance, which can reduce time off work for appointments.
Technology means the team can access benefits on their terms, which could be during a work commute or downtime at the weekend, giving them flexibility to engage with benefits when they want to.
Many companies rely on employee benefits as a large part of their recruitment and retention plan but if any of these five mistakes are made that benefits programme could fail.
However, simply listening to employees about what they want, providing effective communication and bringing the benefits to life with relevant apps and technology, means the business is more likely to see better uptake and engagement levels.
You might also be interested in
Brett Hill is Distribution Director of Towergate Health & Protection. Brett’s career spans 20 years, working in technical, commercial, sales & marketing and senior management roles with leading insurance companies, including AXA PPP Healthcare, Standard Life Healthcare and Unum. Brett has been responsible for charting the company’s...